School bus stuck in water after hurricane

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FCC funding mobile hotspots to help schoolchildren stay online after Hurricanes Ian, Fiona

It will support nearly a quarter-million mobile hotspots in Puerto Rico.

 

Jacob Seitz

Tech

Posted on Oct 6, 2022   Updated on Oct 6, 2022, 10:58 am CDT

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) announced $96 million in new funding to connect students to the internet, over half of which will go to those affected by Hurricanes Fiona and Ian. 

In a release on Wednesday, the Commission announced the funding through the Emergency Connectivity Program, a fund that provides “digital services for students in communities across the country.”

Approximately $53 million of the allocated money will go to students, teachers, and library-goers in areas impacted by Hurricanes Ian and Fiona, including money for 225,000 mobile hotspots in Puerto Rico. The money will also go to parts of Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

“We need to make sure all kids have digital tools for connecting with school, but it’s especially important for students living in those areas damaged by the recent hurricanes,” said Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “This program will help those students by funding hot spots, tablets, and broadband services, building on our ongoing work to close the Homework Gap.”

The Emergency Connectivity Program was launched last year with the aim of closing the digital divide among students in the U.S. The FCC committed over $6 billion to the program since its launch, providing schools and libraries with reliable and fast internet for students and teachers. 

The nearly $100 million will go to about 170 schools and 30 libraries, according to the release.

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*First Published: Oct 6, 2022, 10:57 am CDT