FCC Announces Over $2.8 Billion In Funding Requests For Final Window In Ongoing Work To Close The Homework Gap

The Federal Communications Commission has received requests for $2,814,736,532 in the third application filing window of the Emergency Connectivity Fund program to fund 5,120,453 connected devices and 4,285,794 broadband connections. Applications will be prioritized to fund schools and libraries with the greatest need first, with a preference for schools and libraries located in rural areas.

EdTech Advocacy Day: Modernizing E-Rate is a Policy Priority

When ed-tech leaders from 21 states met with lawmakers to discuss 2022 policy priorities at EdTech Advocacy Day in Washington (DC), they coalesced around the idea of modernizing federal E-rate funding for new expenses. The May 12 event brought together officials from the US Department of Education, Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington and FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks.

East Hartford, Connecticut, launches $42 million fiber optic infrastructure project

Construction on a $42 million, privately funded infrastructure project meant to bring fiber optic internet access to all homes and businesses in East Hartford (CT) is underway. The East Hartford FiberCity project will provide the town’s 19,046 households, 4,649 businesses and institutions with high-speed, affordable internet service. Fiber optic infrastructure developer SiFi Networks is installing the state’s first open access network, meaning its cables will be shared by multiple internet service providers to offer the best speeds at competitive prices.

FCC Commits $50 Million in Emergency Connectivity Funding

The Federal Communications Commission announced that it is committing over $50 million in the 15th wave of Emergency Connectivity Fund program support, helping to close the Homework Gap. This latest round of funding is supporting 46 schools, 7 libraries, and 2 consortia across the country, including for students in American Samoa, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, and the US Virgin Islands. The FCC just wrapped up its third filing window for applications and will be announcing results in coming days.

Dos Palos-Oro Loma, California, School District Bridges Homework Gap

Located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, Dos Palos (CA) is halfway between San Jose and Fresno. It’s a remote community, which created challenges for the Dos Palos-Oro Loma Joint Unified School District (DPOL) when it needed to implement distance learning plans during the pandemic. Paoze Lee, the district’s technology systems director, said it was obvious that the district could provide wireless and broadband coverage only to about 50 percent of its students via commercial wireless operators. “As we tried to bridge the digital divide, we wanted to fill in the gaps,” Lee says.

Benton Welcomes FCC Proposal to Turn Buses into Rolling Study Halls

Benton applauds Chairwoman Rosenworcel and this critical effort to support a continuum of connectivity for America's schoolchildren. As far back as 2016, approximately 3 percent of the schools had begun to offer Wi-Fi on school buses, and nearly 4 percent were planning to do so in the near future. The reasoning is clear: school buses can be an extension of the school and facilitate online study. The FCC should seize this opportunity to turn school buses into rolling study halls.

FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel Circulates Ruling Making Wi-Fi On School Buses Eligible For E-Rate Funding

For more than two decades, E-Rate has provided vital support to help connect schools and libraries to high-speed, modern communications all across the country. It got its start as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Over 25 million children take the bus to school every day. In rural areas that ride can be long. It can easily be an hour to school and an hour to return home at the end of the day.

How Can Universities Help Close the Digital Divide?

With Internet connectivity now viewed as a public necessity for telework and education, universities across the US are partnering with local governments and community organizations on initiatives to expand broadband access and close the digital divide once and for all.

Los Angeles Unified School District Offers Spectrum Enterprise Stay Connected K-12 Solution to Families

Charter Communications announced that it is working with the Los Angeles (CA) Unified School District (LAUSD) to help thousands of families who lack robust internet connectivity at home enroll in the Spectrum Enterprise Stay Connected K-12 solution, which is provided at no cost for students. The Stay Connected K-12 offering is part of the District’s broader efforts to help close the digital divide in its communities and make it easier for all students to fulfill their academic potential.

New research shows the high costs of long school closures

When Covid-19 began to sweep across the country in March 2020, schools in every state closed their doors. Remote instruction effectively became a national policy for the rest of that spring. A few months later, however, school districts began to make different decisions about whether to reopen. Across much of the South and the Great Plains as well as some pockets of the Northeast, schools resumed in-person classes in the fall of 2020. Across much of the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast, school buildings stayed closed and classes remained online for months.