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Communications Connectivity to Ensure Students Succeed (SUCCESS) Act. This proposed legislation would extend the ECF by five years and provide $8 billion annually for a total of $40 billion. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), a co-sponsor, was quoted as say- ing the SUCCESS Act will provide crucial additional funding to ensure that the kids who are finally being connected by the ECF are not disconnected once the original ECF expires. “The introduction of the SUCCESS Act is fantastic


news,” commented Michael Flood, senior vice pres- ident and general manager of education for Kajeet, an internet of things provider specializing in de- veloping Wi-Fi equipment. “ECF was created to last for one year. E-Rate was focused on campus. The SUCCESS Act helps sustain funding for off campus use. A lot of districts were asking what about after June 30, 2022. So, the SUCCESS Act would sustain that funding.” Flood said private contractors are also eligible to


participate, if they fit the profile of a service provider. “For a contractor to be a service provider they would have to provide the equipment, installation and the


service and be prepared to invoice the district or the FCC directly,” Flood explained. “They would also need to be registered on SAM.gov (System for Award Management) and they should familiarize them- selves with all the rules for service providers on the Emergencyconnectivelyfund.org website.” Jim Kerr, an E-Rate service provider consultant, noted that the federal government has spent $200 billion over the past two years in various grant programs addressing a problem created by internet carriers who provide affluent, urban areas with better service. “There are about 55 million kids that attend school in this country and there are about 10 million that do not have access to a quality distance learning en- vironment,” he added. “ECF is specifically targeting those kids. There are about 480,000 school buses in the U.S. and the average ride time is 50 minutes.” Kerr said the result of these programs is that


academic performance and graduation rates are improved. “We know it works. The bottom line is the more we can do to improve student outcomes, the better off we’re going to be as a country,” he noted.


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