Another $46.3 million from the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) is being dedicated to help provide digital tools and services to support students in communities across the country, the FCC announced this week.
The current round of funding will be used to support applications from the third application window, benefitting some 125,000 students in the following states: Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oregon and Washington.
Today’s benefactors include about 250 schools and school districts and 13 libraries and library systems, along with two consortia. The school districts and libraries administer the program locally, using it to purcahse devices and connectivity to support off-campus learning, including homework and summer online learning programs to ensure students have the online support needed for their education.
ECP has delivered funding in 2023 tied to three different application windows, with a total of $6.86 billion in funding commitments approved to date. That figure includes about $4.14 billion for applications from the first application window; $834 million from Window 2; and $1.89 billion from the third application window.
The funding to date has provided support to about 18 million students, 11,100 schools, 1050 libraries, and 120 consortia, while also providing nearly 13 million connected devices and over 8 million broadband connections.
As a long-term solution to the Homework Gap, Chairwoman Rosenworcel recently announced her new initiative “Learn Without Limits”, a plan to modernize the E-Rate program to allow for Wi-Fi on school buses and for permanent support to loan out Wi-Fi hotspots.
“For many students, the start of the school year brings renewed concerns about access to the digital tools that they need to succeed in school. That’s why we’re pleased to announce another round of funding to help close the Homework Gap just in time for students to head back to class,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a prepared statement.