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New Guidance on CIPA Certifications for Funding Years 2001 and 2002 for Applicants that Include Libraries

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released an order on Friday, June 28, 2002, which suspends enforcement of FCC rules implementing section 254(h)(6) of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), relating to filtering requirements for computers with Internet access in libraries.  This Order was published in the Federal Register on August 5, 2002.  After consultation between the Wireline Competition Bureau of the FCC (Bureau) and the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Company, the Bureau has directed the SLD to put the following guidance on this web site.

Suspension of enforcement of filtering requirements applies to public and private libraries.  It does NOT apply to schools or school libraries; CIPA's filtering requirements as applied to schools and school libraries have not been challenged and remain in effect.

The requirements for an Internet safety policy in section 254(l) were not challenged, and remain in effect for schools and libraries receiving discounts on Internet access or internal connections.  A library receiving E-rate discounts for these services is still required to have an Internet safety policy that addresses:

(1)   access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web,

(2)   the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications,

(3)   unauthorized access, including hacking, and other unlawful activities by minors online,

(4)   unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors, and

(5)   measures designed to restrict minors' access to materials harmful to minors.

Section 254(l) also includes a public notice and hearing/meeting requirement, which remains in force.

GENERAL GUIDANCE FOR FORM 486 AND FORM 479

Applicants submitting Form 486 and Form 479 using the guidance in this document MUST use the current Form 486 (dated July 2001) or the current Form 479 (dated July 2001) until revised versions of the forms have been approved.

Libraries that check Item 11a on the current Form 486 certifying compliance with CIPA “as codified at 47 U.S.C. § 254(h) and (l)” are certifying that they have complied to the extent that these sections apply, as of the date of the start of discounted services for the relevant funding year.  Because section 254(h) no longer applies to libraries, libraries may truthfully check the appropriate box to certify compliance only with section 254(l).  Library applicants checking this box are certifying that they have an Internet safety policy as described above, and have satisfied the public notice and hearing/meeting requirement, but are not certifying as to a technology protection measure because they are not required to filter Internet access.  The same is true for the other CIPA certifications on Form 486 and Form 479.  The SLD will not raise issues at a later date about the meaning and intent of this certification as it relates to a technology protection measure (filter).

When the revised Form 486 and Form 479 are available, the SLD will post a notice on the web site announcing that fact.  Applicants are encouraged to use the revised Form 486 and Form 479 once they become available.  The CIPA certifications on those forms will contain references only to 47 U.S.C. section 254(l) for libraries.  However, if applicants wait to file using the revised Form 486, they must remember that the normal 120-day rule will apply, and the Service Start Date and the funding commitment may be adjusted if this deadline is missed.

SPECIFIC GUIDANCE FOR FUNDING YEAR 2002 LIBRARY APPLICANTS

Applicants that have not successfully filed a Form 486 or Form 479 for funded Funding Year (FY) 2002 Funding Request Numbers (FRNs) can use the current forms.  See the GENERAL GUIDANCE FOR FORM 486 AND FORM 479 above for an explanation of how to read the CIPA certifications.

FUNDING YEAR 2001 LIBRARY APPLICANTS FUNDED FOR ONLY TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES

Applicants with approved funding requests for only Telecommunications Services were never subject to CIPA with respect to those funding requests and therefore were able to submit their Forms 486 and Forms 479 without regard to pending litigation.  These applicants or recipients of service should have checked Item 11c on the Form 486 (“I certify that as of the date of the start of discounted services the Children’s Internet Protection Act, as codified at 47 U.S.C. § 254(h) and (l), does not apply because the recipient(s) of service represented in the Funding Request Number(s) on this Form 486 is (are) receiving discounts only for telecommunications services.”) or Item 6c on the Form 479 (“I certify that as of the date of the start of discounted services the Children’s Internet Protection Act, as codified at 47 U.S.C. § 254(h) and (l), does not apply because the recipient(s) of service under my administrative authority and represented in the Funding Request Number(s) for which you have requested or received Funding Commitments is (are) receiving discount services only for telecommunications services.”).  These applicants include libraries (Billed Entities that listed the Application Type in Form 471 Block 1 Item 5 as “Library”) and consortia containing libraries (Billed Entities that listed the Application Type in Form 471 Block 1 Item 5 as “Consortium”).  For this reason, the normal 120-day rule will be applied to such funding requests without exception.  (See the Key Definitions sections below for the definitions of the normal 120-day rule.)

