$7.2 Billion to Close the Homework Gap
The application window for the FCC’s new $7.2 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund Program will open on June 29. Distributed through the federal E-rate program, schools will have 45 days to apply for support to aid students who fall into the homework gap. Get ready to apply for your share of the fund by using our tools and resources to:
> Navigate the application process
> Collect the data you need to identify unconnected households
> Research the best solutions to connect your students
> Run successful procurement
All schools, libraries, and consortia that are eligible for support under the E-rate program are also eligible for support through the Emergency Connectivity Fund. An initial 45-day filing window will open on June 29 for schools and libraries to seek reimbursement for eligible purchases made between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022. This is the so-called “prospective” reimbursement filing window. If significant funds remain available, they will be made available for reimbursement of eligible purchases made between March 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021. Explore the links below to learn about eligible services and equipment, bidding rules, and reimbursements.Emergency Connectivity Fund Checklist Emergency Connectivity Fund FAQs FCC Eligible Services & Equipment List Emergency Connectivity Fund Primer (w/ Connected Nation & Funds for Learning)
Schools submitting an Emergency Connectivity Fund application are required to certify that they are only seeking support for students and staff who would otherwise lack broadband services and devices sufficient to engage in remote learning. They must also submit estimates on the current number of unconnected students, the number before the pandemic, and the number they expect to connect using these funds. While all our tools are designed to ensure states and school districts have the most accurate and actionable data, our K-12 Bridge to Broadband Program lets you partner with Internet Service Providers for the most accurate data on unconnected student households that can be served with existing infrastructure.How Does K-12 Bridge to Broadband Work? K-12 Bridge to Broadband FAQs Home Access Needs Assessment Playbook
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to connecting students beyond the classroom, factors such as the needs of students, staffing capacity at the district, and locale play an important role in selecting the right connectivity solution. Explore resources to help you make an informed decision on the best home connectivity solutions to connect students using the Emergency Connectivity Fund. The tools listed below help school districts identify which connected learning devices to purchase, which Internet Service Providers can serve their students, and the estimated cost of specific plans.Technical Considerations for Connectivity Options FCC List of Eligible Equipment and Services
Find a list of potential ISP’s that can provide home broadband services to your students according to publicly available FCC data.
Visualize student-level connectivity and device data you have already collected and explore provider coverage by household using publicly available FCC data.
Get accurate data on which student households are currently unconnected, along with specific Internet Service Providers that can serve them with existing infrastructure.
If you have taken steps to identify students that lack home digital access and explored potential connectivity solutions, the next step is to claim your funding. School districts can use our RFI template to request Internet access service pricing information for eligible students and staff. The template satisfies most bidding requirements, but for school districts in states that have more comprehensive procurement requirements, you should make sure you understand the complete terms and conditions of utilizing the funds, in addition to any state or local regulations.Filing support and training (USAC)