We now have two more reasons to be hopeful as we ring in the new year. In recent news releases, the FCC outlined how it will contribute millions of dollars in continued support of student broadband connectivity and telehealth initiatives in 2022.
On December 20, 2021, the FCC announced that it is committing nearly $603 million in additional Emergency Connectivity Funding (ECF). By their count, this will bring broadband internet to another 1.4 million students across the U.S., Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands. According to the news release, “The funding can be used to support off-campus learning, such as nightly homework and virtual learning, as schools and libraries continue to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.” More information on the ECF program is available at www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org.
A day after the ECF announcement, the FCC announced more good news, releasing a list of round-2 COVID-19 Telehealth Program grant recipients. Almost $43 million will be split between dozens of healthcare organizations so they can continue to provide reimbursements to their patients for telehealth services and devices. With concerns over new COVID-19 variants growing daily, alternatives to in-person care are as important as ever. Links to the complete list of grant recipients can be found on the FCC website.
These recent funding announcements build upon the work started in 2020 and 2021, through the CARES Act and the Infrastructure Bill, to increase the momentum of infrastructure expansion and digital equity. You can read more about it in our blog.
At Mobile Citizen, our goal is to help schools and nonprofit healthcare organizations maximize the impact of their grants. The Center for Hearing and Speech in St. Louis, Missouri is a perfect example of this. Leaders at the clinic considered internet access a natural extension of the Center’s mission to empower communication for people with hearing loss, so they wrote grants to bring in the dollars they needed to make it happen. Then they stretched those dollars by purchasing hotspot devices and high-speed internet service from Mobile Citizen. Read more in our case study here.
We believe that high-quality, accessible internet contributes to an engaged public and a more equitable society. That’s why we offer affordable pricing on mobile internet devices and unlimited data plans exclusively to schools, libraries, nonprofits, and social welfare agencies nationwide. To learn more about opportunities for your organization, contact our experts in the Mobile Citizen Customer Service Center at 877-216-9603.