MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Help for struggling families in need of internet service during the pandemic is on the way.
Money is going to low-income households who may have trouble connecting or staying connected to internet service.
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Times are already hard for Sharon Mourning.
She filed for unemployment in November after getting laid off, a job loss victim of the pandemic.
Like many Memphians, she said she still hasn’t received her unemployment benefits.
“It’s horrible because there are bills that need to be paid, there are necessities that must be met,” said Mourning.
To make matters worse, Mourning said sometimes it’s tough for people like herself to find reliable access to the internet to search for jobs, check on her unemployment claim and download documents needed to apply for work online.
“It can be discouraging,” she said.
The FCC just approved a $50 monthly credit to help low-income families like Mourning pay internet bills, stay connected and get more reliable service.
In other words, close the digital divide that has become apparent during the pandemic.
Some people FOX13 spoke with said they wonder how programs like this will help people who only have access to a cell phone where they can get the internet but many families don’t have laptops or computers.
People like Mourning remain skeptical and hopeful at the same time.
“Useless to the effect where most of our people don’t even know how to use the internet and having a tool there that you can’t get to, what use is that.” “With my age and my eyesight, I do need the computer, the desktop, it makes things easier,” Mourning added.
The FCC will also provide a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet for those who are eligible for the Emergency Broadband benefit program.
The program will be available in about two months.