The FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund will open for application on June 29, 2021, and close on August 13, 2021. The purpose of this program is to help schools and libraries fund devices and wireless hot spots to provide improved access to online resources and education opportunities for students and citizens who need assistance.
Visit https://www.mnmsba.org/Portals/0/ECF-FactSheet.pdf to access a fact sheet that explains the program in more detail.
Any school or library that is eligible for the federal E-Rate Telecommunications Discount Program is eligible for this program. However, you do not need to be participating in E-rate to apply.
There are a few things you can do to get ready to apply when the window opens.
- You must have an FCC registration number for your school district or school. You need not have an FCC registration number for every school in the school district. Only one is needed. If you need an FCC Registration number, visit here.
- You must also be registered in the Systems for Awards Management (SAMS) with the federal government. You may already have a SAMS number, so check with your school business office. If you need to get registered with SAMS, go here.
- You will need an account in the Emergency Connectivity Fund portal (ECF). If you already have an account in the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC), you will log into EPC and get access to ECF from there. If you do not have an EPC log in and password, you can create one by visiting the USAC web page and click on Sign In. Follow the screens to the log-in screen and click “create a new account.”
The Emergency Connectivity Fund may be used toward purchases that take place between July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. Eligible purchases include:
- Connected Devices (laptop and tablet computers). iPads and Chromebooks are eligible. Desktop computers and smartphones are not eligible.
- Wi-Fi hotspots
- Devices that combine a modem and router
There are also some Internet access services that are eligible.
More information and updates can be found at https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/.