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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 26, 2021.
Computer and Internet Access Equity Act
This bill increases broadband service support for low-income consumers, establishes a grant program to provide internet safety education or training, and provides a tax credit for certain computer and education costs.
Specifically, the bill modifies the broadband service support program known as Lifeline, which assists low-income consumers with access to telecommunications and broadband services, to (1) increase the amount of the payments that a provider of Lifeline services may receive for each low-income consumer to whom the provider supplies such services, (2) allow consumers with higher incomes to qualify for participation in the program, and (3) allow a broadband service provider to receive Lifeline support for providing such service to a low-income consumer without being designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier.
The bill also requires the Federal Communications Commission to establish a grant program to develop and implement internet education and training programs for low-income individuals.
Further, the bill provides a refundable tax credit, not to exceed $2,000 ($4,000 in the case of a joint return) in a taxable year or $10,000 in a lifetime ($20,000 in the case of a joint return), for amounts paid or incurred for computers, printers, and other education-related technology. The Department of the Treasury must establish a program for making advance payments of such credit to eligible individuals.