FCC Grants SHLB Request to Extend Emergency Connectivity Fund February 22, 2022
For Immediate Release
Washington, D.C. (February 22, 2022) - Today 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, made the following statement:
“Extending the ECF deadline will help millions of students and library patrons maintain their internet connections for several more months. 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. 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. 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.”
The SHLB Coalition is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) advocacy organization that supports open, affordable, high-quality broadband connections for anchor institutions and their surrounding communities. The SHLB Coalition is based in Washington, D.C. and has a diverse membership of commercial and non-commercial organizations from across the United States. To learn more, visit www.shlb.org.