The third application window in the FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), which will award at least $1 billion, will open on April 28 and close on May 13, 2022. The FCC also announced $68 million in new ECF funding commitments.
ECF, which is administered by libraries and schools, was created by the American Rescue Plan Act to help alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides connectivity and equipment for students and library patrons to use in off-campus settings.
Those winning funding in the third round will be able to use the funding to purchase equipment and services between July 1 and December 31, 2022.
This window likely will be the last before funds are exhausted in the $7.17 billion program.
“I’m excited to announce we are opening a new opportunity for schools and libraries to apply for funding in the upcoming school year through the Emergency Connectivity Fund,” FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel said in a press release about the FCC Emergency Connectivity funding. “We also are providing a 12th round of funding for schools and libraries for this school year, supporting another 200,000 students with devices and broadband connections. This program has done so much already and I look forward to seeing more students get the help they need for next year. Today is a great day for making progress in closing the Homework Gap.”
To date, more than 10 million connected devices and 5 million broadband connections have been funded through the ECF. Since last June, the program has connected more than 12.5 million students with connections and equipment.
The new commitments announced today are for applications made in Window 1 ($49 million) and Window 2 ($19 million). They will support more than 140 schools and 25 libraries in Alaska, Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon and Puerto Rico.
Earlier this month, the FCC announced 11th wave awards of $63,613,404.33. The funding is aimed at students and library patrons in central Maine, Puerto Rico, Alaska, California and South Carolina.