The Federal Communications Commission has adopted final rules to implement the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Program. This $7.17 billion program, funded by the American Rescue Plan, will enable schools and libraries to purchase laptop and tablet computers, Wi-Fi hotspots, and broadband connectivity for students, school staff, and library patrons in need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ECF provides full reimbursements of eligible remote learning expenses for K–12 schools and public libraries. The ECF program will be administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), leveraging much of the same infrastructure currently used to manage the E-rate funding program for schools and libraries.
Deadlines: Applicants will be able to submit requests for funding for purchases made between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022, during a 45-day application window to be set by USAC. If funds remain after this initial application window, a second application window will be opened for schools and libraries to seek funding for eligible equipment and services they previously purchased between March 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021.
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