Emergency Connectivity Fund Summary

May 12, 2021

Attached: ECF Order Summary 5-12-2021 v2

~ Webinar scheduled for tomorrow, May 13 ~

On March 10th, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan that included $7 billion for emergency off-campus connectivity to ensure all students, educators and library patrons have sufficient internet access to be able to learn remotely and for educational purposes.  The FCC was given 60 days to enact the regulations for how the program will work.  Their 98-page Order was released yesterday and is available here:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-21-58A1.pdf.

Quick Summary:  In mid-late June, USAC will open a 45-day application window for schools and libraries to request funding for laptops, tablets, wi-fi hotspots, aircards, modems, and wired and wireless Internet access that will be purchased from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 for off-campus usage by students, staff and library patrons that otherwise do not have these devices or Internet access service.  There is no competitive bidding requirement and 100% of the purchase cost (with some limitations) will be reimbursed.  While applicants will apply and seek reimbursement using the E-rate EPC portal and forms resembling the existing E-rate forms, the ECF program is entirely separate from the federal E-rate program which funds broadband and internal connections on school/library campus.

I have condensed the Order into the attached detailed summary and I encourage you to review it so you can determine if you wish to apply.  Also, I will be conducting a 90-minute webinar tomorrow, Thursday, May 13 beginning at 1:00 p.m. to review the new ECF program and attempt to answer your ECF questions during the webinar, to the extent I know the answers at this early stage (registration below).

Webinar Details:

I hope to see you at the Zoom webinar tomorrow!

– Julie

Julie Tritt Schell
Pennsylvania E-rate Coordinator
717-730-7133 – o

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