In May 2021 the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) announced the rules and roll out of a $7.17B program funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to support schools and libraries in need of technology during the COVID-19 pandemic. Known as the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), the plan enables the purchase of laptops, tablets, hotspots, and broadband connectivity for students and school staff.
What You Need to Know
Schools eligible for E-rate funding will be eligible for Emergency Connectivity Funds, but entities do not need to be currently participating in E-rate to apply for ECF. The first filing window opened on June 29, 2021 and will fund equipment and services for the 2021-22 school year. The filing window is open for 45 days for applicants to submit requests for funding for purchases made between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.
Eligible equipment includes Wi-Fi enabled laptops and tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, combination modem and routers as well as cellular air-cards. There are pricing caps for all eligible devices. Students, staff, or library patrons that do not have adequate access to the internet or a connected device are eligible users.
Applicants must retain ECF related records for at least 10 years from the last date of service or delivery of equipment. Entities must keep track of and document distributed assets including information on lost, missing, or damaged equipment.
How Hayes Software Systems Can Help
Our K-12 inventory control software platform gives you easy to use tools to distribute, track, manage and report on devices purchased or reimbursed with Emergency Connectivity Funds.
Distribute Assets with Ease: Utilize a mobile app to easily distribute devices using a mobile phone or tablet and scan the serial and asset tag using the device camera or barcode scanner.
Asset Management: Easily view and report on important device details including who assets are issued to; which assets are in storage, damaged, or returned to vendor; and funding information.
Service Information: Integrating with our help desk system allows administrators to easily see all ticket history information to track and report on asset damages.
Consulting Services: Our experts can help administrators analyze current processes and recommend best practices to improve efficiencies and ensure each device is properly tracked and data compliant for future audit requests.
Physical Inventory: Gain confidence in your data and establish a baseline inventory of your assets and materials. Not only can you save your team the time and hassle of coordinating and executing an exhaustive audit, your school district can integrate the most updated information into your inventory control platform.
With ECF funding, there has never been a better time to invest in student success. Hayes Software Systems can empower your district to take full advantage of funds and ensure proper tracking and regulation compliance.