The FCC has committed $244 million in Emergency Connectivity Fund support from the program’s third application window. The commission also announced $18 million in funding from the first two windows.
The third window funding will be utilized for activities during the 2022-2023 school year by 259 schools, 24 libraries and one consortia in California, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, New York and Virginia.
The program has a budget of $7.17 billion. The announcements today bring the total commitment to $5.1 billion.
“I’m pleased to announce two new rounds of funding in our ongoing work to help get students the broadband access they need to get online and keep up with schoolwork,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a press release. about the Emergency Connectivity Fund support. “The demand for this program shows how important it is to connect students all over the country. While there is more work to do, we are making steady progress closing the Homework Gap.”
The ECF was created in the American Rescue Plan Act as a way to blunt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is administered by schools and libraries and provides broadband connectivity and devices for use outside schools and libraries.
To date, the program has helped more than 12.7 million students. Beneficiaries are from approximately 10,000 schools, 900 libraries and 100 consortia. The support covers 11 million connected devices and 5 million broadband connections. About $4.1 billion is from Window 1, $818 million is from Window 2 and $244 million is from Window 3.
The FCC says that the third window will be the last.
At the beginning of May, the FCC awarded $39 million in the 14th wave of Emergency Connectivity Fund support. The wave will support 140 schools, 14 libraries and one consortium in California, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, Puerto Rico and Virginia.