The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced it will commit another $240 million in its eighth wave of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) program support.

The funding will support over 600,000 students and provide funding for 693 schools, 55 libraries, and eight consortia in 49 states, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the District of Columbia (D.C.). According to the FCC, the institutions are approved to receive nearly 683,000 connected devices and 182,000 broadband connections.

Additionally, this latest announcement includes over $98 million in commitments from Window 1 applications and over $142 million in commitments from Window 2 applications.

“In a little over six months, this program has helped over 12 million students across the nation get the digital tools they need to connect with teachers and online educational resources,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a press release. “This program is an important part of closing the Homework Gap and connecting library patrons across the country.”

The 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. Since the ECF was first launched in June 2021, the program has committed over $4.4 billion, supporting all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and D.C. The funding to date has helped more than 10,500 schools, 860 libraries, and nearly 120 consortia with almost 9.6 million connected devices and nearly 4.9 million broadband connections.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk State and Local Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.