The FCC has made awards totaling more than $421 million from the Emergency Connectivity Fund in its latest funding wave announcement.
The $7.17 billion program, which aims to support learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, is administered by schools and libraries. It funds home broadband connectivity and devices aimed at supporting off-campus education endeavors such as homework and virtual learning. To date, the program has committed $3.05 billion and has announced recipients in the 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.
In all, it has announced support for 6,954 schools, 613 libraries and 80 consortia. These entities will receive more than 6.8 million connected devices and provide users with access to more than 3.5 million broadband connections.
“Far too many students lack the connections they need to get online and stay connected to their teachers,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a press release about the Emergency Connectivity Fund awards. “Thankfully, Congress gave us the tools through this program to make a real difference in our communities as we work to close the Homework Gap and help schools and libraries engage in online learning,”
So far, New York has received $409,639,028.89, which is the highest commitment from the current total of $3,053,653,619.71. The U.S. Virgin Islands has received $33,077.60, which is the lowest level of support. The FCC says that it has met its goal of responding to 70% of applications within 100 days of the closing of the first filing window.
In late October, the FCC said that it had received requests for almost $1.3 billion in the second application window. That window, which ran from September 28 to October 13, will fund almost 2.4 million connected devices and more than 564,000 broadband connections.
Earlier in October, the FCC said it had committed $1,159,681,350.34 in second round funding to support 2,471 schools, 205 libraries and 26 consortia.