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 Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB Program) to help low-income households pay for internet service and connected devices. The over 9 million households currently enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program as of December 31, 2021 will continue to receive their current monthly benefit until March 1, 2022. The longer-term ACP will provide a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Additionally, the ACP provides a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price. Enrollment for the ACP is now open for households with at least one qualifying member. Consumers looking for information on this program should visit The Affordable Connectivity Program or FCC's Affordable Connectivity Program web page.
- If you need further assistance, please contact:
- The Regional Information Center (RIC) in your area or
- The Office of Educational Design and Technology