The FCC has committed more than $2.5 million in Emergency Connectivity awards to provide services to 8,000 students across the country, with a focus on Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, North Dakota and Texas.
The Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) was created by the American Rescue Plan Act in 2021. It is a $7.17 billion program aimed at supporting off campus activities, such as doing homework, during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is administered by school districts and libraries.
The funding, which was from all three of the program’s application windows, will support approximately 15 schools, a library and a consortium.
To date, the program has awarded about $4.14 billion from window 1, $834 million from window 2 and $1.66 billion from window 3. It has provided support to approximately 11,000 schools, 1,000 libraries, and 100 consortia, and provided nearly 13 million connected devices and over 8 million broadband connections, according to the FCC.
“Today’s funding round is another step in providing students the online access they need to connect with their teachers and keep up with schoolwork,” Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a press release about the FCC Emergency Connectivity awards. “This program is an important tool in our ongoing work to close the Homework Gap.”
In March, the FCC committed $1.756 million in ECF funding to support about 5,000 students nationwide, with a focus on California, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri and New York. The funding, which also was from all three of the application windows, will support about 15 schools and two libraries.