Helping Schools and Libraries
Close the Homework Gap
Helping Schools and Libraries
Close the Homework Gap

Emergency Connectivity Fund – What Is It and How Can It Help Schools and Libraries?

FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel provides an overview of the Emergency Connectivity Fund.

More Video: Español | ECF by the Numbers

The Emergency Connectivity Fund Is Live: Schools and libraries can now apply for funding from this historic investment to narrow the Homework Gap during the pandemic. Learn more about how to apply.

If your household is struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a monthly service discount through the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

The FCC's Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) is a $7.17 billion program that will help schools and libraries provide the tools and services their communities need for remote learning during the COVID-19 emergency period. ECF will help provide relief to millions of students, school staff, and library patrons and will help close the Homework Gap for students who currently lack necessary Internet access or the devices they need to connect to classrooms.

For eligible schools and libraries, the ECF Program will cover reasonable costs of laptop and tablet computers; Wi-Fi hotspots; modems; routers; and broadband connectivity purchases for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons.

Congress authorized the Emergency Connectivity Fund as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Who Is Eligible to Receive Funds Through the Emergency Connectivity Fund?

Schools, libraries, and consortia of schools and libraries (e.g., regional or statewide groups of schools or libraries that apply together) that are eligible for support under the FCC's E-Rate Program and Tribal libraries eligible for support under the Library Services and Technology Act may request and receive support through the Emergency Connectivity Fund.

What Equipment and Services Are Covered?

Eligible equipment includes Wi-Fi hotspots, modems (including air cards), routers, devices that combine a modem and router, and connected devices (laptop and tablet computers). Schools and libraries can also receive funding for commercially available broadband service that provides a fixed or mobile broadband connection for off-campus use by students, school staff or library patrons. In limited instances, a school or library that can demonstrate it has no available service options sufficient to support remote learning may seek funding for the construction of new networks to provide remote learning and the equipment needed for datacasting services. Review the Eligible Services List for additional guidance on the equipment and services eligible for funding under the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.

Time remaining in the current application window:

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How Can Schools and Libraries Apply for Funding?

The initial ECF Program application filing window will open on June 29 and close on August 13. During the application filing window, eligible schools, libraries, and consortia of eligible schools and libraries, can submit requests for funding to purchase eligible equipment and services between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.

The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is the administrator of the ECF Program and will review applications. Interested schools and libraries can find more information and apply at emergencyconnectivityfund.org.

Sign up to stay informed about the Emergency Connectivity Fund and receive invitations for future training sessions.

Review additional Frequently Asked Questions about the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.

Tens of thousands of schools and libraries across the country already work with USAC to receive support for their on-campus broadband connectivity needs through the E-Rate Program.

Need Help?

USAC Emergency Connectivity Fund Customer Support Center

Call (800) 234-9781 for support.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET

Frequently Asked Questions about the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.

USAC is also the administrator of the four federal Universal Service Fund Programs, including the E-Rate Program for schools and libraries, as well as the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, which provides temporary support for broadband services and certain devices to help low-income households stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.


FCC News Media Contacts

Paloma Isabel Perez
FCC Press Secretary
paloma.perez@fcc.gov

Anne Veigle
Deputy Director, Office of Media Relations
anne.veigle@fcc.gov

Office of Media Relations
mediarelations@fcc.gov
202-418-0500

ECF Fact Sheet | Español


FCC Action on ECF

Webinars and Tools

Learn more about steps you can take to prepare before filing your application.

Tools to help spread the word about the Emergency Connectivity Fund:

The FCC will host a public information session on ECF Frequently Asked Questions - Tuesday, August 3 @ 2 p.m. ET. The event will stream live at fcc.gov/live. Questions can be sent in advance to ECFwebinar@fcc.gov.

ECF Program Overview Webinar

Watch the June 25 Webinar.

USAC has conducted several outreach and training sessions about the ECF Program and hosts weekly office hours for applicants to ask questions and get information to support the application process, and has also posted ECF Program e-learning modules.

Got a Minute? Learn About the FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund

 

Bureau/Office: 

Updated: 
Friday, July 30, 2021