The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced it is committing over $81 million in a new funding round for the Emergency Connectivity Program (ECP) to provide digital services for students in communities across the country.

This round of funding will support approximately 170,000 students across the country, including students in Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Washington, and the District of Columbia. 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.

“With students heading back to classrooms this fall, we need to make sure all our kids can connect with teachers and homework assignments when school ends for the day,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a press announcement. “This latest round of funding will help make that happen and bring us closer to closing the Homework Gap.”

The ECP – authorized by Congress last year as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 – is a nearly $7.1 billion program aimed at helping schools and libraries provide the tools and services their communities need to prosper.

As part of the ECP, the FCC to date has committed nearly $5.8 billion to approximately 10,000 schools, 900 libraries, and 100 consortia, providing about 12 million connected devices and over seven million broadband connections.

The program has provided schools and libraries with three different opportunities to apply for support. This round of funding includes over $81 million from the third application window that will support over 300 schools, 25 libraries, and two consortia.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk State and Local Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.