The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) program has made awards totaling more than $40.8 million in funding to support approximately 110,000 students, primarily in eight states: Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Utah and Washington.
The funding will support about 220 schools and school districts, seven libraries and library systems and three consortia.
The program is administered by schools and libraries, and provides connectivity and devices for use outside the schools and libraries. The goal is to help students do their homework and participate in online learning programs.
“With the school year in full swing, the FCC continues its work to ensure students everywhere have access to broadband connections and digital tools they need to successfully complete their schoolwork,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a prepared statement about the FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund awards. “That’s why we’re pleased to announce another round of funding to help close the Homework Gap for students headed back to class.”
The ECF was launched in 2021 as part of The American Rescue Plan Act. The fund has awarded about $6.99 billion and is close to fulling its funding mandate of $7.17 billion. The program is administered by local libraries and school districts.
This week’s funding announcement is from the third of three funding windows. So far, $4.14 billion has been awarded from window 1; $834 million from window 2 and $2.02 billion from window 3. The funding currently supports more than 18 million students, 11,300 schools, 1,060 libraries and 120 consortia. It has provided almost 13 million connected devices and more than 8 million broadband connections.
Earlier this month, almost $7 million in FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund awards were made to support about 50,000 students in California, Colorado, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. This funding, from the third application window, will support about 110 schools and school districts, nine libraries and library systems and a consortium.