Skip to main content
Monthly Archives

June 2021

DC Access Participates in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

By DC Access Press Releases
Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

On May 15th, the Federal Communications Commission launched the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB Program) in an attempt to help households in need afford internet service. The EBB Program provides broadband and device benefits for low-income customers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband services for eligible customers and up to $75 per month towards eligible households on Tribal lands. Customers will also be able to receive a one-time discount of up to $100 towards equipment purchased from providers including laptops, desktops, or tablets, if they contribute between $10-$50 towards the purchase.

Who is Eligible?

A household is eligible if one of the following criteria are meet by a member living in the household:

  •  Qualifies for FCC’s Lifeline program
  • Approved for free or reduced price school breakfast/lunch program
  • Experienced substantial documented loss of income since February 29, 2020 – total household income in 2020 below $99,000 (single filers) and $198,000 (joint filers)
  • Received a federal Pell grant in current reward year or qualifies for low-income or Covid-19 program by FCC approval

* Existing Lifeline subscribers do not need to fill out an application for the EBB Program*

We are happy to announce that DC Access is an FCC Provider and participates in the Emergency Broadband Benefit. We are committed to helping households stay connected, despite financial hardships. Existing and new customers can opt for our service, choose from our plans, and receive up to $50 per month towards their DC Access service.

If you meet the criteria and would like to receive DC Access service, first apply online at http://getemergencybroadband.org/ and then contact us at 202-546-5898 or support@dcaccess.net.

For Additional information, please visit https://www.dcaccess.net/emergency-broadband-benefit/.

AMAZON SIDEWALK

By DC Access Internet

AMAZON SIDEWALKSince the beginning of the pandemic, more people are working from home and using their home internet more frequently. This makes internet insecurity more important than ever. Here at DC Access, we want to keep you alert and help you prioritize your internet security at home. 

On June 8TH, Amazon is launching Amazon Sidewalk, a service providing a shared network that claims to help smart devices work better. Sidewalk will form a shared wireless network capped at 500MB per month by taking a small portion of your internet bandwidth to pool together to provide services to you and your neighbors. Essentially this can take away from the speed of your internet for other devices, such as computer use, streaming, and gaming devices. For more details, see this related article.

Devices included in Sidewalk are Amazon Echo devices, Ring Security, outdoor lights, motion sensors, Tile trackers, pet locators, and smart locks. Sidewalk aims to help the user’s devices when they are out of range of their home Wi-Fi by keeping them online. Amazon believes the network will allow users to locate lost keys or missing pets and set up and fix devices remotely. It also benefits ALL Sidewalk-enable devices in your community, not just yours.

Sidewalk will be a default setting for all Amazon smart home devices, automatically enrolling each device to participate in network sharing. Owners of those devices have the option to disable Sidewalk at any time. You can update your Amazon Sidewalk preferences in two ways, from the Control Center on the Ring App and Settings on the Alexa App. 

Using the Ring App

  1. Open the Ring App on your device
  2. Tap the 3-lined icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen
  3. Go to the Control Center
  4. Turn Sidewalk on or off

Using the Alexa App

  1. Open the Alexa App on your device
  2. Select the more icon at the lower right-hand corner of the screen
  3. Select Settings 
  4. Select Account Settings
  5. Select Amazon Sidewalk
  6. Use the toggle to enable or disable Sidewalk

If you have linked your Ring and Amazon accounts, your Sidewalk preferences on either Alexa or Ring App will apply to all of your eligible Echo and Ring devices. Therefore, if you decide to opt out of Amazon Sidewalk on the Ring App, it will apply to your Echo devices as well.

While there are benefits to this experimental project, DC Access believes that the potential security risks out-way the positives. For now, we would recommend opting out of Amazon Sidewalk.