Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) today announced the launch of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) application period and urged local schools and libraries to apply for funding to help students, teachers, and library patrons get the tools they need to connect to the Internet from home.
The Emergency Connectivity Fund is an innovative new program that provides funding for schools and libraries to provide the equipment and services their communities need for remote learning. The $7.17 billion program was authorized as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which Pallone helped pass in the House, and President Biden signed into law in March. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced that the application window began today and will last until August 13.
“With nearly 17 million children across the country without Internet access, many students are being locked out of the virtual classroom. I helped authorize the Emergency Connectivity Fund because this program will help get broadband service and devices into the hands of the students, teachers, and library patrons who need them,” said Pallone. “I strongly encourage any schools and libraries in New Jersey whose students or patrons may be struggling to access remote learning to see if they qualify for this new program and apply now. The COVID-19 pandemic sped up the transition to virtual learning, but it will remain a crucial tool for parents and teachers alike long after the pandemic is over. I will continue to work to ensure that access to broadband and technology is no longer a barrier to learning for any student.”
For eligible schools and libraries, the ECF Program will cover costs of laptop and tablet computers, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and broadband connectivity purchases for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons. Schools and libraries interested in applying for funding are encouraged to visit the FCC’s informational website – https://www.fcc.gov/emergency-connectivity-fund – to check if they are eligible and learn more.