The Federal Communications Commission said it’s committed almost $7 million to the Emergency Connectivity Fund, which will go towards connecting 50,000 students to internet services nationwide.
The ECF pledges to support 110 schools and districts, nine libraries and library systems, and one consortium. California, Colorado, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin are among the states receiving ECF funds.
“Now that Labor Day has come and gone and schools are back in session, students everywhere need access to broadband connections and digital tools to succeed,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “That’s why we’re pleased to announce another round of funding to help close the Homework Gap for students headed back to class.”
The ECF aims to close the Homework Gap – a term that describes the hardship students without internet access face – by providing students with the necessary tools to thrive in school and off campus by offering homework help and online summer learning programs. Close to 17 million children don’t have internet access at home due to cost or lack of accessibility, which puts them at a disadvantage to peers with such resources.
The ECF is a $7.2 billion program helping kids keep up in school by offering laptops, tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and broadband connectivity for off-campus use.
The program has connected 18 million students across the U.S. by providing the digital tools and services necessary to complete their studies. To date, $6.95 billion in funding commitments have been approved through three application windows, benefiting 11,220 schools, 1,050 libraries, and 120 consortia. The ECF provided 13 million connected devices and over 8 million broadband connections.
Three application windows to qualify for the ECF have closed since the program launched in 2021. The first window approved $4.14 billion in commitments. The second window approved $834 million, while the third granted $1.98 billion. Visit the ECF website for a complete list of approved schools and libraries.