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Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and Form 486
(Schools and Libraries Universal Service Receipt of Service Confirmation Form)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
July 26, 2001

Introduction

The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was signed into law on December 21, 2000. In order to receive discounts for Internet Access and Internal Connections services under the universal services support mechanism, school and library authorities must certify that they are enforcing a policy of Internet safety that includes measures to block or filter Internet access for both minors and adults to certain visual depictions. The relevant authority with responsibility for administration of the E-rate eligible school or library must certify the status of its compliance for the purpose of CIPA in order to receive E-rate discounts.

In general, for Funding Year 2001 (the Funding Year beginning July 1, 2001), school and library authorities must certify by October 28, 2001 either that they have complied with the requirements of CIPA; that they are undertaking actions, including any necessary procurement procedures, to comply with the requirements of CIPA; or that CIPA does not apply to them because they are receiving discounts for Telecommunications Services only.

This set of FAQs covers issues related to the implementation of CIPA as it affects the application process for discounted services under the universal service support mechanism. They do not address questions related to the implementation of the requirements of CIPA for schools and libraries, such as Internet Safety Policies, Technology Protection Measures, and Public Meetings or Hearings. For discussion on those topics, please refer to Public Law 106-554 and the Federal Communications Commission's REPORT AND ORDER, FCC 01-120, released April 5, 2001. These FAQs also do not address CIPA as it may pertain to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act or the Museum and Library Services Act.

Q1. Who must make the certifications for the purpose of CIPA?

For the purpose of CIPA, certifications for schools eligible for E-rate discounts may be made by the relevant school, school board, local educational agency, or other authority with responsibility for administration of the school (the Administrative Authority). For the purpose of CIPA, certifications for libraries eligible for E-rate discounts may be made by the relevant library, library board, or other authority with responsibility for administration of the library (the Administrative Authority).

Q2. Which FCC Form do Administrative Authorities for schools and libraries use to make certification(s) for the purpose of CIPA?

For the purpose of CIPA, certifications are made either on FCC Form 479 or FCC Form 486 depending on whether the Administrative Authority is also the Billed Entity:

  • If the Administrative Authority is also the Billed Entity, the certification is made on the Form 486.
  • If the Administrative Authority is not the Billed Entity, the Administrative Authority must complete FCC Form 479 and submit the Form 479 to the Billed Entity. The Billed Entity then certifies on Form 486 that it has collected duly completed and signed Form(s) 479 for the Administrative Authority(ies) it represents. For example, a member of a consortium would submit a Form 479 to the Billed Entity, which would in turn submit a Form 486 to SLD.

Q3. If a state network provides a Technology Protection Measure, can the state network make the certification(s) for the purpose of CIPA?

No. The certification(s) must be made by the authority responsible for the administration of the school or library.

Q4. If I am the Billed Entity and I applied only for Telecommunications Services, do I need to collect Forms 479 from the Administrative Authorities I represent?

No.

Q5. If I am the Administrative Authority and my Billed Entity applied only for Telecommunications Services, do I need to fill out Form 479?

No.

Q6. If I am the Administrative Authority and my Billed Entity applied for services in addition to Telecommunications Services, do I need to submit Form 479 to my Billed Entity if my school or library is receiving only Telecommunications Services?

Yes.

Q7. Please explain the rationale behind the answers to questions 4, 5 and 6.

When a Billed Entity has been approved only for Telecommunications Services, it has the information it needs to accurately certify on its Form 486 that the requirements of CIPA do not apply; therefore, the Billed Entity is not required to collect Form 479 from the Administrative Authorities it represents. However, when the Billed Entity has been approved for Telecommunications Services and one or more other categories of service, the Administrative Authorities must inform their Billed Entity of the status of their compliance for the purpose of CIPA so that the Billed Entity can make the accurate certification on Form 486.

Q8. For what Funding Year are the Administrative Authorities for schools and libraries required to make certifications for the purpose of CIPA in order for you to receive E-rate discounts?

CIPA provides that, in order to receive E-rate discounts, certifications must be made with respect to the first program Funding Year following the April 20, 2001 effective date of CIPA. Funding Year 2001 of the Schools and Libraries universal support mechanism, which begins on July 1, 2001, is the first program year after that effective date. Therefore, the Administrative Authority is required to certify the status of compliance for your school or library as of the date of the start of discounted services in Funding Year 2001 and later Funding Years in order for you to receive E-rate discounts.

Certifications for the purpose of CIPA are not required prior to Funding Year 2001.

Q9. In what Funding Year(s) can I certify that I am "undertaking actions" to comply with CIPA and still receive E-rate discounts?

