In view of outstanding demand and the recent spike in coronavirus cases, the FCC will open a second application filing window for schools and
libraries to request funding for connected devices and broadband connections for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons for the current 2021-22 school year. The EFC provides a total of $7.171 billion for both application windows until September of 2030 for the purchase during the COVID-19 emergency. For the first application filing window, the FCC set a target to review and issue decisions for 50% of workable applications within 60 days of the close of the application filing window and 70% of workable applications within 100 days of the close of the application filing window. Requests for $5.137 billion in funding were submitted during the first application window.
The FCC will open the second application filing window to provide support for the current school year in light of outstanding demand, including applications that were filed after the close of the initial application filing window, and resource challenges some schools faced with a summertime application filing window. Moreover, the rise of the Delta variant means off- campus connectivity remains vital to ensuring students, school staff, and library patrons can engage in remote learning as they face challenges and uncertainty amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. During the second application filing window, which will run from September 28 to October 13, eligible schools and libraries can apply for financial support to purchase eligible equipment and services for students, school staff and library patrons with unmet needs.
The funding is available for the purchase of laptops and tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and broadband connections for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons in need, and is available to support off-campus leaning, such as homework, even if schools have returned to full time in-person instruction.
Eligible applicants include qualifying elementary schools, secondary schools, or libraries (including a Tribal elementary school, Tribal secondary school, or Tribal library) eligible for support under paragraphs (1)(B) and (2) of section 254(h) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 254(h)).
More information on the Emergency Connectivity Fund program is available at: www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org. The program is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company, with oversight from and under rules unanimously adopted by the Federal Communications Commission.