Home » Senators Markey, Van Hollen, and Representative Meng Joint Statement on Waning Federal Communications Commission Funding for Student Internet Access

Senators Markey, Van Hollen, and Representative Meng Joint Statement on Waning Federal Communications Commission Funding for Student Internet Access

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Washington (May 26, 2022) – Senator Edward J. Marquee (D-Mass.), Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), And Senator Grace Men (NY-06) The following statement was issued after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC): ) Announced in its third application window that it received a $ 2.8 billion funding request from the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF). ECF – Created by Congressman as part of it American rescue plan – We have helped more than 12.5 million students connect to the internet, With an estimated $ 1.5 billion left in the program, there may be a shortage of funds to meet demand.

“By connecting more than 12.5 million students to the Internet, the Emergency Connection Fund has provided significant support to students and educators throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.” Said a lawmaker. “But the’homework gap’is an emergency long before the pandemic begins, and remains an emergency after it’s over. The Federal Communications Commission’s announcement that the demand for ECF funds will exceed the remaining supply Success method Replenish the emergency connection fund. We cannot afford to abandon the remarkable achievements of the Emergency Connection Fund and allow millions of students to lose access to high-speed broadband. “

The FCC has distributed more than $ 4.8 billion through an emergency connectivity fund, including $ 68 million in Massachusetts, $ 69 million in Maryland, and $ 505 million in New York.Last year, Senator Marquee, Senator Van Hollen, and Senator Men Universal Communication Connection Securing (SUCCESS) Act to Ensure Successful Students Build on the basis of the Emergency Connection Fund created below American rescue plan We will provide schools and libraries $ 8 billion annually ($ 40 billion total) over a five-year period to keep students connected to the Internet after the coronavirus pandemic. The bill currently has 17 Senates and 43 Houses co-sponsored, respectively.

Since the E-Rate program was launched over 20 years ago, more than $ 54 billion has been invested nationwide to provide Internet access to schools and libraries, including more than $ 770 million in Massachusetts. I did. Senator Marquee is the author of the original E-Rate program created as part of the 1996 Telecommunications Act to connect schools and libraries to the Internet. The new Emergency Connectivity Fund is a natural extension of the E-Rate program that connects students studying at home.

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