The third application filing window of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) will open on Thursday, April 28, 2022 and close on Friday, May 13, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. ET. During the third window, schools and libraries will be able to request Emergency Connectivity Fund Program support for eligible equipment and up to 12 months of services that will be received or delivered between July 1, 2022 and December 31, 2023 for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons with unmet needs.
What Is the Emergency Connectivity Fund?
- The Emergency Connectivity Fund is a $7.17 billion program funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to help schools and libraries support remote learning. The Program will provide funding to schools and libraries for the reasonable costs of eligible equipment and services that can be provided to students, teachers, and library patrons who lack connected devices, such as laptop or tablet computers, and/or lack broadband access during the pandemic.
- The Federal Communications Commission unanimously adopted a Report and Order on May 10, 2021 establishing the rules and procedures for the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.
- The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is the program administrator.
Who Is Eligible to Receive Funds Through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program?
- Schools, libraries, and consortia of schools and libraries that are eligible for support under the FCC’s E-Rate program, are eligible to request and receive support through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.
- In addition, the Order clarifies that Tribal libraries, which are eligible for support under the Library Services and Technology Act, are also eligible for the Emergency Connectivity Fund.
- Schools and libraries eligible for the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program do not need to be current E-Rate participants. Eligible entities that have not applied for E-Rate support should be prepared to demonstrate eligibility as a school or library under the Program rules during USAC’s application review.
What Equipment and Services Are Covered by the Emergency Connectivity Fund 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)
- Devices that combine a modem and router.
- Schools and libraries can also receive funding for commercially available broadband internet service that provides a fixed or mobile broadband connection for off-campus use by students, school staff, or library patrons who would otherwise lack access to connectivity sufficient to engage in remote learning.
- In limited circumstances where a school or library can demonstrate that there are no available service options sufficient to support remote learning for its students, school staff, or library patrons, the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program may support the construction of new networks and the equipment needed for datacasting services.
- Review the Eligible Services List for additional guidance on the equipment and services eligible for funding under the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.
To participate, schools and libraries must have an active FCC Registration Number. Schools, libraries, and service providers who agree to invoice on behalf of applicants must also have a SAM.gov registration to be able to receive program support. Learn how to register with SAM.gov and the FCC CORES system.
Schools and libraries that have a SAM.gov registration or FCC Registration Number do not need to register again.
Please see the Public Notice (DA 22-309 ) for additional information about the third application filing window, the service delivery date, and invoice filing deadline applicable to equipment, other non-recurring service, and recurring service requests submitted during this filing window
For questions regarding this program or any school technology infrastructure support needs, please contact Jim Chasse at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-707-0486.