FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund

Tech Insights

What is it?

On May 10, 2021, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a Report and Order (FCC 21-58) establishing the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. Congress appropriated $7.17 billion for the Program. For eligible schools and libraries, the ECF Program will cover reasonable costs of laptop and tablet computers, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and broadband connectivity purchases for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons.

How Does It Work?

The ECF Program will reimburse Schools and Libraries for the reasonable costs of eligible equipment and broadband connections used to help students, teachers, staff and patrons who otherwise lack access to be able to engage in remote learning. The program will reimburse applicants a maximum of $400 for each laptop or tablet, and a maximum of $250 for Wi-Fi hotpots. For other eligible equipment and services, the FCC and USAC will review costs to ensure they are reasonable.

Who Is Eligible to Receive Funds Through the Emergency Connectivity Fund?

Schools, libraries, and consortia of schools and libraries (e.g., regional or statewide groups of schools or libraries that apply together) that are eligible for support under the FCC’s E-Rate Program and Tribal libraries eligible for support under the Library Services and Technology Act may request and receive support through the Emergency Connectivity Fund.

If a School Reopens and Students and School Staff are Attending School in Person, is Off-Campus Equipment or Service for that Student or Teacher Still Eligible for ECF support?

Yes. Such equipment and services are eligible if needed to meet the remote learning needs of students, such as homework, or school staff who would otherwise lack sufficient access to connected devices and/or a broadband internet access connection while off campus.

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.

Apply at: emergencyconnectivityfund.org