Additional funding for the Emergency Connectivity Fund would prevent ‘great disconnection’ of millions of students from the Internet

Washington (June 21, 2022) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Representative Grace Meng (NY-06) led their colleagues in a letter today urging Congressional leadership to support their efforts to secure additional 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 apply to college.

“To avoid this great disconnection and prevent the reversal of ECF’s hard-earned gains in closing the homework gap for so many rural, low-income, Black, Brown, Hispanic, Latino, Asian American, American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander students and their teachers, we urge you to work with us to identify and seize opportunities to provide additional funding for the Emergency Connectivity Fund,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter. “With the new school year just a few months away, we cannot allow millions of students to lose access to high-speed broadband.”

A copy of the letter can be found HERE.

Senators Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Booker (D-N.J.), Casey (D-Pa.), Duckworth (D-Ill.), Durbin (D-Ill.), Feinstein (D-Calif.), Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Heinrich (D-N.M.), Hirono (D-Hawaii), Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Lujan (D-N.M.), Merkley (D-Ore.), Padilla (D-Calif.), Rosen (D-Nev.), Sanders (I-Vt.), Shaheen (D-N.H.), Smith (D-M.N.), Warnock (D-Ga.), Warren (D-Mass.), Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Wyden (D-Ore.) joined the letter.

In addition, Representatives Alma Adams (NC-12), Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Anthony Brown (MD-04), Shontel Brown (OH-11), Andre Carson (IN-07), Sean Casten (IL-06), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), Judy Chu (CA-27), Lou Correa (CA-46), Jim Costa (CA-16), Sharice Davids (KS-03), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Brian Higgins (NY-26), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Ron Kind (WI-03), Al Lawson (FL-05), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Teresa Leger Fernández (NM-03), Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Kathy Manning (NC-6), Lucy McBath (GA-6), Betty McCollum (MN-4), Jim McGovern (MA-03), Joseph Morelle (NY-25), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Adam Schiff (CA-28), David Scott (GA-13), Thomas Suozzi (NY-03), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), David Trone (MD-06), Marc Veasey (TX-33), Nydia Velázquez (NY-07), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Nikema Williams (GA-5), Frederica Wilson (FL-24), and John Yarmuth (KY-03) also joined the letter.