CIPA provides that, in your First Funding Year following the effective date of CIPA (April 20, 2001) in which you are "applying" for funds, you need not be fully compliant with CIPA's requirements, but can certify that you are undertaking actions to be in compliance for the next Funding Year. You may also make this certification in your Second Funding Year for purposes of CIPA if you seek a waiver due to state or local procurement rules or regulations or competitive bidding requirements. You therefore need to determine YOUR "First," "Second," and "Third" Funding Years after the effective date of CIPA (April 20, 2001) in which your school or library is "applying" for funds AND you must also understand what "applying" for funds means in this context.

Applying for funds. For the purpose of CIPA requirements, a school or library who is a recipient of service is considered to have "applied" for funds in a Funding Year only when a Receipt of Service Confirmation Form 486 for a Funding Request for Internet Access or Internal Connections has been successfully data entered into the SLD system.

Determination of Your First Funding Year for Purposes of CIPA. The first Funding Year after the effective date of CIPA (April 20, 2001) in which your school or library is "applying" for funds (i.e., in which a Form 486 is successfully data entered) for Internet Access or Internal Connections is the First Funding Year for the purpose of CIPA. Once your First Funding Year is established, the next two funding years will be your second and third funding years for the purpose of CIPA. (See Applying for Funds above.) In the First Funding Year, the applicant must be in compliance with CIPA or undertaking actions to comply with CIPA, in order to receive discounts for Internet Access or Internal Connections services.

Once the First Funding Year is established, the Funding Year immediately following the First Funding Year becomes the Second Funding Year for purposes of CIPA.

If the school or library "applies" for funds for Internet Access or Internal Connections in the Second Funding Year, its Administrative Authority must certify compliance with CIPA unless state or local procurement rules or regulations or competitive bidding requirements prevent the making of the certification. If, in the Second Funding Year, the Administrative Authority for the school or library is unable to make the certification otherwise required due to state or local procurement rules or regulations or competitive bidding requirements, the Administrative Authority must submit a CIPA waiver on FCC Form 486 Item 6C or FCC Form 479 Item 6d, as appropriate. The Administrative Authority must also certify that the affected schools or libraries will be brought into compliance with the CIPA requirements before the start of the Third Funding Year after the effective date of CIPA (April 20, 2001) in which they apply for discounts. When the waiver box in Item 6C on FCC Form 486 or Item 6d on FCC Form 479 is checked for the Second Funding Year after the effective date, the Administrative Authority should certify for that Second Funding Year that the schools or libraries under its administrative authority are "undertaking actions" to comply with CIPA for the next Funding Year.

The Third Funding Year for purposes of CIPA is the Funding Year immediately following the Second Funding Year. If the school or library "applies" for funds for Internet Access or Internal Connections in the Third Funding Year, it must be in compliance with CIPA.

The school or library must be in compliance with CIPA for any Funding Year thereafter.

Q10. If the Billed Entity receives a Funding Commitment for Internet Access or Internal Connections but takes no further action, would that situation constitute the Administrative Authority's First Funding Year for the purpose of CIPA?

No. A school or library who is a recipient of service is considered to have "applied" for funds in a Funding Year only when Form 486 for a Funding Request for Internet Access or Internal Connections has been successfully data entered. Since the Form 486 was not successfully data entered in this situation, the Administrative Authority's First Funding Year was NOT established for the purpose of CIPA.

Q11. If the Billed Entity receives a Funding Commitment for Internet Access or Internal Connections, submits Form 486, but the Form 486 is not successfully data entered, would that situation constitute the Administrative Authority's First Funding Year for the purpose of CIPA?

No. A school or library who is a recipient of service is considered to have "applied" for funds in a Funding Year only when Form 486 for a Funding Request for Internet Access or Internal Connections has been successfully data entered. Since the Form 486 was not successfully data entered in this situation, the Administrative Authority's First Funding Year was NOT established for the purpose of CIPA.

Q12. If the Billed Entity submits a Form 486 for Internet Access or Internal Connections, the Form 486 is successfully data entered, but the Billed Entity cancels all of its Funding Requests on a Form 500, would that situation constitute the Administrative Authority's First Funding Year for the purpose of CIPA?

Yes. A school or library who is a recipient of service is considered to have "applied" for funds in a Funding Year only when Form 486 for a Funding Request for Internet Access or Internal Connections has been successfully data entered. Therefore, the Administrative Authority's First Funding Year was established for the purpose of CIPA.

Q13. If the Billed Entity submits a Form 486 for Internet Access or Internal Connections, the Form 486 is successfully data entered, but the Service Provider does not receive a corresponding disbursement, would that situation constitute the Administrative Authority's First Funding Year for the purpose of CIPA?

Yes. A school or library who is a recipient of service is considered to have "applied" for funds in a Funding Year only when Form 486 for a Funding Request for Internet Access or Internal Connections has been successfully data entered. Therefore, the Administrative Authority's First Funding Year was established for the purpose of CIPA.

