The FCC has announced that another nearly $1.2 billion has been committed to almost 2500 schools, 205 libraries, and 26 school and library consortia that applied for help from the $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. The Commission has now approved almost $2.4 billion to entities in all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands.
In doing so, the Commission has exceeded its goal of responding to 50% of all applicants within 60 days of the closing of its first filing window. In fact, funding decisions have ben made for nearly 60% of all applications.
Combined with its first round of funding, the FCC has now provided support for 5,420,473 devices and 2,700,834 broadband connections to assist 5,474 schools and libraries, plus 49 consortia. Nearly 8 million students — from tiny Delta Junction, Alaska, to New York City — have been helped with their remote learning needs.
The Emergency Connectivity Fund, coupled with the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, will provide over $10 billion to close the Digital Divide between unserved and underserved inner city, rural, agrarian and remote America, and the more advanced and wealthier areas of our country.
While we haven’t always agreed with FCC, or other government policies, procedures, and programs, these efforts to provide a level of fundamental fairness to disadvantaged Americans seem to be a great step in the right direction.