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Emergency Connectivity Fund, July 21, FAQs

Over 150 questions were submitted during the July 21, 2021, ECF webinar. Thank you to all who participated. Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions along with answers based on currently available information. All responses are subject to change as the FCC releases additional guidelines.

Q. We purchased hotspots prior to this program, could the existing monthly service charges be funded through this program or do the services have to be newly established lines as of 7/1/2021?  

A. ECF funds can be used for services for July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022.

Q. If we ordered all our student laptop needs for the 2021-2022 School Year prior to July 1, 2021, are they eligible for this funding?             

A. Eligible devices can be ordered before July 1, 2021, but they cannot be received, delivered, or paid for before July 1, 2021.

Q. What about peripherals like protective cases that are essential to helping the devices remain in service for 3 years?  

A. Peripherals are not eligible under the ECF.

Q. Would I be able to use funding for loaners for devices because students may need those to go home if their assigned device is inoperable? 

A. Extra devices to cover break/fix are not eligible to be included.

Q. For public libraries, can these devices only go to K-12 learners, or can it help patrons of any age?

A. There is not specific definition of inclusion or exclusion of a library patron in the ECF order.

Q. Should the devices live at home and not at school?  

A. There is no requirement for the devices to stay at home. However, they must be purchased to be used for sufficient access to participate in remote learning. They can be used at both home and school.

Q. If we’ve already outfitted our 1 to 1 program but need “extras” on hand for students to be able to check out to take home for homework if their device is down or is being worked on. Would this fit ECF requirements if explained?        

A. Extra devices to cover break/fix are not eligible to be included.

Q. If taxes were included in the equipment amount when we submitted form 471, do we need to revise and break it out separately?

A. Taxes are covered if the amounts are reasonable.

Q. Will a keyboard with an iPad be covered and eligible for reimbursement?    

A. In general, only the device itself will be eligible and not accessories separate to the device.

Q. Will Chromebook device license be allowed in the $400 device allowance?  

A. The license is eligible with the device as a bundled unit.

Q. Can tablets and hot spots be purchased separately, assuming the library patron already has wi-fi at home?

A. Yes, you can purchase tablets and hot spots separately.

Q. Can we use ECF funds to replace Chromebooks that go home with our students if the currently deployed Chromebooks will have reached their end of life / auto-expiration date in September of 2021?

A. Yes, refreshing/replacing those current devices is eligible under ECF.

Our next Emergency Connectivity Fund webinar will be held on August 11, 2021 at 11:00AM EST. Register here for the event.

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