Q14. If the Billed Entity "applies" only for Telecommunications Services, would that situation constitute the Administrative Authority's First Funding Year for the purpose of CIPA?

No. A school or library who is a recipient of service is considered to have "applied" for funds in a Funding Year only when Form 486 for a Funding Request for Internet Access or Internal Connections has been successfully data entered. Since the Billed Entity "applied" only for Telecommunications Services in this situation, the Administrative Authority's First Funding Year was NOT established by the Funding Request in THIS Form 486.

However, if a school or library is represented in a Funding Request for Internet Access or Internal Connections in another Form 486 which has been successfully data entered, the Administrative Authority's First Funding Year WOULD be established for the purpose of CIPA.

Schools and libraries receiving E-rate discounts ONLY for Telecommunications Services in a Funding Year are not subject to CIPA requirements.

Q15. Once my First Funding Year is established, what happens if I don't seek E-rate discounts in the Funding Year after my First Funding Year?

Once your First Funding Year is established, your Second Funding Year is the Funding Year following your First Funding Year even if you don't seek E-rate discounts for that Second Funding Year.

Q16. Once my First Funding Year is established, what happens if I seek E-rate discounts only for Telecommunications Services in the Funding Year after my First Funding Year?

Once your First Funding Year is established, your Second Funding Year is the Funding Year following your First Funding Year even if you seek E-rate discounts only for Telecommunications Services which are not subject to CIPA requirements.

Q17. When must certifications for the purpose of CIPA be made for Funding Year 2001?

In Funding Year 2001, if the Service Start Date is on or before October 28, 2001 and the date of the Funding Commitment Decision Letter is before October 28, 2001, the Form 486 must be postmarked on or before Sunday, October 28, 2001 in order to receive discounts retroactively to the Service Start Date.

In Funding Year 2001, if the Service Start Date is on or before October 28, 2001 but the date of the Funding Commitment Decision Letter is after October 28, 2001, the Form 486 must be postmarked no later than 120 days after the date of the Funding Commitment Decision Letter in order for discounts to be paid retroactively to the Service Start Date.

In Funding Year 2001, if the Service Start Date is after October 28, 2001, the Form 486 must be postmarked no later than 120 days after the Service Start Date or the date of the Funding Commitment Decision Letter, whichever is later, in order for discounts to be paid retroactively to the Service Start Date.

In Funding Year 2001, if the Billed Entity represents one or more Administrative Authorities, then unless the Billed Entity certifies that it has only been approved for Telecommunications Services, the Billed Entity must collect completed and signed Forms 479 from those Administrative Authorities so that the Billed Entity can submit the proper certification(s) in time to postmark the Form 486 by the appropriate Funding Year 2001 deadlines identified above.

Q18. When must certifications for the purpose of CIPA be made for Funding Year 2002?

In Funding Year 2002, the Form 486 must be postmarked no later than 120 days after the Service Start Date or the date of the Funding Commitment Decision Letter, whichever is later, in order for discounts to be paid retroactively to the Service Start Date.

In Funding Year 2002, if the Billed Entity represents one or more Administrative Authorities, then unless the Billed Entity certifies that it has only been approved for Telecommunications Services, the Billed Entity must collect completed and signed Forms 479 from those Administrative Authorities so that the Billed Entity can make the proper certification(s) in time to postmark the Form 486 by the appropriate Funding Year 2002 deadlines identified above.

Q19. If my Internet Access or Internal Connections services start August 1, 2001, can my school or library receive discounts for services starting August 1 if I wait until just before I make my certification by October 28, 2001 to start taking steps to be in compliance with CIPA for the following Funding Year?

No. As has been explained in Commission orders and on the SLD web site and other SLD notices, your CIPA certification, due by October 28, 2001 if a Funding Commitment has been made, is a certification that you were taking necessary actions as of the date of the start of discounted services in Funding Year 2001. You will not receive discounts for any time period prior to having taken such actions.

Q20. If an administrative building is an eligible entity requesting eligible services that meet the educational purpose definition, do the certification(s) for the purpose of CIPA apply to the eligible services received by the administrative building?

Yes. If any eligible entity is receiving E-rate discounts for Internet Access or Internal Connections, the appropriate certification(s) must be made for the purpose of CIPA.

If, however, an applicant is not requesting E-rate discounts, CIPA does not apply.

Q21. If an entity is receiving discounts for Internet Access or Internal Connections at eligible schools or libraries but is not receiving discounts for services delivered to administration buildings, do certifications for the purpose of CIPA apply to the administration buildings?

No. Certifications for the purpose of CIPA are only made for the recipients of service represented in FRNs submitted on FCC Form 486.

  Content Last Modified: July 26, 2001