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Home and Community Internet Connectivity

Access to the Internet outside of school is, and will continue to be increasingly important for student learning and achievement. School and district leaders should understand the extent of Internet access in their communities and in student homes. 

The following resources may be useful for schools or districts grappling with concerns over insufficient community access to high-speed broadband:

  • The Smart School Bond Act (SSBA) provides funding for district technology and community connectivity projects.
    • The Community Connectivity category involves partnerships between school districts and communities. It could, for example, be used to supply Wi-Fi access points or computing devices to public libraries or community centers.
  • The Broadband for All program is awarding $500 million in grant funding to support projects that deliver high-speed Internet access to Unserved and Underserved areas of the State. The goal of this multi-year program, administered by the New York State Broadband Office, is to provide statewide broadband access by the end of 2018.
  • The Emergency Connectivity Fund is a program to help schools and libraries support remote learning. The Program will provide funding to schools and libraries for the reasonable costs of eligible equipment and services that can be provided to students, teachers, and library patrons who lack connected devices, such as laptop or tablet computers, and/or lack broadband access during the pandemic. Interested schools and libraries can find more information and apply at Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.
  • The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program can help low-income households pay for broadband service and connected internet devices. The program will provide a discount of up to $50 per month for broadband services for eligible consumers. Consumers who live on qualifying Tribal lands can receive enhanced support of up to $75 per month toward broadband services. Additionally, the program provides a one-time device discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider. Consumers looking for information on this program should visit Emergency Broadband Benefit Program or FCC's Emergency Broadband Benefit Program web page.
  • If you need further assistance, please contact: