Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Ron Kind joined his colleagues in a letter urging Congressional leadership to support their efforts to secure necessary funding for the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), a crucial program created under the American Rescue Plan that has provided more than 12.5 million students access to the Internet over the past year.
The Federal Communications Commission recently announced that the most recent round of applications for ECF funds totaled $2.8 billion, nearly double the $1.5 billion that remains available for the program. Without additional funds, the ECF will be unable to meet demand from schools and libraries that provide students with the broadband connection they need to do their schoolwork, communicate with their peers and teachers, and more.
“This American Rescue Plan program has helped expand vital internet access to students across Wisconsin, especially in our rural communities,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “We can’t allow millions of students to lose access to the high-speed broadband they need. In order to preserve the Emergency Connectivity Fund’s hard-earned gains in closing the homework gap, the program’s funding must be replenished as soon as possible.”
Rep. Kind has been a member of the House Rural Broadband Task Force since it was created in 2019, and has continuously supported legislation to expand broadband access for all Wisconsinites.