The Federal Communications Commission has received requests for $2,814,736,532 in the third application filing window of the Emergency Connectivity Fund program to fund 5,120,453 connected devices and 4,285,794 broadband connections. Applications will be prioritized to fund schools and libraries with the greatest need first, with a preference for schools and libraries located in rural areas. With the estimated $1.5 billion remaining in the program, the FCC expects to be able to fund requests from many - but obviously not all - of the 7,369 schools and school districts, 628 libraries and library systems, and 133 consortia which applied from across the country.
“The continued interest in the Emergency Connectivity Fund demonstrates what we’ve known for a long time – far too many kids across the country need off-campus support to get online and keep up with their schoolwork. This program has been able to help millions of students over the past year and into the coming school year. I’m proud of that,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “We received more requests than Congress gave us funds to support for this final round of applications, so we’re prioritizing those with the greatest need. But the work doesn’t stop there. We’ll continue to look for ways to close the Homework Gap and ensure no child is left offline.”
During the third and final application filing window, the FCC received applications from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
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. To date, the program has helped over 12.5 million students, and provided schools and libraries with over 10 million connected devices and 5 million broadband connections. Over $4.8 billion in program funding commitments have been approved to date, with over $4 billion from Window 1 applications and over $815 million in commitments from Window 2 applications.