Equipment and connected devices for remote learning

The FCC is seeking comment on the provision of support from the Emergency Connectivity Fund consistent with section 7402 of the American Rescue Plan (see Appendix A).  Please answer the following short survey and provide as many examples as possible.  The Commission needs to hear from the schools and libraries who can provide real examples and the best answers on how to use this valuable funding.  K&S will include your comments in reply comments to the FCC due April 23, 2021.

PURPOSE: Congress directed the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) to promulgate rules providing for the distribution of funding from the Emergency Connectivity Fund to eligible schools and libraries for the purchase of eligible equipment and advanced telecommunications and information services for use by students, school staff, and library patrons at locations other than a school or library.

Funding support: 100% reimbursement
Limitations: Costs must be reasonable. May not request if support for the same equipment and/or services already received by other federal programs such as CARES Act or Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.

Timing:  First round of funding expected in June or July 2021.  Reimbursement of eligible expenses or requests for new funding during the pandemic period beginning on January 27, 2020 and ending on the June 30 that first occurs after the date that is one year after the Secretary of Health and Human Services determines that a public health emergency no longer exists.

ELIGIBLE EQUIPMENT includes (A) Wi-Fi hotspots, (B) Modems (C) Routers (D) Devices that combine a modem and router (E) Connected devices.

The term ‘‘connected device’’ means a laptop computer, tablet computer, or similar end-user device that is capable of connecting to advanced telecommunications and information services.

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* 1. Based on the list of eligible equipment above but excluding end-user ("connected") devices, please provide details on any other equipment or similar equipment such as wireless routers that the FCC should clarify as eligible equipment for connecting students, school staff, and library patrons.

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* 2. Provide details on any connected end-user devices that are similar to "laptop computers or tablet computers"  that the FCC should clarify as eligible end-user equipment necessary for remote learning.

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* 3. Provide any details you have on a commonly understood definition of a tablet computer that the FCC should use.

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* 4. Should desktop computers be eligible for funding as connected devices?

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* 5. Should the Commission require that connected devices be Wi-Fi enabled and have video and camera functions to enable remote learning?

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* 6. What software, assistive technology, or equipment should should the Commission consider when adopting requirements for connected devices to ensure access and use by people with disabilities?