Emergency Connectivity Fund Application Window is Open!

June 30, 2021

Attached: ECF Form 471 Data Fields

~ ECF Form 471 Data Fields Attached ~

Yesterday, the Emergency Connectivity Fund Form 471 application window opened for schools and libraries seeking ECF funding for purchases that will be made between July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022 (called Window 1); the deadline is August 13.  In reviewing the form, it appears to be a simplified and easier-to-use version of the E-rate Form 471.  I am working on an ECF Form 471 Guide for you and will conduct a training webinar on Thursday, July 15 (details to come).  In the meantime, I’ve created the attached Word document that lists all of the required data elements on the ECF Form 471.  The easiest way to submit the 471 is to enter your data into this document and then you can breeze through the intake fields on the form.

A few things I’ve learned since the application launched:

  • To access the application, log into One Portal at https://ecfportal.usac.org/suite/sites/ECF.  After going through the multi-factor authentication and accepting their new T/Cs, select the ECF application link at the bottom of the list.
  • You must create separate FRNs for Equipment (laptops, tablets, modems, wi-fi hotspots) and Services (internet access).  Within each FRN, you can create multiple FRN Line Items (just like the E-rate 471).  For example, if you are applying for Verizon Wireless and have 2 different wi-fi plans with them, you would just create a single Services FRN, then 2 FRN Line Items detailing the different speeds/monthly costs/# of units for each plan.
  • Vendor contracts are not required – a vendor quote will suffice.  And although it’s optional to upload vendor documentation, I highly recommend that you do.
  • The form defaults to service delivery dates of 7/1/2021 – 6/30/2022.  Just use these dates.  The detailed cost section will ask you to enter the # of months that service is being provided and doesn’t automatically calculate using the calendar dates like the E-rate Form 471 does.
  • You must select whether you or your service provider will be seeking reimbursement from ECF after equipment/service has been delivered.  If you indicate ‘service provider’ the form will require you to upload proof from the vendor indicating that they have agreed to this.
  • The “Unmet Needs Survey” questions are only asked of school applicants, not libraries.  Be prepared with the answers to those questions prior to entering the form.
  • At the end of the Survey section, schools must provide an explanation of how they determined how many devices/service plans are needed.  Be specific in how and when you acquired this data.  You are not required to have an exact one-to-one survey match to your ECF quantities requested, but you will need to explain how you arrived at your requested quantities.
  • If you get logged out before submitting, go to My Pending Tasks to see your draft application.  As with the E-rate EPC portal, there’s a very short timeout setting.
  • If you submit the form and realize you’ve made a mistake, there’s a Modification feature to make changes, just like the E-rate Form 471.
  • As of today, there’s no publicly available download feature to see who has submitted applications, but we hope this tool is coming soon.

Additional Resources:

ECF Form 471 Application (in One Portal):  https://ecfportal.usac.org/suite/sites/ECF

USAC ECF Information Page:  www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org

USAC Training Modules/Office Hours:  https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/training/

USAC ECF Customer Service Support Center:  1-800-234-9781 Monday – Friday 8 am – 8 pm Eastern Time

FCC ECF Page:  https://www.fcc.gov/emergency-connectivity-fund

FCC FAQ/Summary: https://www.fcc.gov/emergency-connectivity-fund-faqs

PA ECF Resource Page:  http://e-ratepa.org/?page_id=32310

Happy ECF Filing!

– Julie

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

Site graciously hosted by the Capital Area IU 15 | Site designed and maintained by Silver Penny Studio