The FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) program has announced commitments of more than $86 million. The FCC Wireline Competition Bureau also released an order extending the deadline for use of the funds from the program by a year. The new date is June 30, 2023.
The tenth wave includes commitments from both Window 1 ($30 million) and Window 2 (almost $56 million). It will provide funding to more than 350 schools, 29 libraries, and 8 consortia. These entities are approved to receive more than 239,000 connected devices and more than 96,000 broadband connections.
The ECF provides connectivity and equipment for use for homework and virtual learning in off-campus scenarios. It is administered by schools and libraries.
The program, which was instituted to support connectivity during the COVID-19 pandemic, so far has committed to providing more than $4.62 billion to the 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands and the District of Columbia. It is funded at $7.17 billion.
The program – which was part of the American Rescue Plan of 2021 – so far has made commitments to more than 11,000 schools, 900 libraries and 130 consortia. It includes more than 10 million connected devices and more than 5 million broadband connections.
“The Emergency Connectivity Fund is the single biggest effort to close the Homework Gap, and connect students and libraries with reliable broadband service,” FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel said in a press release about the FCC ECF awards.
The ninth wave of the ECF program was announced earlier this month. It commits $125,962,023.72 in support of more than 270,000 students and provides funds to 340 schools, 20 libraries and six consortia. The wave includes support for 330,000 connected devices and more than 39,000 broadband connections.
Previously the ECF committed almost $241 million at the end of January. That was the eighth wave and was projected to support more than 600,000 students.