August 25, 2021

Manchin Announces West Virginia Schools, Libraries Can Expect To Receive $48 Million From American Rescue Plan To Expand Broadband Access

FCC is opening a second application period from September 28th to October 13th for schools and libraries to apply for funding

Charleston, WV – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced that West Virginia schools and libraries can expect to receive $48,189,817 to purchase laptops and tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers and broadband connections for students, staff and library visitors, pending final review of the applications by the FCC. This funding was authorized in the American Rescue Plan earlier this year and included key provisions authored by Senator Manchin which made these funds fully reimbursable to ensure rural states like West Virginia do not have to bear the burden of higher costs. The Emergency Connectivity Program will be open for a second round of applications from September 28th to October 13th.

“Without broadband access, West Virginians can’t compete for good-paying jobs, finish their homework or attract new residents to the state,” Senator Manchin said. “Expanding broadband access for all West Virginians continues to be a top priority for me, and hotspots are a critical short-term solution to connectivity issues. I am pleased that the Emergency Connectivity Fund, which I successfully fought to include in the American Rescue Plan, will distribute around $48 million to West Virginia schools and libraries. The fund will be open for a second round of applications, and I encourage all eligible schools and libraries to apply for funds to buy laptops, hotspots, and much more to provide West Virginians with access to broadband, no matter where they live in the Mountain State.”

Background on the Emergency Connectivity Fund can be found here.

A timeline of Senator Manchin’s efforts to expand broadband can be found here