The FCC will be initiating two programs called the Emergency Connectivity Fund and Broadband Benefit Program. The goal of these programs is to fund internet services and devices for use off of campus based on a per student need basis.
Applications for funding will start on 6/29 and must be submitted before 8/13. There will be no Form 470 process for this funding window, but all state and local procurement guidelines must be met.
All funding is for devices and services specifically to the home. Funding will not be available for construction of new networks, though datacasting of existing district networks might be covered if there is no dedicated ISP available. This fund will not retroactively cover devices such as hotspots or laptops for students, however if there are funds remaining after the initial window closes, then additional windows will follow that may cover these previous purchases. This program is not meant to provide a complete One-to-One system for the district, only to fund devices and services for students AND staff that do not have access to them off campus.
There will be $7 Billion in funds available under this program until 9/30/2021, that may be used to fund internet services and devices such as WIFI hotspots and laptops to students and staff that do not have access to such devices or services off campus. The program will provide 100% reimbursement for internet services to the home, and $400 per laptops as well as $200 per WIFI hotspot.
The FCC has posted a series of Frequently Asked Questions about the ECF program which is available below.
Earlier this month Nicely Done Consulting hosted two Zoom Q&A meetings to field questions and discuss the upcoming program stipulation and filing window. A recording of the second session can be found below.
Copyright © 2023 Nicely Done Consulting - All Rights Reserved.