The FCC is opening a second application window in its Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. The news came in tandem with the announcement that applications filed in the first window totaled $5.137 billion.
The funding requests that the FCC received in the first window were for 9.1 million connected devices and 5.4 million broadband connections. The devices and connections will be used by individual households under the administration of local schools and libraries.
The first application window opened June 29 and closed August 13. The second application window will run from September 28 to October 13. The program has a total budget of $7.17 billion.
Emergency Connectivity Fund Applications
First-round funding requests were received from 50 states and American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. California requested the greatest amount of funding, at over $812 million.
“This funding is an important down payment in closing the Homework Gap so that all children, regardless of their circumstances or where they live, have access to the tools they need to succeed,” Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a press release. about the Emergency Connectivity Fund applications. “The pandemic highlighted like never before the difference a reliable internet connection make in a student’s education . . . The need is there, and the opening of a second application window reflects that. Together with the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, we are investing more than $10 billion in American students and households, so more Americans can connect, communicate, and more fully participate in modern life.”
The Emergency Connectivity Fund was created as a part of the American Rescue Plan.