The FCC has announced more than $2.8 million in ECF awards from the Emergency Connectivity Fund (EFC) program that will support about 7,000 students nationwide with a focus on those in Arizona, California, Iowa, Maine, Michigan and Missouri.
The funding will support about 15 schools, five libraries and a consortium.
The ECF was designed to provide devices and connectivity to aid in off campus online activities, such as homework, during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is administered by schools and libraries and is part of the American Rescue Plan and became law in 2021.
Its mandate is to invest $7.17 billion. The majority of that funding has been awarded. The newest announcements will use funds from the third of the program’s three application windows.
“With today’s funding round, we continue our progress in providing students the online access they need to connect with their teachers and keep up with schoolwork,” Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a press release. “This program is an important part of our ongoing work to close the Homework Gap.”
Previous ECF Awards
To date $4.14 billion has come from the first application window, $833 million from the second window and $1.65 billion from the third window. The program has supported 10,000 schools, 1,000 libraries, and 100 consortia and is providing nearly 13 million connected devices and more than 8 million broadband connections.
In February, the ECF invested more than $24 million to support about 50,000 students, with a focus on Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Texas and Wisconsin. The funding will support more than 140 schools, eight libraries and three consortia. The funding was from the third application window.
Earlier in the month, the ECF committed more than $30 million to support about 100,000 students in off-campus environments in Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Nevada. It will support more than 205 schools, 15 libraries and a consortium. The investment used funds from each of the three application windows..