Library applicants with approved funding requests for only Telecommunications Services whose services began before October 28, 2001, and who were issued a Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) before that date but who submitted a complete Form 486 for FY 2001 postmarked after October 28, 2001 would have seen the Service Start Date adjusted from the date they indicated on the Form 486 to the postmark date of the Form 486.  Such applicants (library or consortia with library members) will receive the same treatment as members of Category 4 discussed below.  That is, the SLD will move the Service Start Date(s) from the Form 486 postmark date to the date 120 days before the Form 486 postmark date and adjust the funding commitment accordingly and will issue a new Revised Form 486 Notification Letter featuring the revised Service Start Date and, if appropriate, the revised funding commitment amount.

Libraries and consortia containing libraries with approved funding requests for Internet Access and/or Internal Connections (whether they also had approved funding requests for Telecommunications Services or not) should follow the guidance below.  For these applicants, this guidance applies to all service types.

SPECIFIC GUIDANCE FOR LIBRARIES FUNDED FOR INTERNET ACCESS AND/OR INTERNAL CONNECTIONS FOR FUNDING YEAR 2001

Many library applicants funded for Telecommunications Services, Internet Access, and/or Internal Connections have successfully filed timely Forms 486, and the 486 Service Start Dates for the FRNs featured were accepted without change.  Those applicants experienced no adverse funding consequences because of the CIPA requirements with respect to those FRNs and those FRNs were unaffected by the FCC Order as it relates to FY 2001.

There are four other categories of library applicants that were issued FCDLs with funding commitments for Internet Access and/or Internal Connections for Funding Year 2001 (whether they also had funding commitments for Telecommunications Services or not) that are affected by the FCC Order.  These categories are:

  • Category 1.  Library applicants that submitted a Form 486 for FY 2001 which failed to meet Minimum Processing Standards (MPS) because the applicant did not check a certification box in Item 11, regardless of when services started.  The lack of an Item 11 certification must be the ONLY reason that the form failed MPS.
  • Category 2.  Library applicants with FRNs for which they never submitted a Form 486 for FY 2001, regardless of when services started.  This category also includes applicants who filed a Form 486 that failed MPS for a reason other than a missing Item 11 certification and who did not subsequently successfully file a Form 486.
  • Category 3.  Library applicants that cancelled or reduced funding commitments on a Form 500 for FY 2001 because they were unwilling to make a CIPA certification on a Form 486 for some or all of the entities that were to receive discounted services.
  • Category 4.  Library applicants that submitted a complete Form 486 for FY 2001 postmarked after the October 28, 2001, deadline, if services started and an FCDL was issued on or before October 28, 2001.

Applicants are encouraged to determine the specific category that pertains to their situation, and then read and understand the specific procedures for that category below.  This guidance applies to funding requests for all service types — Telecommunications Services, Internet Access, and Internal Connections – for library applicants that had approved funding requests for Internet Access and/or Internal Connections. 

Key Definitions

10/28/2001 penalty.  For Funding Year 2001, if the Service Start Date featured on the Form 486 was on or before October 28, 2001 and the date of the Funding Commitment Decision Letter was on or before October 28, 2001, the Form 486 must have been postmarked on or before October 28, 2001 in order to receive discounts retroactively to the Service Start Date.  If an applicant missed this deadline, the Form 486 postmark date became the start date for discounted services.  Funding commitments on funding requests with monthly charges were adjusted accordingly.  The SLD does not provide discounts for the services rendered prior to the new start date.

Normal 120-day rule.  The Form 486 must be postmarked no later than 120 days after the Service Start Date featured on the Form 486 or no later than 120 days after the date of the Funding Commitment Decision Letter, whichever is later, in order to receive discounts retroactively to the Service Start Date.  If an applicant misses this deadline, the date 120 days before the Form 486 postmark date will become the start date for discounted services.  The funding commitment for the relevant funding request may be reduced as a result of the change in the Service Start Date.

10/28/2002 deadline.  The FCC Order specified a deadline of 120 days after the June 28 release date of the Order for receipt of FY 2001 Forms 486 that, but for the court order and June 28 order, would have been due before that date.  The date 120 days after is October 26, 2002.  Because this date falls on a Saturday, FCC rules dictate that the document must be postmarked by the next business day, which is Monday, October 28, 2002.  Note, as discussed below, this deadline also applies to correspondence seeking to restore funds reduced because of CIPA compliance.

Specific Procedures

Library applicants in Category 1 need take no action.  The SLD will contact them and ask them to fax in a CIPA certification page for their rejected Form 486.  When the SLD receives the certification page, we will data enter the Form 486.   The SLD will follow its customary procedures for information requests.  When the SLD has contacted all applicants and requested completed Item 11 certifications, it will post a notice on the web site announcing that fact.  Applicants who believe they are in Category 1 but who have not been contacted by the SLD by the time the SLD posts the completion notice should complete and postmark a Form 486 on or before the 10/28/2002 deadline.  Note that certifications postmarked or received by fax after the 10/28/2002 deadline are subject to the normal 120-day rule (see Key Definitions above); for these certifications, the postmark date of the certification will be considered as the postmark date of the Form 486.

