Where you have your eligible devices is just as important as what devices you will actually be purchasing. There are certain locations and eligible uses you have for devices such as hotspots to keep individuals virtually connected. To determine which locations the ECF can help cover, please refer to the questions below.
Q: If a school reopens, and students and school staff are attending school in person, is off-campus equipment or service for that student or teacher still eligible for ECF support?
A: Yes. Such equipment and services are eligible if needed to meet the remote learning needs of students, such as homework, or school staff who would otherwise lack sufficient access to connected devices and/or a broadband internet access connection while off campus.
Q: In the event that students are attending school in person, can they bring their connected device on campus?
A: The rules only prohibit schools and libraries from requesting and receiving support for eligible equipment and services purchased for use solely at the school or library, and thus provide flexibility for some on-campus use as long as the eligible equipment and services were purchased primarily to provide off-campus access. Note: Fixed wireless and wireline connections purchased with funding from the ECF may not, however, be similarly used on-campus given that these connections are already eligible for funding under the E-Rate Program.
Q: Can schools use ECF support for internet service on buses that transport students to and from school?
A: Yes. Schools may use ECF support for internet service on buses that transport students, whether they are in transit or parked.
Q: Which school staff are eligible to receive equipment and services eligible for ECF support?
A: School staff that provide educational services to students, such as teachers and para-professionals that work with students in the classroom, including the virtual classroom, are eligible to receive ECF-funded equipment and services.
Q: For parked school buses or other multi-user locations, are other members of the community, besides students and school staff, permitted to use the internet access?
A: No, other members of the community are not permitted to use the services. Internet access must be primarily used for educational purposes and is limited to intended users.
Q: If a district-owned connected device was assigned to a student, but the device is no longer sufficient to engage in remote learning (for example, a three-year old laptop), can the district request ECF support for a new connected device?
A: Yes. If a device is no longer sufficient for a student to engage in remote learning, ECF support can be used to provide a new device. Applicants must certify on their funding application that they are only seeking support “for eligible equipment and/or services provided to students and school staff who would otherwise lack connected devices and/or broadband services sufficient to engage in remote learning.”
Q: Can an applicant request funding for connected devices or Wi-Fi hotspots for all of its students as part of a 1:1 device initiative?
A: No. Applicants must certify, as part of their funding application, that they are only seeking support for eligible equipment and services provided to students and school staff who would otherwise lack access to connected devices or broadband services.
More questions on the ECF Program? Visit the FCC’s FAQ Page