CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Schools and libraries across the Mountain State will be receiving a combined total of $48,189,817 to go toward electronic needs in the classroom or libraries.
Pending final review of applications by the FCC, the funding can be used to purchase laptops, tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers and broadband connections for students, staff and library visitors, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin says. The funding was authorized in the American Rescue Plan, according to the senator. The key provisions made the funds fully reimbursable to make sure rural areas do not have to deal with higher costs to obtain these necessities.
“Without broadband access, West Virginians can’t compete for good-paying jobs, finish their homework or attract new residents to the state,” Manchin said. “Expanding broadband access for all West Virginians continues to be a top priority for me, and hotspots are a critical short-term solution to connectivity issues.
Manchin says the second round of applications for the Emergency Connectivity Program will open from Sept. 28 to Oct. 13. He says he encourages all eligible libraries and schools to apply for the funding.
The FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund was created during the pandemic as a $7.17 billion program to help schools and libraries provide tools and services needed in their communities to allow for remote learning.