Federal Communications Commission: Emergency Connectivity FundDeadline: August 13, 2021
The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) will help schools and libraries provide the tools and services their communities need for remote learning during the COVID-19 emergency period. ECF will help provide relief to millions of students, school staff, and library patrons and will help close the Homework Gap for students who currently lack necessary Internet access or the devices they need to connect to classrooms.
Funding must be used for the purchase of eligible equipment and/or advanced telecommunications and information services for use by students, school staff, and library patrons with unmet needs at locations other than a school or library, during the COVID-19 emergency period.
Eligible equipment includes:
* Connected devices (i.e., laptops and tablets, including Chromebooks and iPads)
* Wi-Fi hotspots
* Modems (including air cards)
* Devices that combine a modem and router
Eligible services include commercially available internet services (fixed or mobile broadband connections).
Amount: $7.17 billion is available. FCC program guidelines establish “reasonable support costs” for several eligible program uses and guidance to reviewers to examine applications for consistency with common costs for requested items. No minimum or maximum amount is available.
* 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.
Notes: Applicants need to apply for an FCC registration number, if one is not already held. Link: https://www.fcc.gov/licensing-databases/commission-registration-system-fcc.
Applicants who will invoice the FCC also need a SAM number (option is to have service providers invoice the FCC directly). Link: https://sam.gov/content/home.
The FCC will host a public information session on ECF Frequently Asked Questions – Tuesday, August 3 @ 2 p.m. ET. The event will stream live at fcc.gov/live. Questions can be sent in advance to ECFwebinar@fcc.gov.