Albany, NY – March 30, 2021 – FirstLight, a leading provider of fiber-optic data, Internet, data center, cloud, and voice services to enterprise and carrier customers throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, announced today that its ILEC entity will participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Broadband Benefit program and help struggling Maine residential customers who are having or have had difficulty paying for Internet service during the pandemic.

Through its ILEC, FirstLight serves residential customers based in Maine, and will provide a discount of up to $50 a month towards broadband service for eligible Maine households and up to $75 per month for Maine households on tribal lands during the program period.

“Maine has been hard hit by the pandemic, and this program will help many struggling Mainers continue to have online access to job searches, local and federal resource programs, telehealth services and skills training,” said Kurt Van Wagenen, FirstLight’s President and CEO. “It will also enable their children to continue remote learning and content streaming that have become critical components of a hybrid at-home classroom. During difficult economic times, Internet connectivity becomes an even greater lifeline for families and supports their economic, developmental, social and mental well-being.”

A household is eligible if one member of the household:

  • Qualifies for the Lifeline program;
  • Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so in the 2019-2020 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

The FCC did not give an official start date for the program, but is expected to launch in the coming months. For more info about the program, visit For FirstLight customers interested in eligibility and program details, visit