The FCC CIPA Order

On July 23, 2003 the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) adopted an order that updates regulations pertaining to the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) for libraries. This order was adopted to reflect the recent Supreme Court decision in American Library Association Inc. v. United States issued on June 23, 2003.

From the order we understand the following:

  • Libraries which are subject to CIPA must undertake efforts in Funding Year 2003 (the current year) AND be compliant by the start of Funding Year 2004, July 1, 2004, in order to receive discounts.
  • Compliance is the enforcement of an Internet safety policy that includes the use of a technology protection measure, such as filtering software, blocking software, etc.
  • Compliance includes adoption of a procedure to unblock the filter upon the request of an adult.
  • Libraries that are not in compliance with CIPA this year (FY 2003) and will not be undertaking actions in order to be compliant by 2004 are not eligible for E-rate discounts on Internet access or internal connections in Funding Year 2003. However, they will not be required to return funds received during the period between July 1 and the effective date of the Order.
  • As established in the original FCC rules, CIPA does not apply to E-rate discounts for any service classified by the E-rate program as telecommunications.
  • CIPA certification will continue to be made on Form 486 filed with the SLD or Form 479 filed with your consortia leaders. Drafts of revised forms are attached to the Order.
  • If a library applicant HAS NOT yet filed a Form 486 or a Form 479, it is required to file a REVISED version of the appropriate form.
  • If a library applicant HAS filed a Form 486 or Form 479, but is applying ONLY for telecommunications, no action is necessary.
  • If a library HAS filed a Form 486 or Form 479 for an Internet access or internal connections application, it must re-file on the new Form 486 or Form 479 as appropriate.
  • The deadline for filing Form 486 with the SLD REMAINS the later of either 120 days after the applicants service start date or 120 days after receipt of a Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL).
  • The deadline for filing a revised Form 479 with a consortium leader is 45 days from this Order's effective date.
  • Consortia may include both compliant and non-compliant members, but only compliant members may receive discounts for Internet access or internal connections.
  • For Funding Year 2003 only, consortia leaders needing to file Form 500 in order to adjust funding commitments must do so within 30 days of filing the revised Form 486

As you can see, many of the dates incorporated in this order hinge upon the effective date of the order which will be the date the order is published in the Federal Register. The ALA Washington Office will be monitoring the Federal Register for this publication and will announce the effective date when it is known. We will also be communicating with the SLD to provide information on the availability of new forms.


The complete text of the FCC order can be found in multiple formats through the following links: