The FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) has committed more than $34 million in a new funding round. The funding will focus on supporting about 890,000 students in Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Washington. The announcement brings the committed total to about $6.5 billion.
The funding from the third of three application windows will support more than 250 schools, 15 libraries, and two consortia. Funds are administered by school districts and libraries. The goal is to support off-campus activities such as homework.
The FCC is closing in on the $7.17 billion it eventually will award under the program, which is part of the American Rescue Plan Act. To date, the ECF has provided support to almost 16 million students. It has made commitments to about 10,000 schools, 1,000 libraries and 100 consortia. It funded more than 12 million connected devices and more than 8 million broadband connections.
“As we start the new year, we continue our work to make sure kids have the digital tools they need for after-school homework and connecting with teachers,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a press release about the ECF funding. “Today’s funding announcement brings us closer to the goal of closing the Homework Gap.
So far, approximately $4.14 billion of support is from window 1, about $833 million is from window 2 and about $1.53 billion, including today’s announcement, is from window 3.
The FCC made two ECF announcements in November 2022:
On November 16, it announced support for about 140,000 students, primarily focusing on California, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. The funding will support more than 180 schools, 20 libraries and five consortia.
On November 2, the FCC said it will support about 470,000 students, with an emphasis on Alabama, Florida, Maryland, New York, Texas and Washington. The support is aimed at about 325 schools, 40 libraries and one consortium.
Updated to state that the ECF program has a $7.17 billion budget