The Federal Communications Commission has announced the 45-day application filing window for schools and libraries to apply for funding through the $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
What Equipment and Services Are Covered?
Eligible equipment includes Wi-Fi hotspots, modems (including air cards), routers, devices that combine a modem and router, and connected devices (laptop and tablet computers). Schools and libraries can also receive funding for commercially available broadband service that provides a fixed or mobile broadband connection for off-campus use by students, school staff or library patrons. In limited instances, a school or library that can demonstrate it has no available service options sufficient to support remote learning may seek funding for the construction of new networks to provide remote learning and the equipment needed for datacasting services.
How Can Schools and Libraries Apply for Funding?
The initial ECF Program application filing window will open on June 29 and close on August 13. During the application filing window, eligible schools, libraries, and consortia of eligible schools and libraries, can submit requests for funding to purchase eligible equipment and services between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.
The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is the administrator of the ECF Program and will review applications. Interested schools and libraries can find more information and apply at emergencyconnectivityfund.org.
Review additional Frequently Asked Questions about the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.
Tens of thousands of schools and libraries across the country already work with USAC to receive support for their on-campus broadband connectivity needs through the E-Rate Program.