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FCC Receives Another $1.3B in Funding Requests for Schools, Libraries, Consortia

October 25, 2021 by Victoria Turner
Library at Princeton University. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission continues efforts to close the homework gap, announcing another $1.3 billion in funding requests were received during the second application window of the Emergency Connectivity Fund program today. This second funding round is poised to support another 2.4 million connected devices and 564,000 broadband connections.

The $7.17 billion ECF is the largest funding effort in the history of the FCC to close this homework gap and has already allocated over $2.6 billion for schools, libraries and consortia of both. Since its launch in June, the EFC has committed these funds to provide support to over six thousand schools, 512 libraries and 49 consortia with a total of almost 2.9 million broadband connections and 6.1 million connected devices.

Today marks the third wave of ECF funding this year to support these anchor institutions. After the first application window saw a high demand of over $5 billion in August, the first wave in September committed over $1.2 billion and the second wave earlier this month committed another $1.1 billion. This time the FCC also committed another $269 million to the first-round requests for fixed or mobile broadband connections and devices like laptops, tablet computers, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers and the like.  

Coupling the ECF with the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit program, Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel touted once more the over $10 billion investment in today’s announcement that supports “success in the digital age, no matter who you are or where you live.” 

Nevertheless, she stated, “clearly there is still a tremendous demand for help.” 

For more information on the ECF Program, click here.

Victoria can be reached at victoria@thewellnews.com

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