The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that schools and libraries could begin filing applications next week for the $ 7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF).
During a 45-day filing window, schools and libraries can request broadband connections for off-campus use by students, school staff and library patrons. In May, the FCC announced that the ECF program will also support the purchase of Wi-Fi hotspots for school buses and bookmobiles.
Related: FCC Approves Wi-Fi Hotspots for School Buses Under COVID-19 Emergency Connectivity Fund
“For too long, the homework gap has been a troubling and enduring digital equity issue in the United States,” said FCC Interim President Jessica Rosenworcel. “With the classes themselves moving online and the pandemic forcing us to stay at home, we have gone from millions of kids who couldn’t do homework online to millions of kids who couldn’t. just do their homework. In other words, the homework gap has become a full-fledged learning and education gap.
She added that the ECF program, which was established as part of the 2021 US bailout, offers a way to change that.
The Universal Service Administrative Company acts as the administrator of the program under the supervision of the FCC. The application window will run from June 29 to August 13. The funds can support purchases for the 2021-2022 school year.
Related: U.S. Senate Bill Seeks To Extend Wi-Fi For School Buses
Related: School buses continue their new mission of providing mobile Wi-Fi hotspots
Related: School bus Wi-Fi does more than connect students to virtual classrooms