From the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) …
“In view of outstanding demand and the recent spike in coronavirus cases, the FCC announced in a press release today that they will open a second application filing window for schools and libraries to request funding from the roughly $2 billion in program funds remaining 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 second application filing window will open on September 28 and run until October 13. Eligible schools and libraries will be able to apply for financial support for eligible equipment and services received or delivered between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 for students, school staff and library patrons with unmet needs.
“Today the FCC also announced that requests for $5.137 billion in funding to support 9.1 million connected devices and 5.4 million broadband connections were received during the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program’s initial application filing window. The window, which closed August 13, 2021, attracted applicants from all 50 states, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia – including schools and libraries in both rural and urban communities seeking funding for eligible equipment and services received or delivered between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.“
This federally funded program is an excellent opportunity for school districts to acquire technology equipment at no cost to help close the “homework gap” for students who lack adequate access to broadband service in their homes. Getting all students connected through this program also could potentially eliminate learning disruptions due to “snow days” or other interruptions and could be useful to continue learning should, for example, COVID outbreaks cause large numbers of student to have to quarantine.
More detail on the Program is available in the FCC Order that established the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. To learn more, please visit EmergencyConnectivityFund.org and sign up for Emergency Connectivity Fund Program emails .
Applicants and service providers can also contact the Emergency Connectivity Fund CSC with questions at (800) 234-9781 Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.