CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) 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. The funding is intended to help students, staff and library visitors, pending final review of the applications by the FCC.
American Rescue Plan authorized the funding earlier this year, which included key provisions authored by Senator Manchin. These additions made the 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 Sept. 28 to Oct. 13.
“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.”