Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Program

May 13 Deadline to Request ECF Funds for School Bus Wireless Broadband Routers

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) of 2021 is a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, with $7.1 billion earmarked for the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF).

The ECF provides “funding for schools and libraries for the purchase, during the coronavirus (COVID- 19) pandemic, of connected devices and broadband connections for use by students, school staff, and library patrons.” More specifically, this funding has been set aside for remote teaching and learning at locations other than schools and libraries.

The FCC has elected to distribute the fund through a process similar to the E-Rate application system.

Who is eligible?

In all cases, Internet access obtained through this program must be used primarily for facilitating learning activities, such as through a school’s remote or hybrid learning plan.

  • School buses and bookmobiles
  • Any public school, public library, or private school (up to a $50 million endowment), including those participating in the E-Rate program
  • Nontraditional institutions that facilitate education, including community centers and churches*
  • Credentialed students, school staff, and library patrons**

*Non-traditional entities and requests will need to work with school districts to request services.

**For those who otherwise did not or do not have Internet access (subject to certification for school applicants.) NOTE: Desktops and cell phones are not eligible for reimbursement under the current ECF requirements.

What is eligible?

ECF funds can only be applied to certain categories of hardware and services. For example, ECF funds may be used to pay for or reimburse purchases of:

  • Internet modems (Funding cap TBD)
  • Internet routers (Funding cap TBD)
  • Wi-Fi hotspots ($250 reimbursement cap)
  • Laptops, tablets, and Chromebooks ($400 reimbursement cap)

ECF funds may also be used for obtaining and maintaining these services (in most cases):

  • Wireless Internet (including mobile, satellite, microwave, and fixed wireless)
  • DSL Internet
  • Cable Internet
  • Leased lit fiber Internet

Filing window

The third filing window is open until May 13, 2022. Schools and libraries can request support and reimbursement for a maximum of 12 months of costs associated with eligible Cradlepoint equipment or services during the 18-month funding period (i.e., July 1, 2022 to December 31, 2023).

Case Studies

Here are two case studies showing how two school systems utilize broadband access on school buses to ensure student success:

South Bend Case Study

Greenville County Case Study

Don’t Miss Out — Contact Us Today!

To learn more about this unique opportunity to obtain complete funding for a proven solution that will benefit your students, contact your DALY representative or fill out the contact form below.

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