The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has committed an additional $68 million in emergency connectivity funding for broadband devices and connectivity for students in seven states. Approximately 110,000 students in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Indiana, Washington, Arizona and New Mexico will benefit from this latest round of funding.
The funding is part of the FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Program. This latest commitment brings the current total amount of ECP funding to approximately $6.93 billion, which is close to the $7.17 billion the FCC said it would provide through the ECP.
This latest funding will go to 184 schools and school districts, 13 libraries and library systems and two consortia. To date, approximately 18 million students, 11,100 schools, 1,050 libraries and 120 consortia have benefitted from the ECP program. Approximately 13 million connected devices have been provided and more than 8 million broadband connections have been made for off-campus use by students.
“A good night’s sleep, a hearty breakfast and access to digital tools are essential for a good day at school,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said. “That’s why we’re pleased to announce another round of funding to help close the Homework Gap as students begin the new school year.”
Earlier this month, the FCC also gave more than $13.9 million to support students in California, New York, Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia. In late July, the FCC committed almost $55 million that would benefit about 115,000 students in Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Utah.
In June, Chairwoman Rosenworcel also announced a Learn Without Limits initiative that would modernize the E-Rate program to allow Wi-Fi on school buses and provide permanent support to loan out Wi-Fi hotspots.