Library applicants in Category 2 have until the 10/28/2002 deadline to postmark a completed Form 486.  The SLD will not apply any penalty if the Form 486 is postmarked by the 10/28/2002 deadline, regardless of when the applicant’s services started.  If the Form 486 is postmarked after the 10/28/2002 deadline, the normal 120-day rule will be applied.   (See GENERAL GUIDANCE FOR FORM 486 AND FORM 479 above.)

Library applicants in Category 3 can request a restoration of funds that were reduced or cancelled pursuant to a Form 500.  The SLD will restore funding only when one or more libraries were unwilling to make a CIPA certification on a Form 486.  (See GENERAL GUIDANCE FOR FORM 486 AND FORM 479 above.)  Applicants must send a letter to the SLD requesting an appropriate restoration of funds and include an explanation of why the funding commitment was cancelled or reduced and an explanation of how the request for restoration was calculated. Such a request must be received or postmarked by the 10/28/2002 deadline. This letter may be submitted by fax to (973) 599-6526. The fax transmission should include a cover sheet listing contact name, phone number and, if available, an e-mail address. This letter may also be submitted by e-mail to: SLDCorrespondenceUnit@sl.universalservice.org

or by regular mail to:

Library/CIPA Funds Restoration Request
Schools and Libraries Division
Box 125 – Correspondence Unit
80 South Jefferson Road
Whippany, NJ  07981

Library applicants in Category 4 submitted completed Forms 486 postmarked after the 10/28/2001 deadline when services started and an FCDL was issued on or before October 28, 2001.  The SLD applied the 10/28/2001 penalty to these applicants, which changed the Service Start Date(s) and may have reduced the funding commitment amount(s).  In response to the FCC Order, the SLD will correct the Service Start Date(s) and restore funding based on the normal 120-day rule.   That is, the SLD will move the Service Start Date(s) from the Form 486 postmark date to the date 120 days before the Form 486 postmark date and adjust the funding commitment accordingly.

The normal 120-day rule DOES NOT apply to funding requests for libraries that did not submit a properly-completed Form 486 for Funding Year 2001.  However, the normal 120-day rule DOES apply to properly-completed Forms 486 that were postmarked before June 28, 2002.  Thus, libraries in Category 4 above will be subject to the normal 120-day rule.

Note that library applicants with approved funding requests for only Telecommunications Services for FY 2001 that otherwise meet the criteria for Category 4 will be treated like library applicants with approved funding requests for Internet Access and/or Internal Connections.

If the Service Start Date for a funding commitment is revised, the SLD will issue a new Revised Form 486 Notification Letter featuring the revised Service Start Date and, if appropriate, the revised funding commitment amount.  The date of the Revised Form 486 Notification Letter (instead of the date of the original Form 486 Notification Letter) will be used to determine the last date that invoices can be postmarked.  Applicants and service providers are responsible for ensuring that the SLD is not invoiced for services delivered before the revised Service Start Date.  The SLD will post a notice on the web site when it has completed its review of this category of applicants and has issued Revised Form 486 Notification Letters.  Once this notice has been posted, applicants who believe they are in Category 4 but cannot verify that their Service Start Date has been revised should send a letter to notify the SLD.  The applicant should state in the letter that the Service Start Date featured on the Form 486 Notification Letter was not revised, and include the following information:

  • Form 486 Application Number
  • Name of Billed Entity from the Form 486
  • Billed Entity Number from the Form 486
  • Funding Request Number
  • Service Start Date reported on the Form 486
  • Date of the Funding Commitment Decision Letter.

The letter must be received or postmarked by the 10/28/2002 deadline. This letter may be submitted by fax to (973) 599-6526. The fax transmission should include a cover sheet listing contact name, phone number and, if available, an e-mail address. This letter may also be submitted by e-mail to: SLDCorrespondenceUnit@sl.universalservice.org

or by regular mail to:

Library/CIPA Funds Restoration Request
Schools and Libraries Division
Box 125 – Correspondence Unit
80 South Jefferson Road
Whippany, NJ  07981

SPECIFIC GUIDANCE FOR CONSORTIA CONTAINING LIBRARIES FUNDED FOR INTERNET ACCESS AND/OR INTERNAL CONNECTIONS FOR FUNDING YEAR 2001

Many consortia containing libraries and funded for Telecommunications Services, Internet Access, and/or Internal Connections have successfully filed timely Forms 486, and the 486 Service Start Dates for the FRNs featured were accepted without change.  Those applicants experienced no adverse funding consequences because of the CIPA requirements with respect to those FRNs and those FRNs were unaffected by the FCC Order as it relates to FY 2001.

