The FCC has adopted and announced the final rules to implement the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program (ECF). This $7.17 billion program, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will enable 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.
Download FCC Order 21-58
The Remote Learning Coalition, with signatories including Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition, State E-Rate Coordinators’ Alliance (SECA), Funds For Learning, Consortium for School Networking, State Educational Technology Directors Association, American Library Association, and Urban Libraries Council filed an Ex Parte recommending changes to the draft ECF Order.
Download Remote Learning Coalition ECF Ex Parte Letter
SECA filed an Ex Parte letter and supplementary documents summarizing its recommendations to the FCC on the implementation of the ECF Program.
Notice of Ex Parte Meeting with FCC Representatives re ECF
ECF Ex Parte Presentation
SECA ECF Implementation Recommendations For Form 471 Modifications
SECA has filed Initial Comments in response to Public Notice DA 21-317 seeking comment on Emergency Connectivity Fund established by Congress as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.
Download SECA Comments
The WCB has announced that the E-Rate program funding cap for Funding Year 2021 is $4,276,833,965 which represents a 1.2% inflation-adjusted increase in the $4,226,120,519 cap from Funding Year 2020.
Download DA 21-323 Public Notice PDF
To help schools and libraries provide devices and connectivity to students, school staff, and library patrons during the pandemic, Congress established a $7.171 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund as part of the recently enacted American Rescue Plan Act. The WCB announced on March 16 that it is seeking comment on the provision of support from the fund.
Comment Date: April 5, 2021
Reply Comment Date: April 23, 2021
SECA has filed Initial Comments in response to Public Notice DA 21-98 seeking comment on the various petitions for emergency relief concerning remote learning. These petitions request the FCC to allow E-rate funds to be used for facilitating broadband Internet access to students and teachers who are participating in remote learning, off-campus, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The WCB announced on February 1 that it is seeking comment on several petitions requesting permission to use E-Rate program funds to support remote learning during the pandemic. The notice highlights three of the petitions, that together raise most of the issues covered by other Petitioners: a petition filed by a coalition of E-Rate stakeholders led by the SHLB Coalition and including SECA, a petition for waiver filed on behalf of the State of Colorado and one filed by the State of Nevada, the Nevada State Board of Education, and the Nevada Department of Education.
Comment Date: February 16, 2021
Reply Comment Date: February 23, 2021
On December 14, 2020 the FCC released an Order further extending E-rate program gift rule waivers through June 30, 2021 to provide relief to schools and libraries affected by COVID-19 and to enable service providers to continue supporting remote learning efforts. This extension permits service providers to continue to offer or provide, and eligible entities to continue to solicit or accept, products and services such as improved capacity, Wi-Fi hotspots, networking gear, or other things of value to schools and libraries, as well as teachers, students, school administrators, librarians and library patrons through the end of FY 2020.
The waiver is limited to offerings provided by service providers and solicited or accepted by E-rate eligible entities on behalf of students, teachers, or patrons while schools and libraries prepare for extended remote learning and remain fully or partially closed as a direct result of COVID-19.
Download DA 20-1479 PDF
On December 10, 2020, the FCC released an E-rate Invoice Order granting applicants and service providers 120 days after the receipt of an RFCDL, or the successful appeal of a previously denied or reduced funding request, to file any associated invoices.
In addition, the Order retroactively deals with outstanding invoice deadline issues by providing the following recourse:
The FCC’s Order includes a reminder that the rule change applies only to post-commitment requests or appeal decisions that result in an RFCDL and "applicants or service providers appealing partially approved funding requests should submit invoices for the partial funding before the original invoice deadline expires because USAC will not provide additional time to invoice if the appeal is denied.”
Download FCC 20-178 PDF
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