January 20 2018

Children’s Internet Protection Act

Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

Applicants must certify compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) to be eligible for Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program discounts on:

  • Category One Services – Internet access
  • All Category Two services – internal connections, managed internal broadband services, and basic maintenance of internal connections

CIPA Compliance is NOT required on other Telecommunications Services such as circuits for point to point connections between buildings.

The relevant authority with responsibility for administration of the eligible school or library (the Administrative Authority) must certify on Form 486 that the school or library is enforcing an internet safety policy that includes measures to block or filter internet access for both minors and adults to certain visual depictions.

Summary of CIPA Requirements:

  1. Internet Safety Policy

Schools and libraries are required to adopt and enforce an internet safety policy that includes a technology protection measure that protects against access by adults and minors to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or – with respect to use of computers with internet access by minors – harmful to minors. “Minor” is defined as any individual who is under the age of 17.

  1. Technology Protection Measure

A technology protection measure is a specific technology that blocks or filters internet access.

  1. Public Notice and Hearing or Meeting

The authority with responsibility for administration of the school or library must provide reasonable public notice and hold at least one public hearing or meeting to address a proposed technology protection measure and Internet safety policy. For private schools, public notice means notice to their appropriate constituent group.

Certifying CIPA Compliance (FCC Form 486)

CIPA provides that, in the first funding year following the effective date of CIPA (April 20, 2001) in which you are “applying” for funds (see Applying for Funds below), 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 the purposes of CIPA if you seek a waiver due to state or local procurement rules or regulations or competitive bidding requirements.

Applicants file an FCC Form 486 to indicate the status of compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) for the recipients of service for the FRN(s) and notify USAC that services have started.

School and library authorities must certify one of the following on Form 486:

  1. They have complied with the requirements of CIPA,
  2. they are undertaking actions, including any necessary procurement procedures, to comply with the requirements of CIPA,
  3. or CIPA does not apply because they are receiving discounts for telecommunications services only.

NOTE: Applicants cannot file the FCC Form 486 for an FRN until USAC issues a Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) with a positive funding commitment.

For an entity to be eligible for an E-rate funding discount, it must meet the program’s definition of a school or library.