The FCC has recently approved $7.17 billion fund for schools and libraries across the country to help students and teachers to access the internet for online learning.
The Emergency Connectivity Fund Program will allow schools and libraries to purchase equipment to be used off-site and to get reimbursement for equipment already purchased to address remote learning needs during the pandemic.
The fund will use processes already in use by the E-Rate program, which currently helps schools and libraries pay for broadband internet. Qualifying schools and libraries will be able to purchase hotspots, routers, tablets, and computers, among other devices necessary for remote learning.
Jessica Rosenworcel, acting chairwoman of the FCC, said in a statement Monday. “These investments will help more Americans access online education, healthcare and employment resources. They will help close the homework gap for students nationwide.”
According to the FCC, there may be 17 million children across the US who don’t have access to the broadband needed for remote learning.
On Monday, In a statement Sen. Markey said: “FCC implementation of the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program is an important step towards ensuring the ‘homework gap’ does not grow into a more damaging learning and opportunity gap for our children, particularly those who live in communities of color, low-income households and rural areas.”