FCC To Launch $7.17 Billion Connectivity Fund Program

New Program Provides Funding to Schools and Libraries Critical to Closing the Homework Gap

WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission unanimously adopted final rules to implement the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. This $7.17 billion program, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will enable schools and libraries to purchase laptop and tablet computers, Wi-Fi hotspots, and broadband connectivity for students, school staff, and library patrons in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Far too often, students, teachers, and library patrons lack the access they need to broadband and connected devices. This need has become even more apparent during these unprecedented times,” said Jessica Rosenworcel, Acting Chairwoman of the FCC. “Between this Emergency Connectivity Fund Program and the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, we are investing more than $10 billion in American students and households. These investments will help more Americans access online education, healthcare, and employment resources. They will help close the Homework Gap for students nationwide and give so many more households the ability to connect, communicate, and more fully participate in modern life.”

The Report and Order adopted today establishes the rules and policies governing the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. The new rules define eligible equipment and services, service locations, eligible uses, and reasonable support amounts for funding provided. It designates the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) as the program administrator with FCC oversight, and leverages the processes and structures used in the ERate program for the benefit of schools and libraries already familiar with the E-Rate program. It also adopts procedures to protect the limited funding from waste, fraud, and abuse.

Recent estimates suggest there may be as many as 17 million children struggling without the broadband access they need for remote learning. The Acting Chairwoman has long made closing the Homework Gap a priority during her tenure at the Commission.

— Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Top photo: GettyImages


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BDPA-DC Welcomes new Training Scholarships for HBCU Seniors and Graduates Earning Industry Certifications with HOPE Project Online

WASHINGTON—The H.O.P.E. Project DMV (HOPE) is accepting applications for next semester’s online STEM certification offering of its renowned and award winning community information technology (IT) training and workforce development  program. Since 2009, HOPE has successfully launched exciting technology careers through programs uniquely designed to prepare students from ages 16-24 for mission-critical entry-level positions such as Helpdesk, Desktop, Service Management,  and Application support.

BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C. (BDPA-DC) in direct support of National BDPA’s mission and the association’s HBCU student member objectives, is partnering with HOPE to provide training and certification scholarships directly to HBCU students or recent HBCU graduates who are accepted into HOPE’s online training programs.  

BDPA-DC extends its “Industry 4.0” Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship  (SITES IV) portfolio to include HOPE’s CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ training, certification test preparation to compliment next summer’s STEM internship applications or college degrees for immediate entry-level opportunities across the (ICT) industry with BDPA’s mission-partners

BDPA-DC extends its “Industry 4.0” Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship  (SITES IV) portfolio to include HOPE’s CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ training, certification test preparation to compliment next summer’s STEM internship applications or college degrees for immediate entry-level opportunities across the (ICT) industry with BDPA’s mission-partners

About H.O.P.E. Project DMV

The H.O.P.E. Project (HOPE) mission is to empower students to reach their potential by providing a comprehensive information technology training program, designed for students out of high school and at least 18 years old. Since 2009 HOPE Project  has trained, coached, and mentored nearly 2,000 IT students that have an average salary of nearly $65,000 a year.  HOPE has helped students earn over 2,200 CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+ certifications.  These credentials have helped HOPE alumni build IT careers working as Cyber Security Engineers, Systems Administrators, Mobile Device Engineers, and IT Project Managers.  Visit: hopeprojectonline.com.

About BDPA-DC

The association’s global mission as outlined by National BDPA is to bridge digital divides across cyber security, information technology (IT) and telecommunications competency gaps while broadening outreach and awareness campaigns for computer, data science, and technical careers. Since 1978, BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C. (BDPA-DC) has successfully presented Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) projects across the National Capital Region support career development and economic development through well blended and tailored series of student programs, industry outreach, community relations, and legislative affairs primarily for urban and underserved communities.   Visit: bdpadc.org.

— Photo courtesy: HOPE Project DMV

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Cisco to Layoff up to 20% of its Global Workforce

SAN JOSE, CA [CRN] — Cisco Systems is expected to announce the cuts within the next few weeks, as many early retirement package plans have already been offered to employees, said sources. Cisco is set to announce its fourth fiscal quarter results after the market closes later today.

cisco-focus-edtechCisco must retool digital tool sets for all vertical markets (such as education, healthcare, transportation, energy) with new people and new skills to become a smaller, leaner, and more agile company. Mark Haranas of CRN reports Cisco is laying off upward of 14,000 employees representing nearly 20 percent of the networking giant’s global workforce, according to multiple sources close to the company. These heavy cuts, which sources say range between 9,000 and 14,000 employees worldwide, stem from Cisco’s transition from its hardware roots into a new “software-centric” organization.

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— Source: CRN.com
Cover and photo credits: Cisco Systems 
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