Last month I helped Lone Pine Communications set up their intake for customers needing the financial assistance provided by the “Lifeline” Emergency Broadband Benefit program. I thought maybe I could use it myself, since I qualify, and remove some sting from the overpriced service I’m getting from Hughes Net. So I got on chat with them (Wilson to be exact):
6:08:03 AM > That is correct, I’m fine, thanks for asking. I was able to get and validate the account. If I understand you correctly you would like to know about the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, correct?
6:09:03 AM Caroline P > No, I’d like to apply it to my account. I’ve been approved by the federal government
6:09:29 AM Caroline P > I already know a lot about it because I helped instate the local ISP’s program online.
6:10:33 AM Wilson > Perfect. Hughes has applied to participate in the FCC s Emerg program, and we are waiting for approvals by the USAC (the Universal Service Administrative Company). This program will provide a discount towards broadband servic both new and existing customers.
6:10:44 AM Caroline P > I know.
6:10:51 AM Caroline P > Where do I sign up for Lifeline with HughesNet
6:11:13 AM Caroline P > I have my USAC approval
6:11:15 AM Wilson > Please Check our website periodically for program launch details: www.Hughes.com/EBB or https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit
6:11:47 AM Caroline P > What? Hughes net hasn’t launched yet???!! Even the tiny little local ISP has their program running. 6:12:03 AM Ms. P, a start date for HughesNet has not been set as we are now preparing to make this offer available.
6:12:05 AM Caroline P > I get it. HughesNet is going to stall until the program is over. Amazing. 6:13:28 AM Ms. P, Besides this, how is your service working
6:13:47 AM Caroline P > Can I again tell someone at HughesNet how incredibly disppapointed I am with the HughesNet product? First they try to burn. my house down. Then I get consistent upload speeds under 1MB. Then HughesNet lies to the FCC. My local installer doesn’t know left from right so no matter how many times he comes to the house to “fix it,” it won’t get better. We wait sometimes up to a minute for a website to load. THAT is how it is working.
6:14:21 AM Caroline P > And I’m paying more money for the service than I spend on GROCERIES. THAT is how the service is working.
6:14:30 AM Caroline P > I’m like Hughes Net’s biggest anti-fan
6:15:33 AM Wilson > Would you mind if I take a look on your service?
(I’d been through that “looking at my service” thing dozens of times. No matter how many times I was a good girl and jumped through those hoops, we were still going to have .5MBPs uploads and find that most websites took at least ten seconds to load. Watching a short video? Plan on at least ten intermissions. So I ended things with Wilson, because I’m not accepting them turning it around on me anymore. It’s not MY job to make HUGHES internet run better. It’s THEIR job.)
Later that day…
I also asked in the forums why Hughes Net was dragging its feet on the program.
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Lifeline – Emergency Broadband Benefit – when will HughesNet be ready?
In the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, Congress appropriated $3.2 billion to the FCC to help low-income households pay for broadband service and connected internet devices.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program will provide a discount of up to $50 per month for broadband services for eligible consumers.
(Interestingly enough you’re not allowed to use the acronym FCC in the HughesNet forums.)
“This morning my EBB “Lifeline” was approved ( https://www.usac.org/about/emergency-broadband-benefit-program/ ). I guess I naively thought I could come closer to paying the correct dollar amount on the worst Internet service I’ve ever used and afford some groceries. Yay, I was excited! I headed over to HughesNet to apply for the discount.
Granted, I know a little about the EBB program because I just set up the website and online onboarding for a small local ISP’s EBB program. I know that even though it was a burden for the local ISP, they rushed to do it and have it ready by June 1. We actually had it ready prior to that. And I was told that the program could be very short-lived until the funds run out. It may or may not continue on in the future as an ongoing federal assistance program.
So the support tech at HughesNet stalled. He asked if I knew about the program. I asked where to apply. He asked if I needed more details on the program. I asked where to apply. He then told me that I would need to check back at https://www.hughes.com/EBB for when HughesNet opens the program. Because of work I was doing three weeks ago, I happen to know this website has not changed at all in those three weeks. I suspect HughesNet is going to drag their feet on this one until funds run out and they do not have to provide any assistance to their customers. I myself could really use the money for groceries.
My Internet is still very slow. When I filed a federal complaint, HughesNet lied in their reply to it, even though I have witnesses and photographic proof detailing my complaint. Pretty incredible. Overall HughesNet has provided one of the very worst consumer experiences I’ve ever had in my life. I feel shame sending them $90 every month. (Actually, my boyfriend now helps me pay it, since he knows how much it pains me financially and emotionally.) I suspect reading these forums that a lot of people feel the same way.
For now though, when will HughesNet open their EBB program?”
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maratsade (Distinguished Professor III) posted a new reply in Products and Plans on 06-07-2021 10:37 AM wrote:
Hughes has applied to participate in the F.C.C’s Emergency Broadband Benefit program, and we are waiting for approvals by the USAC (the Universal Service Administrative Company). That’s all the latest we have so far, we’re waiting ourselves.
You believe that? When I just told you a tiny ISP in a town of 2000 people has been participating for two weeks? You believe that HughesNet, a very large provider, is still waiting? It took me two days to get approved. I’m not naive enough to believe that.
Lucky for you, you’re not obligated to believe it.
Is it possible that since HughesNet isn’t actually broadband that they’re not actually ever going to be accepted to this program? Could that be it? I can’t believe how long this list of USAC-approved internet providers is, and they’re not on it.
PLEASE SAVE ME FROM HUGHESNET
I put in a FCC complaint about negligence and substandard service involved in my contract with HughesNet. They lied in their reply despite witness and photographic evidence to the contrary, and just continue to gaslight and run through the same useless basic troubleshooting every time I contact them. It didn’t help the dozens of other times I tried it, but if I don’t try again, they get frustrated and say they can’t help if I don’t do the whole cycle (that never worked before) again. Through a careless, un-grounded installation this company could have caused catastrophic property damage, and they flat-out denied it to the FCC despite even the installer acknowledging it and photographs and witnesses to state contrary. If I didn’t laugh I’d have to cry.
Now HughesNet is trying to say their application to the USAC for the Emergency BroadBand Benefit (EBB) hasn’t been accepted yet. Customers have to keep checking back in to see when the EBB program becomes active. Many if not most other providers have not only been accepted but are already giving customers much-needed financial assistance through EBB. Those funds will dry up. HughesNet is probably trying to make sure the funds dry up do before they take on the hassle of actually assisting their customers.
I pay $90/month for the slowest internet I’ve had since 1998 and a solid amount of gaslighting here and there, and it makes me feel like such an idiot for having ever called them. If you have ANY alternative whatsoever, take it. Just take a moment and read the hundreds and hundreds of negative public reviews, and also understand that there are also hundreds of similar in their private forums. Avoid this company.
I never thought in a million years I’d be praying for Elon Musk to save me. Save me.