Finish Line

About 75,000 students in six states will be the main focus of a commitment of more than $30 million as the FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) approaches completion.

The funding will aim primarily at students in Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Nevada. The funding will support more than 200 schools, 15 libraries and a consortium.

The commitment announced today uses funding from each of the three application windows.

“Today’s new funding round is another step in our ongoing work to help get students the broadband access they need to get online and keep up with schoolwork,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a press release. “The demand for this program shows how important it is to continue working to close the Homework Gap and connect students all over the country.”

The ECF was created in the American Rescue Plan Act in 2021. It was triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and 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 $6.5 billion.

To this point, the program has committed funds to approximately 10,000 schools, 1,000 libraries and 100 consortia. It has provided and is providing over 12 million connected devices and over 8 million broadband connections.

Of the $6.5 billion, about $4.1 billion was committed in window 1, about $833 million in window 2 and $1.6 billion in window 3.

On January 19, the ECF committed more than $40 million to support broadband users in Illinois, more than 100,000 students in Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Washington and Wisconsin. The support targets include 275 schools, 15 libraries and five consortia, according to the FCC. All of the funding was from the third application window.

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