There are four other categories of consortia containing libraries with funding commitments for Internet Access and/or Internal Connections for Funding Year 2001 (whether they also had funding commitments for Telecommunications Services or not) that are affected by the FCC Order.  These categories are:

  • Category 1.  Consortia that submitted a Form 486 for FY 2001 which failed to meet Minimum Processing Standards (MPS) because the applicant did not check a certification box in Item 11, regardless of when services started.  The lack of an Item 11 certification must be the ONLY reason that the form failed MPS.
  • Category 2.  Consortia with FRNs for which they never submitted a Form 486 for FY 2001, regardless of when services started.  This category also includes applicants who filed a Form 486 that failed MPS for a reason other than a missing Item 11 certification and who did not subsequently successfully file a Form 486.
  • Category 3.  Consortia that cancelled or reduced funding commitments on a Form 500 for FY 2001 because one or more of their library members that were to receive discounted services were unwilling to make a CIPA certification on a Form 479.
  • Category 4.  Consortia that submitted a complete Form 486 for FY 2001 postmarked after the October 28, 2001 deadline, if services started and an FCDL was issued on or before October 28, 2001.

Applicants are encouraged to determine the specific category that pertains to their situation, and then read and understand the specific procedures for that category below.  This guidance applies to funding requests for all service types — Telecommunications Services, Internet Access, and Internal Connections -- for consortia applicants with library members that had approved funding requests for Internet Access and/or Internal Connections. 

Key Definitions

10/28/2001 penalty.  For Funding Year 2001, if the Service Start Date featured on the Form 486 was on or before October 28, 2001 and the date of the Funding Commitment Decision Letter was on or before October 28, 2001, the Form 486 must have been postmarked on or before October 28, 2001 in order to receive discounts retroactively to the Service Start Date.  If an applicant missed this deadline, the Form 486 postmark date became the start date for discounted services.  Funding commitments on funding requests with monthly charges were adjusted accordingly.  The SLD does not provide discounts for the services rendered prior to the new start date.

Normal 120-day rule.  The Form 486 must be postmarked no later than 120 days after the Service Start Date featured on the Form 486 or no later than 120 days after the date of the Funding Commitment Decision Letter, whichever is later, in order to receive discounts retroactively to the Service Start Date.  If an applicant misses this deadline, the date 120 days before the Form 486 postmark date will become the start date for discounted services.  The funding commitment for the relevant funding request may be reduced as a result of the change in the Service Start Date.

10/28/2002 deadline.  The FCC Order specified a deadline of 120 days after the June 28 release date of the Order for receipt of FY 2001 Forms 486 that, but for the court order and June 28 order, would have been due before that date.  The date 120 days after is October 26, 2002.  Because this date falls on a Saturday, FCC rules dictate that the document must be postmarked by the next business day, which is Monday, October 28, 2002.  Note, as discussed below, this deadline also applies to correspondence seeking to restore funds reduced because of CIPA compliance.

Specific Procedures

Consortia in Category 1 need take no action.  The SLD will contact them and ask them to fax in a CIPA certification page for their rejected Form 486.  The SLD will ask them about collected Forms 479 and about the funding allocation among school and library members of the consortium.  Consortia must collect Forms 479 from their library members if they have not already done so.  When the SLD receives the CIPA certification page, we will data enter the Form 486.  The SLD will follow its customary procedures for information requests.  When the SLD has contacted all applicants and requested completed Item 11 certifications, it will post a notice on the web site announcing that fact.  Applicants who believe they are in Category 1 but who have not been contacted by the SLD by the time the SLD posts the completion notice should complete and postmark a Form 486 on or before the 10/28/2002 deadline.    Note that certifications postmarked or received by fax after the 10/28/2002 deadline are subject to the normal 120-day rule (see Key Definitions above); for these certifications, the postmark date of the certification will be considered as the postmark date of the Form 486.  Note also that funding commitment amounts for libraries will be based on the guidance in this document.  The rules governing funding commitments for schools remain unchanged.

