FCC Tops $2 Billion in Emergency Broadband Funds for Schools, Libraries
Subsidies targeted to provide COVID-19 relief
The Federal Communications Commission has committed another $1 billion-plus in funding for emergency (COVID-19-related) broadband connectivity for schools and libraries.
Also Read: FCC Opens New Connectivity Fund Filling Window
The FCC said Tuesday that in its second round of funding, $1,159,681,350.34 will be going to 2,471 schools and 205 libraries. The money can go toward broadband service and connectivity devices. It can also go for off-campus learning, given the pandemic.
So far, the FCC has committed $2,362,788,847.22 ($1,203,107,496.88 in the first round) and said it has met its own goal of responding to half of the applications within 60 days of the closing of the first filing window.
The most recent filing window opened Sept. 28 and closes Oct. 13.
As part of the massive COVID-19 American Relief Act, the FCC had 60 days to set up an e-rate Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) of $7.6 billion (minus $1 million to pay for FCC Inspector General oversight of the program). The Universal Service Administrative Co. which oversees the FCC's ongoing Universal Service Fund (USF) subsidy program, is administering the emergency fund, which is separate from USF subsidies.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.