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Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Program

Grants to USA Libraries and Schools to Support Remote
Learning During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Deadline Date:

10/13/21 11:59 PM ET

Description:

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Grants to USA libraries and schools for expenses associated with remote learning amidst the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Applicants must complete required registrations prior to applying. Funding is intended to support equipment and service costs to connect library patrons, students, and teachers and school staff with tablet computers, laptops, modems, routers, Wi-Fi hotspots, and other connectivity devices and broadband Internet services. The purpose of the program is to address the needs of those who would otherwise lack access to connected devices and broadband Internet services sufficient to engage in distance learning during the pandemic.

The Emergency Connectivity Fund Program will provide funding to schools and libraries for the reasonable costs of equipment and broadband Internet connections at locations that include locations other than a school or library. 

The following types of equipment are eligible for support under the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program:

  • Laptop and tablet computers
  • Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Modems (including air cards)
  • Routers
  • Devices that combine a modem and router.

The following services are eligible for support under the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program:

Commercially available Internet access services providing a fixed or mobile broadband Internet access connection for off-campus use by students, school staff, or library patrons.

For further details about eligible equipment and services: https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/eligible-equipment-and-services/

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 197883

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$7,170,000,000

Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicants may seek funding for:
- Up to $400 for each connected device (laptops and tablets)
- Up to $250 for each Wi-Fi hotspot provided to a student, school staff or library patron

The reasonable costs of all other eligible equipment and services will be determined upon careful review by USAC with guidance from the FCC.

Term of Contract:

Eligible schools and libraries may submit requests for funding for the reasonable costs associated with eligible equipment and services purchased between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants include schools and libraries – including primary and secondary schools – that provided off-site broadband service and connected devices to students, staff, and patrons who would otherwise lack access during the COVID-19 health emergency.

Only libraries whose budgets are completely separate from any schools (including, but not limited to, elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities) are eligible.

For definitions of schools and libraries, see https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/school-and-library-eligibility/.

All of the schools, libraries, and consortia of schools and libraries that are eligible for support under the E-rate program are also eligible for support through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. Schools and libraries that are not current E-rate participants can also participate in the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. Eligible entities that have not applied for E-rate support should be prepared to demonstrate eligibility as a school or library under Emergency Connectivity Fund Program rules during USAC’s application review.

In addition, the Order clarifies that Tribal libraries, which are eligible for support under the Library Services and Technology Act, are also eligible for the Emergency Connectivity Fund.

Duplicative Funding:

Emergency Connectivity Fund Program rules do not permit applicants to receive duplicative support for the portion of the services that have already been reimbursed through other federal or state programs. If a student’s household is receiving support from, for example, the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program for broadband internet access connectivity, the student would not be eligible for broadband connectivity under the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. However, if the previous program funding is no longer available, and the student as a result lacks adequate access, the applicant may seek funding for providing broadband connectivity to that student. Additionally, a student whose household is receiving broadband service through the EBB Program could receive a connected device through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program if they would otherwise lack such access to a device.

Pre-Application Information:

Second Application Filing Window Opens: September 28, 2021
Second Application Filing Window Closes: October 13, 2021

To participate, schools and libraries must have an active FCC Registration Number. Schools, libraries, and service providers who agree to invoice on behalf of applicants must also have a SAM.gov registration to be able to receive program support. Schools and libraries that have a SAM.gov registration or FCC Registration Number do not need to register again. The SAM.gov registration process can take more than a week to be approved, so USAC recommends applicants and service providers who will be submitting requests for reimbursement (FCC Forms 472/474) begin the process now.

A DUNS number is required prior to registering with SAM.gov.

Applicants file an ECF FCC Form 471 (Description of Services Ordered and Certification Form) to request funding for Emergency Connectivity Fund Program eligible products and/or services purchased. You must file the ECF FCC Form 471 online in the ECF Portal.

Schools and libraries that participate in the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program are required to maintain inventories of devices and services purchased with Program support. For further details, see Record Retention Requirements below.

- To ensure that funding is focused on unmet needs, schools, schools districts, and consortia with schools or school districts must certify that they are only seeking support for eligible equipment and/or services provided to students and school staff who would otherwise lack access to connected devices and/or broadband services sufficient to engage in remote learning.
- Libraries, library systems, and consortia with library or library systems must certify that they are only seeking support for eligible equipment and/or services provided to library patrons who have signed and returned a statement saying that they would otherwise lack access to equipment and/or services sufficient to meet their educational needs if not for the use of the equipment or services being provided by the library.

To view a video about the program: https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/video/ecf-program-overview/story.html

About the program: https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/about/

Key Dates: https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/key-dates/

Emergency Connectivity Fund FAQs: https://www.fcc.gov/emergency-connectivity-fund-faqs

Application process: https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/application-process/

Funding decisions: https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/application-process/funding-decisions/

Procurement requirements: https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/application-process/procurement-requirements/

Record Retention Requirements: https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/application-process/record-retention-requirements/

Getting Started: https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/getting-started/

For information about Form 471 and related information pages, see https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/about-the-form/.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To access the online portal: https://forms.universalservice.org/portal/login

Emergency Connectivity Fund Customer Support Center (CSC)
(800) 234-9781

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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