Emergency Connectivity Fund Program

On May 10, 2021, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a Report and Order (FCC 21-58), establishing the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Program and the applicable rules and processes. The ECF Program will provide $7.17 billion in support to eligible schools and libraries for the purchase of eligible equipment and broadband connections during the COVID-19 pandemic for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons who would otherwise lack connected devices and/or broadband connections sufficient to fully engage in remote learning.

Tribal schools and libraries are eligible for the program.

  • Tribal Definition: An applicant seeking support through the ECF may self-identify as a Tribal entity in the application system if the majority of students or library patrons served are Tribal members; the entity is located partially or entirely on Tribal land; the entity is a school operated by or receiving funding from the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE); or the entity is a school or library operated by a Tribal Nation.
    • Tribal Library Eligibility: A Tribal library is eligible for ECF support if it is eligible for funding from state library administrative agencies under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), which is more expansive than the eligibility criteria for E-Rate. All libraries eligible for support from the ECF Program, including Tribal libraries, must also meet the following criteria:
      • Does not operate as a for-profit businesses.
      • The budget is completely separate from any school’s budget (including, but not limited to, elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities).
    • Tribal Document (e.g., charter or ordinance)
    • Letter from the Tribal Council from authorized official
    • Other documentation from an authorizing entity that shows that the entity has characteristics of a library, including regular hours, staff, and materials
  • Existing EPC Account Holders who have self-identified as a Tribal school or Tribal library will be considered a Tribal entity for the ECF Program’s data reporting purposes. The E-Rate program designations for existing entities transferred to the ECF portal are unchangeable.

Resources:

Recorded Tribal Training: USAC Office Hours for Tribal Applicants:

See the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program for more information.