Schools and Libraries Universal Support Services Mechanism
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed revising the rules regarding the schools and libraries universal support mechanism, known as the E-rate program. Under E-rate, eligible schools and libraries apply for discounted Internet access and connection services. The proposed revisions to FCC rules would bring the E-rate program rules into compliance with the requirements of the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act. That Act added a new certification requirement for schools that receive discounts under the E-rate program. The proposed revisions require a school (which includes a school, school board, school district or other entity responsible with administration of a school) to provide a certification that the school has updated its Internet safety policy to include plans to educate minors about appropriate online behavior. The FCC also seeks comment on revising certain rules to reflect existing statutory language more accurately. Among other changes, the proposed revisions would ensure the definitions of elementary and secondary schools are consistent throughout, would add “school board” to the definition of entities subject to Children’s Internet Protection Act certifications, and would add a provision requiring local determination of what matter is inappropriate for minors. Comments are due on February 18, 2010, and reply comments are due on March 5, 2010.
75 Fed. Reg. 2,836 (Jan. 19, 2010)