The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced it is committing $29 million in new funding through its Emergency Connectivity Program (ECP), which aims to expand broadband access and provide devices to students to help close the homework gap.

The funding will provide digital tools and services to support students in communities across the country including students in California, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota.

The new funding will support approximately 120 schools and school districts, seven libraries and library systems, and four consortia to provide support for off-campus learning including nightly homework and summertime online learning programs to ensure students across the country have the necessary support to keep up with their education.

“To keep up with their learning during the summer, many students still rely on libraries and schools to make sure they have access to the internet when school is out of session. That’s why we’re pleased to announce another round of funding to help close the Homework Gap by making sure all kids have the digital tools they need to connect with classrooms and teachers, all year round,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.

Since the program launched in 2021, the ECP has provided schools and libraries with three different “application windows” to apply for support.

To date, ECP has committed approximately $6.7 billion in funding, approximately $4.14 billion supporting applications from Window 1; $834 million from Window 2; and $1.77 billion from Window 3.

The program has provided support to approximately 18 million students, 11,000 schools, 1,050 libraries, and 120 consortia, and provided nearly 13 million connected devices and over eight million broadband connections.

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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.