The Federal Communications Commission is committing more than $361 million to provide about 654,000 connected devices and over 313,000 broadband connections to 802 schools, 49 libraries and eight consortia in its latest wave of Emergency Connectivity Fund program support, according to a Jan. 10 news release.
The latest wave of funding brings total commitments to nearly $4.2 billion since the program was launched June 29, 2021, supporting students, school staff, and library patrons in all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, 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,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “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.”
The funding can be used to support off-campus learning, such as nightly homework and virtual learning, to ensure students have the necessary support to keep up with their education. Total commitments to date are supporting over 9,800 schools, 800 libraries, and 100 consortia for over 8.9 million connected devices and over 4.7 million broadband connections. The latest wave of funding includes nearly $155 million in commitments from Window 1 applications and over $206 million in commitments from Window 2 applications.
More details about which schools and libraries have received funding commitments can be found here.
Detailed information on the status of Emergency Connectivity Fund applications is available in the open data portal, including applicant details, requested funds, individual product or service details, funding commitment, and funding disbursement information. Additional information on the Emergency Connectivity Fund program is available here.
The program is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company, with oversight from and under rules unanimously adopted by the FCC.