The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on May 10 announced that it is committing over $24 million via a new funding round through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program, which provides digital services for students in communities across the country.
The Emergency Connectivity Program, which launched in 2021, has provided schools and libraries three different “application windows” for schools and libraries to apply for support. The program has helped over 17 million students get connected to their schools and teachers.
Per an FCC press release, the newly announced funding commitment supports applications from all three application windows, benefiting approximately 45,000 students across the country, including students in Alaska, Arizona, California, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas.
The FCC stated that, of the approximately $6.67 billion in funding commitments approved to date, approximately $4.14 billion is supporting applications from Window 1; $834 million from Window 2; and $1.7 billion from Window 3.
The new funding commitment will support approximately 55 schools, 5 libraries, and 1 consortium, said the agency. The FCC notes that the funding can also be used to support off-campus learning, such as nightly homework, to ensure students across the country have the necessary support to keep up with their education.
To date, the program has provided support to approximately 11,000 schools, 1,000 libraries, and 100 consortia, and provided nearly 13 million connected devices and over 8 million broadband connections. More details about which schools and libraries have received funding commitments can be found at https://www.fcc.gov/emergency-connectivity-fund.
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel commented:
“We are committed to making sure all our kids have the digital tools they need to connect with their teachers and online homework. This program is an important step toward meeting that goal, and builds on our progress to close the Homework Gap.”
In this 2021 video from the FCC, Chairwoman Rosenworcel discusses the hallmarks of the Emergency Connectivity Fund.