COVID-19 Broadband Resources: Schools & Libraries


Colorado Broadband Office News

Find up-to-date resources for schools at the Colorado Department of Education Learning at Home page.

Technology Resources

Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) Coronavirus page: Coronavirus (COVID-19) EdTech Guidance

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has compiled resources here: www.LearningKeepsGoing.org 

FCC Public Notice (03/23/2020): Community Use of E-Rate-Supported Wi-Fi is Permitted During Closures

Remote Learning Resources

Colorado Department of Education
SETDA eLearning Coalition

State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA): eLearning Coalition

Digital Bridge K-12 Initiative (EducationSuperHighway):

As schools close their doors and classrooms move online, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed already critical “homework gaps” in our communities. To support school district administrators in planning and implementing home-access programs, EducationSuperHighway has launched a toolkit through the Digital Bridge K-12 Initiative. As a non-profit, all tools and resources are offered at no cost.

Visit the Homework Gap Toolkit

In this toolkit, you can find: 

  • Connectivity Essentials to help you research Internet and device options.
  • How-to guides to support you with implementing home-access programs. 
  • Lookup tools to assist you with researching local provider options.

Funding

Education Stabilization Fund

The CARES Act appropriated $30.75 billion to the U.S. Department of Education for the Education Stabilization Fund, which includes four grant programs: Education Stabilization Fund Discretionary Grants; Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER); Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER); and Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. Colorado received a total of $164 million from the Education Stabilization Fund.

USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program

Funding Available: $72 Million in Application Window 2
Application Deadline: July 13, 2020
Website: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/distance-learning-telemedicine-grants

The USDA opened a second application window for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. This window includes an additional $25 million appropriated through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Funds not awarded in round one will be rolled over into round two.

Important links:

E-rate

E-Rate provides discounts for telecommunications, Internet access, and internal connections to eligible schools and libraries.

COVID-19 Related Updates

See the E-rate COVID-19 Response on USAC.org

Second FY2020 Filing Window

On September 16, 2020, the FCC released an Order (DA 20-1091) directing USAC to open a second FCC Form 471 application filing window for FY2020. This window opened Monday, September 21, 2020 at noon EDT and will close on Friday, October 16, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

The second FY2020 filing window will enable schools to request additional bandwidth needed to meet the unanticipated and increased demand for on-campus connectivity resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic without having to undergo a new competitive bidding process if they meet the following requirements:

  • they already sought bids for the services by posting an FCC Form 470;
  • they received a Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) from USAC approving a funding request for Category One internet access and/or data transmission services that relied on that FCC Form 470 or they have such a request pending with USAC; and
  • they are requesting additional E-rate discounts on an FCC Form 471 during this second window to purchase additional bandwidth through their existing service provider or a new service provider.
Institute of Museum and Libraries (IMLS) Grants

The CARES Act designated funding to the Institute of Museum and Library Service (IMLS) to enable libraries, museums, and organizations serving tribal communities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, by expanding digital network access, purchasing Internet accessible devices, and providing technical support services to their communities. The application window for the IMLS CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries closed June 12, 2020. IMLS received over 1,700 grant applications and will announce awards in September. Additional updates will be made public at https://imls.gov/news.


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