The FCC released an order on July 24 that updates the required compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) by libraries that wish to continue to seek E-rate discounts. CIPA was found to be constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in late June in the case of American Library Association Inc. v. United States.
The FCC said in its order that during the 2003 funding year, all libraries receiving E-rate discounts for Internet access or internal connections must certify that they are either compliant with CIPA — or undertaking efforts to be in compliance. However, libraries must be in compliance with CIPA by the start of the next funding year (July 1, 2004) in order to receive E-rate funds.
To receive discounts for Internet access and internal connections, library authorities must certify that they are enforcing a policy of Internet safety – which includes measures to block or filter Internet access to unsuitable materials. Libraries and schools will be required to certify on revised Form 486 applications that they are in compliance with CIPA, or that they are undertaking such actions to comply.
The FCC said while libraries that do not take actions to conform to CIPA requirements for the 2004 funding year will not be eligible for future E-rate discounts, these applicants will not be required to return any funds received between July 1 and the effective date of the FCC order. (The effective order date will not be known until the order is published in the Federal Register.)
The complete FCC order can be downloaded at: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-188A1.doc