The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has opened the second filing window for the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) as part of its efforts to close the homework gap.

The FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund, established by the American Rescue Plan of 2021, will help provide relief to millions of students, school staff, and library patrons and help close the Homework Gap for students who currently lack necessary internet access or the devices they need to connect to classrooms

The $7.17 billion program is the agency’s latest effort to connect students and library patrons with the equipment and broadband connections they need in the modern era. From September 28 to October 13, eligible schools and libraries can submit requests for funding to purchase eligible equipment and services received or delivered between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.

The funding can be used to purchase laptops and tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and broadband connections to serve unmet needs for off-premises use by students, school staff, and library patrons.

“This is a second opportunity to help schools and libraries to meet the connectivity needs of students and library patrons for this school year,” FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said.

“We just committed more than $1.2 billion in funding from the first round of applications in this program, supporting more than 3.6 million connections. Reliable and affordable access to broadband is a must for all Americans,” she added.