Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Closing the Digital Divide

The Closing the Digital Divide Initiative focuses on identifying needed resources and partnerships to support distance learning in California schools and equip all California students with computing devices and connectivity.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF)

A $7.17 billion federal government program to assist public schools and libraries in staying connected. The funds will be administered through the FCC and the E-Rate program. Applications can be submitted from June 29–August 13, 2021.

Schools and libraries across California that are eligible for support under the FCC’s E-Rate program External link opens in new window or tab. can request and receive support through the ECF program. Tribal libraries eligible for support under the Library Services and Technology Act are also eligible for support under the program.

The following types of equipment purchased for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons who would otherwise lack sufficient connectivity to engage in remote learning are eligible for support:

  • Laptop and tablet computers
  • Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Modems (including air cards)
  • Routers
  • Devices that combine a modem and router

For more information and to view past webinars on the ECF, visit the K–12 High Speed Network website External link opens in new window or tab. or email digitaldivide@cde.ca.gov.

How to Acquire Devices

How to Get Internet Access: Available Plans for All

Internet For All Now: The California Emerging Technology Fund has provided access to affordable offers.

Visit the Internet For All Now web page External link opens in new window or tab. for more information as well as a number to call 1-844-841-INFO (4636) to assist parents.

How to Donate

Task Force & Progress Made

This spring State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced the creation of a new task force to close the digital divide for California students who lack access to resources such as internet connectivity and devices. The Closing the Digital Divide Task Force is co-chaired by California State Senator Connie Leyva.

Other Task Force Members include:

  • Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg)
  • Assemblymember Cecelia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters)
  • Assemblymember Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood)
  • Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella)
  • Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles)
  • Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa)

New Task Force to Close Digital Divide News Release (Posted 16-Apr-2020)

News Releases

Questions:   Digital Divide Team | digitaldivide@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0800
Last Reviewed: Monday, August 2, 2021
Recently Posted in Initiatives & Programs
  • Quarantine Update (added 13-Sep-2021)
    How to minimize COVID-19 exposure, transmission, and quarantining.
  • Did You Know? (added 13-Sep-2021)
    At a Glance: Addressing Independent Study, Quarantines, and Staff Shortages.