Close the gap: $7B Emergency Connectivity Fund opens
Schools next week can begin applying for a share of the FCC’s $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund to continue efforts to close the homework gap.
Schools and libraries can use the funding to buy laptops and tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, and routers, and also provide broadband connectivity to students, staff, and patrons. The 45-day application period opens June 29. The FCC has posted an ECF Factsheet and Getting Started Guide to help schools prepare their applications.
In areas where there is not sufficient broadband service to support remote learning, schools can use the funding to build their own networks.
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The program will reimburse schools and libraries a maximum of $400 for each laptop or tablet, and a maximum of $250 for Wi-Fi hotspots, though administrators may choose to purchase more expensive products.
The Universal Service Administrative Company, the program’s administrator, hosted a series of outreach and training sessions that can be accessed at https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/training/live-sessions/.
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