FCC updates Internet safety requirements for E-rate

In a long-expected move, the FCC released an order adding the requirements outlined in the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act to the existing Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requirements.

Beginning in Funding Year 2012, schools receiving E-rate funding for Internet Access or Internal Connections must certify that they have updated their Internet safety policy to include provisions for educating minors about appropriate online behavior.

Stephanie Winfrey, senior compliance specialist at Funds For Learning, an E-rate compliance services firm, applauded the adoption of the additional guidelines, adding that the changes should help “foster a generation of responsible Internet users.”

Applicants will have until Funding Year 2012 to adjust their current policies to comply with the order. Applicants will need to certify on their Forms 486 for FY2012 (July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013) that they are compliant with the Internet safety policies that would include the aforementioned amendments in order to receive funding.