On May 12, 2023, the Federal Communications Commission issued a Public Notice offering guidance to Emergency Connectivity Fund participants in light of the expiration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. As defined in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the ECF program will terminate “on the June 30 that first occurs after the date that is one year after the Secretary of Health and Human Services determines that a public health emergency no longer exists.” With the official end of the public health emergency on May 11, 2023, the sunset of the ECF program will be June 30, 2024. In its Public Notice, the FCC summarizes the ECF program’s service delivery and invoice deadlines in light of the additional waivers granted for some ECF funding requests.
In an effort to make funds available “for the remaining timely-filed third application filing window funding requests,” the FCC encourages program participants to file “requests for reimbursement as soon as the eligible equipment or services are received.” Additionally, applicants are encouraged “to assist the Commission and other applicants by filing post-commitment requests to reduce funding requests with outstanding, excess commitments, or cancel funding requests that will not be used,” noting that USAC will begin de-obligating funds “as soon as the invoice filing deadline has passed” for an FRN.
The FCC’s ECF sunset Public Notice may be viewed here.