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Emergency Connectivity Fund

What Is The Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF)

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, was signed into law on March 11, 2021. Included in the legislation is the creation of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) for broadband internet service and equipment to support remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new funding source consisting of $7.1 billion to be distributed through the federal E-rate program.

On May 10, 2021, the FCC unanimously adopted final rules in a Report and Order to implement the  Emergency Connectivity Fund Program (“ECF Program”). The ECF Program is a fund that enables “schools and libraries to purchase laptop and tablet computers, Wi-Fi hotspots, and broadband
connectivity for students, school staff, and library patrons in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The ECF provides significant, pandemic-related expenditures addressing the digital divide, funded outside of the existing federal Universal Service Fund programs. 

With these rules, the FCC sets in motion a process for schools and libraries to receive funding for 100% of purchases to provide remote learning and remote library services during the pandemic.

Resource Library

A step-by-step ECF Form 472/BEAR guide for school and library applicants along with making Post-Commitment Request changes (SPIN Change, Service Substitutions, or reducing approved quantities to return funding)

A step-by-step guide for school and library applicants

The ECF required language is highlighted in red.

Answers to many questions providing ECF program clarifications – Updated 7/26/2021

Schools and Libraries sorted by their ECF funding prioritization

Sample survey to determine need for Internet access and end-user devices

Overview presentation of the ECF Order – Version 4

Highlights the ECF Order Key Points

Ohio Department of Education & Workforce

State E-Rate Coordinator

Lorrie Germann
o: 740-223-2420 c: 740-253-1153

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