WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on Monday, Jan. 10, that it is committing $361,037,156.16 in their latest wave of Emergency Connectivity Fund (EFC) Program support to schools, libraries and consortia.
Out of the 859 facilities that will be receiving this current wave of funding, 19 of them are in Kansas and will receive a total of $5,520,334.64.
The EFC is a $7.17 billion program that will help schools and libraries provide the tools and services their communities need to support remote learning during the COVID-19 emergency period. The EFT will help provide relief to millions of students, staff, and library patrons. It will also help close the homework gap for students who currently lack internet access and devices they need to connect to classrooms.
For eligible facilities, the program will cover reasonable costs of laptops, tablets, computers, Wi-Fi hot spots, modems, routers, and broadband connectivity for off-campus use by those who need it.
This round of commitments will support 802 schools, 49 libraries and eight consortia across all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia. All are approved to receive nearly 654,000 connected devices and over 313,000 broadband connections. In addition, this funding can be used to support off-campus learning, such as virtual learning and homework.
“Today’s funding announcement will provide 700,000 more schoolchildren with the digital tools they need to connect with teachers and classmates,” said Chairwoman Rosenworcel. “The Emergency Connectivity Fund is the single largest effort to close the homework gap by bringing connectivity and devices to students and library patrons. The need for this support is apparent in both rural and urban America, and I’m pleased to note that with this funding, we are supporting communities stretching from Aniak, Alaska to New York City.”
Since the program launched on June 29, 2021, as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, the program has committed nearly $4.2 billion to support over 9,800 schools, 800 libraries, and 100 consortia for over 8.9 million connected devices and over 4.7 million broadband connections. This current wave includes nearly $155 million in commitments from Window 1 applications and over $206 million in commitments from Window 2 applications.
More details about which schools and libraries have received funding commitments can be found at https://www.fcc.gov/emergency-connectivity-fund.
Detailed information on the status of ECF applications is available in the Open Data Portal, including applicant details, requested funds, individual product or service details, funding commitment, and funding disbursement information. Additional information on the ECF program is available at: https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org.