The FCC approves $7.17 billion in funding to add students, school staff, and library patrons to access internet-connected devices usable at home. The emergency connectivity found program allows schools and libraries to purchase equipment that can be used off-site. You can also get reimbursement for already purchased equipment to address remote learning requirements during pandemics.
The new fund will use processes already in use by the E-rate program. It currently helps schools and libraries pay for broadband internet connectivity. Qualifying schools and libraries will be able to purchase hotspots routers tablets and computers for remote learning. Students and patrons can take them home and use them to finish their homework.
The “Homework Gap”:
“Homework gap” has seen kids struggle with participation in remote learning. FCC Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel is keen to address this issue. Since the beginning of the pandemic, she has called FCC to help schools and libraries get hold of equipment. This equipment is necessary for education across homes throughout the country.
According to a study, FCC quotes that about 9 million public school students live in homes that lack adequate internet access and a suitable device. Therefore the remote learning has not reached these students. With the new funding and emergency broadband benefit program already underway these households may find a bit of relief.