Consortia in Category 2 have until the 10/28/2002 deadline to postmark a completed Form 486.  The SLD will not apply any penalty to the library members if the Form 486 is postmarked by the 10/28/2002 deadline, regardless of when the services started.  If the Form 486 is postmarked after October 28, 2002, the normal 120-day rule will be applied to the library members.  The SLD will ask the consortia about collected Forms 479 and about the funding allocation among school and library members of the consortium.  Consortia must collect Forms 479 from all members, if they have not already done so, before filing the Form 486.  The rules governing funding commitments for schools remain unchanged.  (See GENERAL GUIDANCE FOR FORM 486 AND FORM 479 above.)

Consortia in Category 3 can request a restoration of funds that were reduced or cancelled pursuant to a Form 500.  The SLD will restore funding only when one or more libraries were unwilling to make a CIPA certification on a Form 479.  (See GENERAL GUIDANCE FOR FORM 486 AND FORM 479 above.)  Applicants must send a letter to the SLD requesting an appropriate restoration of funds and include an explanation of why the funding commitment was cancelled or reduced and an explanation of how the request for restoration was calculated.  Such a request must be received or postmarked by the 10/28/2002 deadline. This letter may be submitted by fax to (973) 599-6526. The fax transmission should include a cover sheet listing contact name, phone number and, if available, an e-mail address. This letter may also be submitted by e-mail to: SLDCorrespondenceUnit@sl.universalservice.org

or by regular mail to:

Library/CIPA Funds Restoration Request
Schools and Libraries Division
Box 125 – Correspondence Unit
80 South Jefferson Road
Whippany, NJ  07981

Consortia in Category 4 submitted completed Forms 486 postmarked after October 28, 2001 when services started and an FCDL was issued on or before October 28, 2001.  The SLD applied the 10/28/2001 penalty to these applicants, which changed the Service Start Date(s) and may have reduced the funding commitment amount(s).  In response to the FCC Order, the SLD will correct the Service Start Date(s) and restore funding only for the library members based on the normal 120-day rule.  The SLD will ask the consortia about collected Forms 479 and about the funding allocation among school and library members of the consortium.  The rules governing funding commitments for schools remain unchanged. 

Note that library members of consortium applicants with approved funding requests for only Telecommunications Services for FY 2001 where the consortium applicant otherwise meets the criteria for Category 4 will be treated like library applicants with approved funding requests for Internet Access and/or Internal Connections, that is, the SLD will correct the Service Start Date(s) and restore funding only for the library members based on the normal 120-day rule. 

The guidance in this document applies to libraries only — it does not apply to schools or school libraries.  Schools and school libraries must still meet the original requirements regarding CIPA in 47 U.S.C. sections 254(h) and (l).

If the Service Start Date for a funding commitment is revised, the SLD will issue a new Revised Form 486 Notification Letter featuring the revised Service Start Date and, if appropriate, the revised funding commitment amount.  The date of the Revised Form 486 Notification Letter (instead of the date of the original Form 486 Notification Letter) will be used to determine the last date that invoices can be postmarked.  The SLD will post a notice on the web site when it has completed its review of this category of applicants and has issued Revised Form 486 Notification Letters.  Once this notice has been posted, applicants who believe they are in Category 4 but cannot verify that their Service Start Date has been revised should send a letter to notify the SLD.  The applicant should state in the letter that the Service Start Date featured on the Form 486 Notification Letter was not revised, and include the following information:

  • Form 486 Application Number
  • Name of Billed Entity from the Form 486
  • Billed Entity Number from the Form 486
  • Funding Request Number
  • Service Start Date reported on the Form 486
  • Date of the Funding Commitment Decision Letter.

The letter must be received or postmarked by the 10/28/2002 deadline. This letter may be submitted by fax to (973) 599-6526. The fax transmission should include a cover sheet listing contact name, phone number and, if available, an e-mail address. This letter may also be submitted by e-mail to: SLDCorrespondenceUnit@sl.universalservice.org

or by regular mail to:

Library/CIPA Funds Restoration Request
Schools and Libraries Division
Box 125 – Correspondence Unit
80 South Jefferson Road
Whippany, NJ  07981

As part of the process of preparing the Revised Form 486 Notification Letter, the SLD will contact the consortium to seek information on the cost allocation for library members and for school members.  We will recalculate the funding commitment based on the revised Service Start Date for libraries and the unrevised Service Start Date for schools.  The SLD will then issue an additional letter that details the approved allocation of the funding commitment to library members and to school members.  Applicants and service providers are responsible for ensuring that the SLD is not invoiced for services delivered before the revised Service Start Date for libraries or before the unrevised Service Start Date for schools.  Applicants are also responsible for ensuring that the funds are used appropriately.  The SLD will be required to recover funds allocated to library members that are not used for those members as allocated.

  Content Last Modified: August 15, 2002