Emergency Connectivity Fund: Federal funds help schools, libraries

Local schools and libraries can get laptops and tablets and add broadband connections to benefit students, using federal funds soon to become available through the  Emergency Connectivity Fund.

The FCC announced the initial filing window for the $7.17 billion federal program. The funding is designed to help schools and libraries provide the tools and services their communities need for remote learning during the COVID-19 emergency period.   

Eligible schools and libraries can apply for financial support to purchase the following:

  • Connected devices,
  • Wi-Fi hotspots,
  • Modems,
  • Routers,
  • Broadband connectivity. 

The application process runs from June 29 to August 13, 2021.

During this application filing window, eligible schools and libraries can submit requests for funding to purchase eligible equipment and services between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022.   

You can view an FCC Fact Sheet on the program here.

federal funds

Webinars provide overview

The FCC will host a webinar on June 25, at 2 pm ET at this link to provide an overview of the Emergency Connectivity Fund, including applicant eligibility, supported equipment and services, reasonable support amounts, and the application and invoicing processes.  

The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) will host a series of outreach and training sessions about the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.  Register for one of the training sessions using the links provided below. 

  • Wednesday, June 16, at 2 pm ET: Emergency Connectivity Fund Overview Webinar for E-rate Participants – Register 
  • Thursday, June 17, at 2 pm ET: Emergency Connectivity Fund Overview Webinar for New (Non E-rate) Participants – Register 
  • Thursday, June 17 @ 4:00 p.m. ET: Emergency Connectivity Fund Overview for Tribal Applicants – Register 
  • Wednesday, June 23 @ 3:00 p.m. ET: Emergency Connectivity Fund Overview for Potential Applicants – Register 

More information about the program is available here including information about how to apply and what schools and libraries can do now to prepare.   Schools and libraries can sign up to receive programs updates and information about future training sessions. Help with program questions is also available by calling 800-234-9781 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.   

USAC is the program’s administrator with FCC oversight.   Congress authorized funding for the Emergency Connectivity Fund as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. In compliance with the Act and after receiving input from a wide variety of stakeholders, on May 10, 2021, the FCC adopted a Report and Order, establishing the rules and policies for the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.  

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