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FCC OKs Public TV Datacasting to Access Emergency Connectivity Fund

FCC seal
(Image credit: FCC)

WASHINGTON—Datacasting equipment and connectivity, which public TV stations have been using to help with remote education, have been deemed eligible by the FCC for funding through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program, according to America’s Public Television Stations (APTS).

The Emergency Connectivity Fund was part of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Covid-19 package, which makes $7.17 billion available to eligible technologies. That now officially includes datacasting.

“We are profoundly grateful to the Commission for including datacasting among the technologies eligible for funding under this new program to help schools and libraries connect students without broadband access,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS. “The unanimous endorsement of datacasting by members of the Commission is a powerful testament to the value of this technology in bridging the 'homework gap' that threatens the educational progress of millions of students still unconnected to the internet.

“We in public television are proud of the pioneering role our stations have played in applying datacasting technology to remote learning in a time of national crisis, and we look forward to partnering with the Commission and with state and local education agencies to deploy this technology quickly and comprehensively in those areas where broadband access will remain unavailable for some time to come.”