AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE NORTH CAROLINA BROADBAND ASSISTANCE PROGRAM TO PROVIDE FUNDS TO ELIGIBLE LOW-INCOME FAMILIES TO HELP MAKE BROADBAND ACCESS MORE AFFORDABLE.
Requires the Department of Commerce (DOC) to establish the North Carolina Broadband Assistance Program (Program). Requires DOC to coordinate with county departments of social services to determine eligibility for low-income families for the Program. Makes families with annual household income at or below 100 of the federal poverty level eligible for free broadband service. Provides a credit of at least $15 per month for broadband service to families with annual household incomes above 100%, but no greater than 135%, of the federal poverty level and that include at least one adult individual or dependent child who qualifies for or participates in at least one of the six specified assistance programs. Allows credits to be adjusted according to family size.
Requires program applicants to demonstrate income qualifications at least annually. Requires providing information so that funds can be provided directly to the broadband service provider. Allows terminating participation in the Program upon notification by the broadband service provider that the Program recipient's account is more than 45 days past due. Requires DOC to report on the Program quarterly beginning October 1, 2021, to the specified NCGA committee and division. Specifies information that must be included in the report, including any legislative recommendations relating to the Program.
Appropriates $250 million for 2021-22 from the General Fund to DOC for the Program.
Effective July 1, 2021.
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