The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said it plans to commit nearly $125.9 million in its ninth wave of Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) program support.
This latest round of funding will support over 270,000 students and provide funding for 340 schools, 20 libraries, and six consortia, which are approved to receive over 330,000 connected devices and over 39,000 broadband connections.
“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,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a press release. “The [ECF] 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,” said Rosenworcel.
ECF is a $7.17 billion program to help schools and libraries provide the tools and services their communities need for remote learning during the COVID-19 emergency period. To date, the fund has committed over $4.5 billion supporting all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the District of Columbia. ECF has provided funding for over 10,800 schools, 875 libraries, and 125 consortia for nearly 9.9 million connected devices and over 4.9 million broadband connections.
This ninth wave of funding includes nearly $27 million in commitments from Window 1 applications and over $99 million in commitments from Window 2 applications. Overall, the largest funding commitments were given to:
- Tennessee; and
- New Jersey.