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FCC Approves Emergency Broadband Benefit, Helping Tribes And Others Get Online

The Federal Communications Commission recently approved the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, which is expected to enable eligible households to receive a discount on the cost of broadband service and connected devices during the pandemic, including and especially those on tribal land.

The program will provide households with discounts of up to $50 a month for broadband service and up to $75 a month if the household is on tribal lands. 

It will also provide a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet.

The program amplifies the Navajo Nation’s recent effort to use CARES Act funding to upgrade their internet connectivity during the pandemic.

The funding has led to 139 broadband installations and capacity upgrades to existing broadband equipment. The Navajo Nation also recently received funding to install over 600 miles of fiber-optic lines on tribal land.

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Vaughan Jones is the weekend reporter for KJZZ, and a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism, with a minor in music. As a Phoenix native, Jones’s dream is to serve his community by covering important stories in the metropolitan area.He spent two years as music director at Blaze Radio, ASU’s student-run radio station. His passion for radio stems from joining Blaze his freshman year as a DJ.When he is not working, Jones can be found writing music with his band, playing video games with his friends, or watching his favorite Phoenix-area sports teams.