The latest batch of FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund awards total $361,037,156.16. This is the seventh wave of funding in the program, which pays some costs for broadband connectivity and devices for school children and library patrons and is administered by local schools and libraries.
The FCC says that this round 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.
The new FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund awards announcement includes almost $155 million for Window 1 applications in the program and more than $206 million in Window 2 applications.
The program was established by the American Rescue Plan Act as a way to help alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Total commitments to the program, which launched on June 29 of last year, are almost $4.2 billion. The program is supporting more than 9,800 schools, 800 libraries and 100 consortia that are approved to receive more than 8.9 million connected devices and more than 4.7 million broadband connections. The program has provided funding to all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Island and the District of Columbia.
“Today’s funding announcement will provide 700,000 more schoolchildren with the digital tools they need to connect with teachers and classmates,” Chairwoman Rosenworcel said in a press release about the FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund awards. “The Emergency Connectivity Fund is the single largest effort to close the Homework Gap by bringing connectivity and devices to students and library patrons. The need for this support is apparent in both rural and urban America and I’m pleased to note that with this funding we are supporting communities stretching from Aniak, Alaska to New York City.”
Last month, the FCC announced a sixth wave that totaled $602,985,895.13. At that point, the program had passed the halfway mark to its total funding goal of $7.2 billion. That wave included 1,651 schools, 85 libraries and 14 consortia. These commitments cover nearly 1.2 million connected devices and more than 790,000 broadband connections.