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FCC Announces $37M for Schools, Libraries

April 19, 2022 by Madeline Hughes
FCC Announces $37M for Schools, Libraries
(Davide Cantelli via Unsplash)

WASHINGTON — Schools and libraries are getting $37 million more from the Federal Communications Commission because of Emergency Connectivity Fund support.

“This program has opened doors for thousands of students who lacked connectivity to get the tools they need to connect with their teachers and classmates,” Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel wrote in a statement. “Reliable and affordable access to broadband is a must for everyone, and especially for our students. I’m proud of the work we are doing to close the Homework Gap and pleased that we can offer this support for the next school year.”

The program is providing aid for 170 schools, 30 libraries and four consortia across the country, according to the commission. These funds will flow to programs helping students in Alaska, Indiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Texas. 

This news comes as the commission opens up what will likely be the last round of applications for this widely popular program. Applications will be available from April 28 until May 13 for schools and libraries to apply for the program.

The commission’s $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund was created by the 2021 American Rescue Plan

This particular program, one of many designed to help expand broadband internet connection throughout the country, particularly aims to “close the Homework Gap,” as Rosenworcel said. Funds can be used for equipment such as laptop and tablet computers, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems and routers.

So far the money has expanded access with 10 million connected devices and 5 million broadband connections, according to the commission. In total, $4.8 billion in program funding has been committed, connecting over 12.5 million students to the internet.

More information about the program can be found at fcc.gov/emergency-connectivity-fund.

Madeline can be reached at maddie@thewellnews.com

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