February 22, 2022: The FCC announced the extension of the service delivery deadline for all Emergency Connectivity Fund participants to June 30, 2023. This extension applies to first and second filing window applicants who requested support for equipment, other non-recurring services and recurring services. Learn More.
November 15, 2021: U.S. President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law which includes $2.75 billion for the Digital Equity Act and creates two programs to be funded for five years. One program would be managed by state governments with funding allocated by an equitable formula. The other program would be managed by the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration as a competitive grant program. Libraries may be eligible for both forms of funding.
August 25, 2021: The FCC announced a second filing window for libraries to request future support from the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) program. Libraries were able to apply for funding from through October 13 to cover broadband and devices for students and patrons who lack home internet access. Learn More.
June 15, 2021: The FCC and USAC opened the first Emergency Connectivity Fund Program application filing window on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, which will fund equipment and services for the upcoming 2021-22 school year. The first application filing window closed on August 13, during which applicants were able to submit requests for funding for purchases to be made between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. Learn More.
May 26, 2021: The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced a new funding opportunity for libraries that will provide direct support to address community needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Proposals to this grant program may continue, enhance or expand existing programs and services, or launch new programs to address emergent needs and unexpected hardships. Applications for pandemic response funding were due June 28, 2021, with award announcements anticipated in October 2021. Learn more.
May 11, 2021: The Federal Communications Commission unanimously adopted final rules to implement the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. 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.
March 11, 2021: President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law, which includes the $7 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund to support libraries in closing the “Homework Gap” by equipping community members with home broadband, devices and services. In addition, ARPA has also allocated $200 million in funding to The Institute of Museum and Library Services, which will support grants in every U.S. state and territory.
March 23, 2022: The Federal Communications Commission announced that it is opening a third application filing window to award at least $1 billion in Emergency Connectivity Fund support. The third application filing window opens on April 28, 2022 and close on May 13, 2022. During this third application filing window, eligible libraries can submit requests for funding to purchase eligible equipment and services between July 1, 2022, and December 31, 2023.
ULC Submits Comments to FCC on the Implementation of the Emergency Connectivity Fund
On April 23, 2021, ULC submitted comments to the FCC on the essential role of public libraries in closing equity gaps for home internet access. Building on ULC's Digital Equity Leadership Brief and action team meetings, as well as the ongoing discussions about ARPA funding through ULC Member Group calls, these comments urge the FCC to implement the ECF to allow for libraries to maximize their participation.
Potential Funding Opportunities for Libraries
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