For immediate release | May 11, 2021

ALA prepares for new Emergency Connectivity Fund implementation

Today, the Federal Communications Commission released the Order establishing the Emergency Connectivity Fund, which was adopted unanimously on May 10*. The $7.17 billion program, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will enable schools and libraries to purchase laptop and tablet computers, Wi-Fi hotspots, and broadband connectivity for students, school staff, and library patrons in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Library Association (ALA) issued the following statement by ALA President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr.:

“After months of advocacy by ALA, we are pleased the FCC has released the rules that will govern the $7 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund. Since the dial-up days, libraries across the country have stood in the digital gaps to connect our communities, especially for people who would otherwise be left behind. The pandemic has brought to light the yawning depth of those digital gaps as well as the extent to which Americans rely on libraries to fill them. ALA will continue to work to make sure libraries have the information they need to apply for and receive these emergency funds to serve more people.”

ALA will provide detailed information about the Emergency Connectivity Fund prior to the application window in summer 2021.

* Correction: A previous version stated incorrectly that the FCC announced the Order on May 11. The Order was announced on May 10 and released on May 11.


Shawnda Hines

Assistant Director, Communications

ALA Public Policy and Advocacy