The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on June 9 committed over $244 million to the Emergency Connectivity Funding (ECF) program to help close the “homework gap” for students that don’t have access to reliable broadband service and devices.
The funding supports applications from the program’s third filing window, which ran from April 28 until May 13 and will provide support in the upcoming 2022-2023 school year for 259 schools, 24 libraries, and one consortium across the country.
“I’m pleased to announce two new rounds of funding 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 statement.
The funding can be used to support off-campus learning, such as nightly homework, to ensure students across the country have the necessary support to keep up with their education. The ECF program to date has helped over 12.7 million students, supporting approximately 10,000 schools, 900 libraries, and 100 consortia, and providing over 11 million connected devices and five million broadband connections.
In addition, the FCC also announced $18 million in funding from two previous application windows, bringing the total funding committed to date to $5.1 billion.
“The demand for this program shows how important it is to connect students all over the country. While there is more work to do, we are making steady progress in closing the Homework Gap,” said Rosenworcel.