Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Update – September 2023

September 12, 2023

Attached: ECF FRN Statuses as of Sept 12 2023

As of September 11, 2023, PA’s schools and libraries have received more than $121,991,659 million in Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) funding commitments.  A complete analysis of all PA FRNs, their funding status, funding amount, and disbursement amount (as of September 11) is included in the attached spreadsheet.  I’ve also included a column that shows the reimbursement deadline, and the funding year eligible service/equipment delivery deadlines.

  • ECF Window 3 Funding Cut-Off? - Due to applicants decommitting ECF commitments, it appears there will be enough funding available to fund all eligible ECF funding requests!  On the attached spreadsheet there is a tab showing all currently pending PA FRNs.
  • Reminder for Libraries - Be sure to provide library patrons who are checking out laptops/devices and/or Wi-Fi devices with a copy of the library’s acceptable use policy.  Auditors are asking for this.
  • Deadline to Submit FY 2021 ECF Reimbursement BEARs Quickly Approaching - If you opted to pay the vendor in full and then seek ECF reimbursement using the ECF BEAR Form 472 (see Column J, attached), don’t forget to file this form by the required deadline(s).  For ECF Windows 1 and 2, the invoicing deadline has been extended to October 30, 2023 – just a few weeks away!  For ECF Window 3, the invoicing deadline is August 29, 2024.  A Form 472 BEAR Filing Guide is available at: http://e-ratepa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/ECF-Invoicing-Aug-2023.pdf.  Don’t forget to upload both the vendor invoice AND proof of delivery or shipping with your BEAR, and be certain your SAM.gov account is active and up to date.  Also, there is no extension option.  See attached spreadsheet for details related to each FRN.
  • ECF Audits/Asset Inventory and Document Retention Requirements - ECF audits are being conducted by both the FCC (through the Censeo Auditing Firm) as well as under the Federal Single Audit Program.  We have received feedback from these initial audits that most findings are related to schools lacking the required asset inventory and tracking data, and/or not being able to produce documentation of unmet need from the students/teachers receiving the equipment and services.  Please be sure to review http://e-ratepa.org/?p=34879 for complete information related to these requirements and be sure your school or library is fully compliant with these requirements.
  • Changing Equipment/Service Providers - Several schools and libraries have decided to change the manufacturer, model and/or service provider of their ECF-funded equipment.  If you would like to make such modifications to your application, it must be done through a Post-Commitment Request (PCR) in EPC.  Here’s where to find this module:  Log into ECF Portal > My Forms and Requests > Click on the ECF 471 Application Number > Related Actions > Create a Post-Commitment Request.  It usually takes just a few weeks to obtain the approval.  If your post-commitment request was submitted more than 30 days ago and you have not received any inquiries/requests for additional information, call USAC’s ECF Customer Service Center (CSC) at (800) 234-9781 Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, or submit a case in their ECF Portal, and ask for your PCR to be escalated.
  • ECF Contact Changes – If the contact person or Account Administrator listed on your ECF application has changed, please call the ECF Customer Support Center at 888-234-9781 to request an update to your information.  USAC continues to contact applicants after funds have been disbursed to request payment verification, send audit notices, or other post-commitment reviews.  Failure to respond to a USAC information request may lead to a denial or recovery of ECF funding, so it’s important that USAC have your accurate contact information.

If you have any ECF questions, please let me know, or contact the ECF Customer Service Center (CSC) at (800) 234-9781 or create a Customer Case in your ECF portal.

Happy back-to-school, everyone!

– Julie

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

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