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Hughes Joins the FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit Program 

By Rachel Jewett | July 8, 2021
Hughes satellite dish

A HughesNet Satellite Dish. Photo: Alan Levine

Hughes Network Systems has joined the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program that provides financial assistance for broadband service during the COVID-19 pandemic. At this point, Hughes is the only nationwide satellite provider to participate in the program.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a pandemic relief effort that kicked off in May of this year. It is a $3.2 billion fund that provides qualifying households with $50 per month discounts on broadband services and equipment like computers and tablets. As of last month, more than 3.3 million households have enrolled in the program, according to data from the Universal Service Administration Co. 

The Satellite Industry Association applauded the FCC for starting the program and making satellite providers eligible to participate, but no major satellite providers were among the first slate of broadband providers to participate. Hughes announced its participation on July 8. 

“We are glad to be able to offer our customers the Emergency Broadband Benefit to help them stay connected during this time, and we appreciate that the FCC included our satellite internet in the program as it is a lifeline for our rural U.S. customers,” commented Paul Gaske, executive vice president and general manager of Hughes North America Division.