The FCC has committed almost $78 million in Emergency Connectivity funding to support students in six states.
The funding is aimed at about 175,000 students in Delaware, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, New Mexico and Texas. The announcement includes $78 million from the first and third windows. It will support more than 190 schools, 30 libraries and one consortium.
The program was established by the American Rescue Plan to support off-campus activities, such as doing homework, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. It eventually will provide $7.17 billion in funding. It is administered by libraries and school districts.
The program is entering the last billion dollars of awards. To date, it has announced grants for $6.1 billion with support for more than 10,000 schools, 900 libraries and 100 consortia. It has provided more than 12 million connected devices and 7 million broadband connections. Most applications have come from Window 1 (approximately $4.1 billion), with $833 million coming from Window 2 and $1.1 from Window 3.
“As the school year progresses, we need to make sure that kids can connect with teachers and homework assignments when classes finish for the day,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a press release about the Emergency Connectivity funding. “This program will help our students by funding hot spots, tablets, and broadband services, building on our ongoing work to close the Homework Gap.”
In late September, the FCC said that the program was committing almost $55 million to support students in California, Indiana, Michigan, Puerto Rico and Texas. The funding included almost $775,000 from the first and second round application windows and more than $54 million from the third application window. The funding will support more than 200 schools, 20 libraries and two consortia. That brought the total committed as of that release to $5.9 billion.
In July, the program committed more than $77 million to support more than 175,000 students in Colorado, Kansas, Ohio, Tennessee and Washington.