Due to the expiration of the COVID-19 public health emergency on May 11, 2023, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) and Office of the Managing Director (OMD) have released guidance to participants of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Program. The Bureau and OMD have announced that after May 11, ECF funding will only be available for purchases of eligible equipment and services made by June 30, 2024, the sunset date for the ECF program. As of May 11, 2023, the FCC has disbursed $3.173 billion in funding to ECF participants.
Additionally, due to ECF application processing times and other factors beyond ECF applicants’ and service providers’ control, the Bureau has granted, in part, a Request for Waiver filed by the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN). Specifically, the Bureau has waived and extended the service delivery date for certain applicants who applied for ECF support for equipment, other non-recurring services, and recurring services during the first, second, and third filing windows. The Commission has noted that some of these applicants did not receive a funding commitment decision or revised funding commitment decision letter early enough to fully use their funding commitments. The Bureau has also waived and extended the service delivery date for recurring service requests for first, second, and third filing window applicants that were approved for new construction services, but were unable to use the full amount of their approved funding for monthly recurring services associated with the construction.