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SANDWICH GENERATION: Financial assistance available for high-speed internet access

Older Minnesotans can get and stay connected to high-speed internet during and after the pandemic.

The pandemic has shown us that access to high-speed internet is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. 

Many Minnesotans do not have the access they need to work, attend school, see the doctor, and avoid isolation. That’s why AARP fought for the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a temporary federal program to help lower the cost of high-speed internet for eligible households during COVID-19. 

Many in communities across the state have experienced financial setbacks, leaving them struggling to get by. The Emergency Broadband Benefit could provide some relief for these families.

Minnesotans may be eligible for a discount up to $50 dollars per month – or up to $75 dollars per month for households on Tribal lands – for high-speed internet services through the program. A one-time discount of up to $100 dollars for a laptop, desktop computer or tablet purchased through a participating provider is also available. 

Funding for the Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, so AARP is encouraging Minnesotans to learn more about the program and see if they qualify. Eligible households will enroll through participating broadband providers. Learn more here, or text INTERNET to 22777 or call 1-833-511-0311.

To identify coverage gaps, the MN Rural Broadband Coalition is asking community members to take a 30-second speed test to measure their home internet speed and build a better service map.

The MN Rural Broadband Coalition launched the MN Speed Test Initiative to find out exactly where broadband service is available in our state. A simple, 30-second speed test will tell us your upload and download speed and map out broadband in Minnesota. Once complete, the map will help bring broadband to communities across the state.

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, click here.