The FCC has committed $125,962,023.72 in the ninth wave of the Emergency Connectivity Fund program. The awards will support more than 270,000 students and provide funds to 340 schools, 20 libraries and six consortia.
These commitments also will support 330,000 connected devices and more than 39,000 broadband connections. The commitments are from Window 1 ($27 million) and Window 2 (more than $99 million) of the program.
“Today’s announcement will bring more connectivity to students and libraries in our communities, helping to close the Homework Gap and support library patrons who lack internet access,” FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel said in a press release about the FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund awards. “The Emergency Connectivity Fund is making billions of dollars in investments in our schools and libraries to support success in the digital age, no matter who you are, or where you live.”
The Emergency Connectivity Fund, which was created to ameliorate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, is funded at $7.17 billion. It provides connectivity and equipment for use for homework and virtual learning in off-campus scenarios. It is administered by schools and libraries.
The program was launched last June. So far, it has committed more than $4.5 billion in the 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands and the District of Columbia. Commitments support more than 10,800 schools, 875 libraries and 125 consortia and include almost 9.9 million connected devices and more than 4.9 million broadband connections.
FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund awards announced this year total almost half a billion dollars. Early last month, the FCC announced commitments of $361,037,156.16, which when combined with the funding awarded this month, brings the total for this year to almost $490 million so far. The earlier set of commitments will support 802 schools, 49 libraries and 8 consortia. These entities are approved to receive funding for almost 654,000 connected devices and more than 313,000 broadband connections.