FCC to Launch $7.1 Billion Connectivity Fund for Schools, Libraries

FCC set to open 45-day window for schools and libraries to apply for funding to help students, staff, and patrons connected during the COVID-19 health emergency.

The Federal Communications Commission on June 29 will open applications for libraries and schools to apply for funds from its $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund, which will provide funding for laptops, tablets, and other devices to help bridge the digital divide.

Established as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the FCC’s ECF will reimburse schools and libraries for the reasonable costs of eligible equipment and broadband connections used to help students, staff, and patrons who otherwise lack access to be able to engage in remote learning.

Who’s Eligible?

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.

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.

Learn how to register with SAM.gov and the FCC CORES system.

What’s Covered?

The fund will reimburse reasonable costs of eligible equipment such as Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, devices that combine a modem and router, connected devices, and eligible broadband connections.

Libraries and schools can apply for funding for the purchase of eligible equipment and services made between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022.

How to Apply

The application window for the ECF program will open on Tuesday, June 29, and close on Friday, August 13.

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.

Learn how to register with SAM.gov and the FCC CORES system.

Useful Links

FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund Program

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: FCC Opens Enrollment for Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

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