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FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel Unveils Proposed Rules for Emergency Connectivity Fund

Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel on Friday released rules for the Emergency Connectivity Fund, answering many questions about the program.

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Photo of Jessica Rosenworcel from the FCC

April 30, 2021—Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel on Friday laid out the proposed rules for the Emergency Connectivity Fund, answering many of the questions consumers have had since the program was announced.

If the regulations are adopted by the FCC and their meeting in May, the fund would provide $7.17 billion to reimburse schools and libraries for infrastructure and devices purchased during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to promote distance learning. Everything from laptops and tablets to Wi-Fi hotspots would qualify for reimbursements.

The fund was designed to address Rosenworcel’s longtime goal of closing the “homework gap”—a term she coined in 2015.

“During the pandemic, our classrooms went virtual and what was already an unconscionable homework gap has become a learning chasm with even more devastating consequences,” Rosenworcel said in a press release from the FCC.

She pointed out that even as some areas were able to address the needs of students, others began to fall behind as the pandemic dragged on, “Even as the pandemic ebbs in some areas and surges in others, millions of students are still engaged in remote learning, and there is no time to lose.

The Emergency Connectivity Fund is one of two programs designed to address the problems exacerbated by the pandemic that the FCC planned to roll out within the past several months. The other program is the Emergency Broadband Benefit that was designed to help secure high-speed, affordable, broadband to families.

Both of these programs will be featured in the Broadband Breakfast Live Online event on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, 12 Noon ET — “Ask Us About the Emergency Broadband Benefit and Emergency Connectivity Fund.”

The Emergency Broadband Benefit program will subsidize broadband plans from qualified internet service providers, providing $50 a month for households in need, and $75 for households on Tribal lands.

Rosenworcel emphasized that the FCC has to get the fund established quickly so it can begin to relieve the financial pressure that many school districts are feeling, “Congress has entrusted the Commission with the vital task of providing relief to our students, teachers, school staff, and library patrons – and has mandated that we do so quickly.”

As a child of American parents working abroad, Reporter Ben Kahn was raised as a third culture kid, growing up in five different countries, including the U.S.. He is a recent graduate of the University of Baltimore, where he majored in Policy, Politics, and International Affairs. He enjoys learning about foreign languages and cultures and can now speak poorly in more than one language.

Broadband's Impact

Broadband Breakfast CEO Drew Clark and BroadbandNow’s John Busby Speak on Libraries and Broadband

Friday’s Gigabit Libraries Network conversation will feature Drew Clark of Broadband Breakfast and John Busby of BroadbandNow.

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April 30, 2021—Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel on Friday laid out the proposed rules for the Emergency Connectivity Fund, answering many of the questions consumers have had since the program was announced.

If the regulations are adopted by the FCC and their meeting in May, the fund would provide $7.17 billion to reimburse schools and libraries for infrastructure and devices purchased during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to promote distance learning. Everything from laptops and tablets to Wi-Fi hotspots would qualify for reimbursements.

The fund was designed to address Rosenworcel’s longtime goal of closing the “homework gap”—a term she coined in 2015.

“During the pandemic, our classrooms went virtual and what was already an unconscionable homework gap has become a learning chasm with even more devastating consequences,” Rosenworcel said in a press release from the FCC.

She pointed out that even as some areas were able to address the needs of students, others began to fall behind as the pandemic dragged on, “Even as the pandemic ebbs in some areas and surges in others, millions of students are still engaged in remote learning, and there is no time to lose.

The Emergency Connectivity Fund is one of two programs designed to address the problems exacerbated by the pandemic that the FCC planned to roll out within the past several months. The other program is the Emergency Broadband Benefit that was designed to help secure high-speed, affordable, broadband to families.

Both of these programs will be featured in the Broadband Breakfast Live Online event on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, 12 Noon ET — “Ask Us About the Emergency Broadband Benefit and Emergency Connectivity Fund.”

The Emergency Broadband Benefit program will subsidize broadband plans from qualified internet service providers, providing $50 a month for households in need, and $75 for households on Tribal lands.

