children doing homework

The FCC has committed $1.756 million in Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) funding to support about 5,000 students, with a focus on California, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri and New York.

The funding will support about 15 schools and two libraries. This funding is from each of the three application windows. It draws almost $456,000 from the first two windows and $1.3 million from the third window.

“Closing the Homework Gap means we need to connect all our students to digital tools for communicating with teachers and schools,” Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a press release abot the ECF funding. “Today’s funding round is another important step toward reaching that goal.”

The ECF was created in the American Rescue Plan Act in 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ECF seeks to aid students and library patrons to work more effectively in remote environments, such as children doing homework at home. The program is budgeted for $7.17 billion. Today’s announcement brings the total awarded to more than $6.6 billion.

To date, the ECF funding program has supported approximately 11,000 schools, 1,000 libraries and 100 consortia. It has provided almost 13 million connected devices and over 8 million broadband connections. The funding commitments to date have drawn approximately $4.14 billion in support applications from window 1, $833 million from window 2 and $1.65 billion from window 3. 

Last month, the ECF announced more than $30 million in support for about 75,000 students, with a focus on Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Nevada. The support came from all three application windows.

There were two announcements in January.

On January 19, the FCC committed more than $40 million in ECF funding with a focus on students in Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Washington and Wisconsin. The commitment will support more than 275 schools, 15 libraries and five consortia.

About two weeks earlier — on January 4 – the FCC committed more than $34 million with a focus on students in Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Washington. The commitment will support more than 250 schools, 15 libraries and two consortia.

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