On January 4, 2023 the FCC announced it is committing $34 million in a new funding round through the Emergency Connectivity Program (ECP). which provides digital services for students across the country. To date the Commission has committed approximately $6.5 billion to schools and libraries across the country as part of the ECP which launched last year. The funding can be used to support off-campus learning by providing the tools and services that communities need for remote learning. For eligible schools and libraries, the ECP will cover the reasonable costs of laptop and tablet computers and related equipment and broadband connectivity purchases for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons. Schools and libraries that are eligible for support under the FCC’s E-Rate Program are eligible for support through the ECP. To date, the program has provided support to approximately 10,000 schools, 1000 libraries, and 100 consortia, and is providing 12 million connected devices and over 8 million broadband connections.
In another matter, also on January 4, 2023, the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau reminded potential applicants that complete applications for the Affordable Connectivity Program Outreach Grant Program needed to be received electronically through Grants.gov no later than 11:59 PM EST on Monday January 9, 2023. Although that deadline has passed, it’s interesting to note that the FCC launched the ACP Outreach Grant Program in November, 2022, to raise awareness about the nations largest ever broadband affordability effort, the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP Outreach Grant Program provides grant funding for four complimentary programs: the National Competitive Outreach Program; the Your Home Your Internet Outreach Grants Program: the Navigator Pilot Program Outreach Grants Program; and the Tribal Competitive Outreach Program. These programs provide funding to eligible governmental and non-governmental entities needed to increase awareness of and participation in the ACP among those households most in need of affordable connectivity. Through the ACP Outreach Grant Program, the FCC seeks to empower and incentivize community organizations to develop programs to reach underserved and unserved communities by providing these organizations with funding and resources to increase participation in the ACP among eligible, low-income households.
As always, if you needs any assistance with determining eligibility or guidance through any application process please contact Chris Ulmer at 610-928-3903 or firstname.lastname@example.org.