Form 486 Certifications In the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) issued in November, 2009, the FCC is seeking to modify the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act to include new certification requirements on the Form 486. Any applicant seeking E-rate funding for Internet Access and Internal Connections in FY 2010 will need to certify on the Form 486 that it has updated its Internet Safety policy to include the provisions set forth in the NPRM. The FCC is proposing these changes apply to all Forms 486 filed with a Service Start Date of July 1, 2010, or later. While the official final Order has not yet been released by the FCC, Funds For Learning recommends that you update or modify your Internet Safety Policy by July 1st, 2010, as prescribed by the NPRM. This includes:
  1. A technology protection measure that protects against Internet access by both adults and minors to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or, with respect to use of the computers by minors, harmful to minors
  2. Monitoring the online activities of minors
  3. Plans for educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms
  4. Plans for educating minors about cyberbullying awareness and response.
By making these modifications, applicants will ensure they remain compliant and be able to make the certification on the Form 486 honestly and accurately. Technology Plans The FCC guidance found in the Fifth Report and Order regarding technology plans require that five essential elements must be included in the technology plan.
  1. The plan must establish clear goals and a realistic strategy for achieving those goals as they relate to education and information technology.
  2. The plan must include a professional development component to ensure that staff are able to understand and use the technology being requested.
  3. The plan must include a needs assessment.
  4. The plan must include a budgetary component to account for support of the non-discounted portion of requests for funding.
  5. The plan must include an evaluation process by which the applicant can measure the efficacy toward progress of the specified goals outlined in the technology plan.
Only applicants who seek Telecommunications, Internet Access, Internal Connections, and Basic Maintenance are required to have a technology plan in place prior to seeking services; applicants who seek only basic telephone service are exempt. If you have any questions about locating a certified Technology Plan Approver, please contact your Funds For Learning Compliance Analyst.