The FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) has committed almost $55 million to support devices and connectivity for students to use outside school.
The funding, which will be administered by schools and libraries, will benefit about 115,000 students, with a focus on Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Utah. It will support about 130 schools and school districts, 12 libraries and library systems and four consortia. The funding can be used to support homework and summer learning programs.
The program, which is part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), was launched to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, it has awarded $6.8 billion of its $7.17 billion budget.
Emergency Connectivity Fund
The most recent awards were made in the third of three application windows. To date, approximately $4.14 billion of funding is from window 1, about $834 million is from window 2 and $1.84 billion is from window 3.
The program so far has committed to supporting approximately 18 million students, 11,050 schools, 1,050 libraries and 120 consortia. It is providing almost 13 million connected devices and more than 8 million broadband connections.
“As students head back to classrooms in the fall, we need to make sure they have the digital tools to prepare for success in the upcoming school year. That’s why we’re pleased to announce another round of funding to help close the Homework Gap,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a press release.
Earlier this month, the ECF committed more than $13.9 million to support students in California, New York, Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia. Support will be provided to about 52 schools and school districts and five libraries and library systems. This commitment was from the third of three application windows