FCC Grants SHLB Request to Extend Emergency Connectivity Fund

Regulator extends the deadline for Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) awardees to spend their funding. 

  • Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition

Washington, D.C.—The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau extended the deadline for Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) awardees to spend their funding. The new service delivery deadline is June 30, 2023, as requested in a petition filed by the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition, the American Library Association, the Consortium for School Networking, and the State Educational Technology Directors Association. 

John Windhasen Jr., executive director of the SHLB Coalition, said the FCC's move ensures connectivity to schools and libraries will continue uninterrupted.

Extending the ECF deadline will help millions of students and library patrons maintain their internet connections for several more months,” he said. “We’ve been hearing from applicants that the upcoming June 30, 2022 deadline would have imposed a severe hardship on schools and libraries who might have seen their funding go to waste due to supply chain delays and other factors beyond their control.”

Windhausen cited how the extension will be helpful to the Puerto Rico Department of Education and Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

“The Puerto Rico Department of Education, for example, estimated that they would lose $20 to $30 million of funding, and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library had to delay the launch of their $8 million laptop program such that by June 30, 2022, they would have spent only a fraction of their award,” he said. “We are so appreciative of the Wireline Competition Bureau for discussing these challenges with both SHLB staff and applicants. Today’s Order shows that their team has been listening, and it will free schools and libraries to make the biggest impact with their ECF dollars.” 

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