The FCC is committing $240,888,016 in Emergency Connectivity Fund support in the latest wave of awards in the program.
The $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund is administered by schools and libraries with the goal of providing off-campus connectivity for students, school staff and library patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was created in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
The wave – the eighth – is projected to support more than 600,000 students. It will provide funding for 693 schools, 55 libraries and 8 consortia in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands. The institutions are approved to receive nearly 683,000 connected devices such as laptops, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers and 182,000 broadband connections.
The wave is comprised of more than $98 million in commitments from Window 1 applications and more than $142 million in commitments from Window 2 applications.
The program so far has committed more than $4.4 billion for support across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands. In all, more than 10,500 schools, 860 libraries and almost 120 consortia covering 9.6 million devices and almost 4.9 million broadband connections have been supported.
“In a little over six months, this program has helped over 12 million students across the nation get the digital tools they need to connect with teachers and online educational resources,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a press release about the Emergency Connectivity Fund support. “This program is an important part of closing the Homework Gap, and connecting library patrons across the country.”
The seventh wave of awards was announced earlier this month. The FCC awarded $361,037,156.16 in that wave. The funding will support 802 schools, 49 libraries and 8 consortia. These entities are approved to receive funding for almost 654,000 connected devices and more than 313,000 broadband connections.