Federal funding targeted for Manchester student home internet access

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WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation announced that Manchester will receive just over $1 million in federal funding from the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.

The amount comes from a $2.4 million total in funding for 12 schools and school administrative units across the state, which can be used to help schools provide students with the internet-connectivity devices and service that they need to complete their school work from home. The funding to New Hampshire is part of the Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Connectivity Fund Program, which U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and colleagues successfully worked to establish and fund in the American Rescue Plan.

The Emergency Connectivity Fund Program provides funding to elementary and secondary schools and libraries to provide laptops and tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and broadband connections for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons in need.

“Too many students across New Hampshire lack access to high-speed internet at home, which places these students at a severe disadvantage when it comes to keeping up with their schoolwork and making up for lost learning,” Hassan said. “That is why I fought for additional funding in the American Rescue Plan to provide more schools in New Hampshire with internet-connectivity devices to help students access critical high-speed internet in their homes. I will continue working to bridge the homework gap and ensure that every student has the resources that they need to succeed and compete in the 21st century innovation economy.”

“Access to broadband is essential for our students to succeed and reach their full potential – as made painfully evident by the transition to remote learning during the pandemic that left many students behind,” said U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). “I’m so pleased to welcome nearly $2.5 million to expand access to critical online resources for students and staff at schools across New Hampshire. Zip codes should never determine success, and this funding will help bridge the digital divide and connect students with the technology they need to thrive.”

“It is essential that our Granite State schools, students, and staff have reliable access to broadband services, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic which underscored the importance of access to remote work and remote learning for keeping our communities safe,” said U.S. Representative Kuster (D-NH-02). “I’m thrilled to see schools across New Hampshire receive critical funding to engage online – which I helped secure through the American Rescue Plan Act – and I will continue working to expand access to broadband for all of our communities.”

“These federal funds will go a long way towards ensuring our schools have the technology they need to give our students the best possible education,” said U.S. Representative Chris Pappas (D-NH-01). “By improving connectivity we can expand opportunities for our students and work to close the digital divide in our communities. I remain committed to ensuring our schools receive funding that helps address the unique needs of each district, and encourage any school or library looking for support in improving connectivity to apply for funding under this program.”