ECF Window 3: Steps to Applying

April 22, 2022

The application period for Window 3 of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) will open next Thursday, April 28 and close two weeks later on Friday, May 13.  During this time, schools and libraries can submit applications for purchases that will be made between July 1, 2022 – December 31, 2023.  Although the FCC estimates approximately $1 billion will be available for ECF Window 3, I believe there will be closer to $1.4 available.  If demand is greater than available funds, applicants with the highest E-rate discounts will receive priority, with rural applicants receiving priority within each discount level.

If you are interested in applying for ECF Window 3 funding, please follow these steps:

1. Review the ECF Window 3 Summary and ECF Window 3 Presentation to ensure you understand what’s eligible and expected.

2. At the Form 471 application stage, schools may estimate the number of students/teachers/paraprofessionals with unmet needs (signed Certifications of Unmet Needs will be required when the devices are handed out and USAC is invoiced).  So schools should be compiling this data so they can explain on the Form 471 how they determined their estimate of unmet needs (which could be based on NSLP eligibility, prior surveys, etc.).

3. Obtain a vendor quote(s) that contains equipment make/model and exact quantity/unit cost.  This quote must be uploaded with your ECF application.  Remember: contracts are not required; laptop licenses are eligible, but only if the cost is bundled with the cost of the device itself; and although no Form 470 bidding is required, PA public schools must purchase equipment from a cooperative purchasing contract such as COSTARS or PEPPM in order to be in compliance with state bidding laws.

4. If you would like the vendor to invoice ECF, you must obtain a statement from the vendor acknowledging that they are willing to invoice ECF.  That statement must be uploaded with your ECF application.

5. For internet service continuing from FY 2021:, a maximum of 12 months of eligible services received between July 1, 2022 and December 31, 2023 is eligible.  Applicants that received ECF Internet funding in Windows 1 or 2 and are seeking continuing ECF funding for those services must indicate in their Window 3 Form 471 FRN narrative the previous FRN number, as well as the service start and end dates for the 12 months of service that will be received for FY 2021 so PIA can ensure that no duplicate months will be funded.

6. ECF applications are filed in the One Portal System, most commonly known as EPC.  If you will be submitting the ECF application but do not have a personal EPC log-in, contact USAC at 888-203-8100.

7. Be sure your account is up to date.

USAC Webinar and Office Hours:  USAC is hosting a series of ECF Webinars and Office Hours sessions where applicants and service providers can ask questions about the third application filing window. Register for these events at the below links:

  • Tuesday, April 26 @ 3 p.m. ET: ECF Window 3 Information Session – Register
  • Tuesday, May 3 @ 3 p.m. ET: ECF Window 3 Office Hours – Register
  • Tuesday, May 10 @ 3 p.m. ET: ECF Window 3 Office Hours – Register

Updated FCC FAQs:  The FCC has updated their ECF FAQs to include Window 3-related details (updates marked with a *).

Additional Resources:  

If you have any ECF questions, please e-mail me at

– Julie

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

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