MADISON — State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly today expressed her gratitude to the Federal Communications Commission for committing more than $20 million to aid Wisconsin public school districts in providing students and patrons access to devices and broadband connectivity.
“Broadband access in Wisconsin has been a significant challenge for families and schools since long before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the need for virtual learning options has made broadband access a necessity,” Dr. Underly said. “Families and schools across our state need additional support to ensure access, and I applaud the FCC for awarding these funds to support our students, educators, and families.”
The funds, part of over $1.2 billion allocated by the FCC from the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program, reimburse districts for devices and internet services for students, staff, and patrons who need sufficient access to engage in remote learning. An application period for districts to apply for reimbursement of projects opened on June 29, 2021, and closed Aug. 13, 2021. Among the 355 Wisconsin applications for funding through the federal ECF Program, 189 Wisconsin projects were approved by the FCC. Click here for a list of the Wisconsin projects that received FCC approval.
A second application window for funding through the ECF funding opens Sept. 28, 2021 and will close Oct. 13, 2021. For more information on the ECF Program and a list of the funded projects in Wisconsin, visit https://dpi.wi.gov/broadband/ecf.