As you may know, the ARP provides $7.1 billion dollars to support broadband connectivity and the purchase of eligible devices for schools and libraries. As a result, two temporary programs are being administered by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) include:
The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program that provides a discount of up to $50 per month off the internet bill for qualifying households. An infographic is available that summarizes these key components. The portal for applications opened on May 12. Individuals who are interested in enrolling in this benefit will need to contact a broadband service provider, apply online at GetEmergencyBroadband.org, or complete a mail-in application, which can be requested by calling 1-833-511-0311. Instructions on the application process were provided during the webinar and can be shared with families. Also, the FCC has provided anoutreach toolkit containing flyers, posters, handouts, fact sheets, and more in multiple languages. For families who enrolled in the ABC for Students Program last fall, the program's call line is available at 1-888-212-4998 to provide resources and help guide families through the process of transferring their internet service to the EBB Program.
The Emergency Connectivity Fund Program (ECF) can reimburse schools and libraries for the purchase of laptop and tablet computers, Wi-Fi hotspots and other eligible equipment for students and school staff who would otherwise lack access to connected during this unprecedented time. The ECF is administered by USAC using a streamlined application process (similar to E-rate). Funding window opens in June and lasts for 45 days, for services and equipment delivered from July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022. Applications will be submitted using the existing E-rate EPC portal, so please make sure that your district has an active SAM.gov registration. You may visit FCC linkfor additional ECF details.