Rosenworcel emphasized that the FCC has to get the fund established quickly so it can begin to relieve the financial pressure that many school districts are feeling, “Congress has entrusted the Commission with the vital task of providing relief to our students, teachers, school staff, and library patrons – and has mandated that we do so quickly.”

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Education

FCC’s Rosenworcel Acknowledges Demand for Covid Broadband Program Will ‘Outlast’ Crisis

Acting chairwoman said the need for the Emergency Broadband Benefit will outlive the pandemic.

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April 30, 2021—Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel on Friday laid out the proposed rules for the Emergency Connectivity Fund, answering many of the questions consumers have had since the program was announced.

If the regulations are adopted by the FCC and their meeting in May, the fund would provide $7.17 billion to reimburse schools and libraries for infrastructure and devices purchased during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to promote distance learning. Everything from laptops and tablets to Wi-Fi hotspots would qualify for reimbursements.

The fund was designed to address Rosenworcel’s longtime goal of closing the “homework gap”—a term she coined in 2015.

“During the pandemic, our classrooms went virtual and what was already an unconscionable homework gap has become a learning chasm with even more devastating consequences,” Rosenworcel said in a press release from the FCC.

She pointed out that even as some areas were able to address the needs of students, others began to fall behind as the pandemic dragged on, “Even as the pandemic ebbs in some areas and surges in others, millions of students are still engaged in remote learning, and there is no time to lose.

The Emergency Connectivity Fund is one of two programs designed to address the problems exacerbated by the pandemic that the FCC planned to roll out within the past several months. The other program is the Emergency Broadband Benefit that was designed to help secure high-speed, affordable, broadband to families.

Both of these programs will be featured in the Broadband Breakfast Live Online event on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, 12 Noon ET — “Ask Us About the Emergency Broadband Benefit and Emergency Connectivity Fund.”

The Emergency Broadband Benefit program will subsidize broadband plans from qualified internet service providers, providing $50 a month for households in need, and $75 for households on Tribal lands.

Rosenworcel emphasized that the FCC has to get the fund established quickly so it can begin to relieve the financial pressure that many school districts are feeling, “Congress has entrusted the Commission with the vital task of providing relief to our students, teachers, school staff, and library patrons – and has mandated that we do so quickly.”

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Education

FCC Opens Emergency Connectivity Fund for Applications

The FCC is now accepting applications for the historic $7-billion Emergency Connectivity Fund to help get students connected.

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FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel

April 30, 2021—Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel on Friday laid out the proposed rules for the Emergency Connectivity Fund, answering many of the questions consumers have had since the program was announced.

If the regulations are adopted by the FCC and their meeting in May, the fund would provide $7.17 billion to reimburse schools and libraries for infrastructure and devices purchased during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to promote distance learning. Everything from laptops and tablets to Wi-Fi hotspots would qualify for reimbursements.

The fund was designed to address Rosenworcel’s longtime goal of closing the “homework gap”—a term she coined in 2015.

“During the pandemic, our classrooms went virtual and what was already an unconscionable homework gap has become a learning chasm with even more devastating consequences,” Rosenworcel said in a press release from the FCC.

She pointed out that even as some areas were able to address the needs of students, others began to fall behind as the pandemic dragged on, “Even as the pandemic ebbs in some areas and surges in others, millions of students are still engaged in remote learning, and there is no time to lose.

The Emergency Connectivity Fund is one of two programs designed to address the problems exacerbated by the pandemic that the FCC planned to roll out within the past several months. The other program is the Emergency Broadband Benefit that was designed to help secure high-speed, affordable, broadband to families.

Both of these programs will be featured in the Broadband Breakfast Live Online event on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, 12 Noon ET — “Ask Us About the Emergency Broadband Benefit and Emergency Connectivity Fund.”

The Emergency Broadband Benefit program will subsidize broadband plans from qualified internet service providers, providing $50 a month for households in need, and $75 for households on Tribal lands.

Rosenworcel emphasized that the FCC has to get the fund established quickly so it can begin to relieve the financial pressure that many school districts are feeling, “Congress has entrusted the Commission with the vital task of providing relief to our students, teachers, school staff, and library patrons – and has mandated that we do so quickly.”

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