Beginning July 1, 2012, applicants who receive E-Rate discounts for Internet Access, Internal Connections, and/or Basic Maintenance must certify that they have updated their Internet safety policies to ensure that minors are educated about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with others on social networking websites and in chat rooms, as well as cyberbullying awareness and response.
Schools and libraries must have two things in place:
1. Internet Safety Policy. For schools, the policy must include monitoring the online activities of minors. An Internet safety policy must address the following:
• Access by minors to inappropriate material on the Internet and World Wide Web;
• The safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communication;
• Unauthorized access including “hacking” and other unlawful activities by minors online;
• Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors; and
• Measures designed to restrict minors’ access to material harmful to minors.
2. Technology Protection Measure (or Filter). This is a specific technology that blocks or filters certain Internet material. It must protect against access to child pornography, visual depictions that are obscene, and, when minors are accessing the Internet, material that may be harmful to minors. The filter may be disabled for adults engaged in bona fide research or other lawful purposes.
The applicant’s “Administrative Authority” must make the relevant certification on either the FCC Form 486 (Receipt of Service Confirmation Form) or FCC Form 479 (Certification of Administrative Authority to Billed Entity of Compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act).
For a school, the Administrative Authority is the school, school district, school board, local educational agency, or other authority with responsibility for administration of the school. For a library, the Administrative Authority is the library, library board, or other authority with responsibility for administration of the library.
If the Administrative Authority is also the Billed Entity, the Administrative Authority certifies compliance with CIPA on the FCC Form 486. If the Administrative Authority is not the Billed Entity, the Administrative Authority completes the FCC Form 479 and sends it to the Billed Entity. The Billed Entity then certifies on the FCC Form 486 that it has received the executed FCC Form 479 from the Administrative Authority. (Remember, the Billed Entity does not need to collect an FCC Form 479 if it is only receiving discounts on Telecommunications Services.)
For more information about CIPA compliance, please contact the Troy Law Group (www.troylawgroup.com).