June 17th News from SLD with some good CIPA tips

TIP OF THE WEEK: Under certain conditions, you can file your Form 486 early. You should review these conditions (see below) in advance of next week’s FY2011 wave so that you are prepared to file early if you are eligible to do so. Keep in mind that you cannot file a Form 486 until USAC has issued a positive funding commitment.

Commitments for Funding Years 2011 and 2010

Funding Year 2011. USAC will release FY2011 Wave 1 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) June 23. This wave will include just under $398 million in commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels.

Congratulations again to the first applicants that filed and certified a Form 471 for FY2011 – including their Item 21 attachment(s) – online. All of them will receive commitments in the first FY2011 wave:

  • First individual school: ASSEMBLY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • First school district: WINNETT SCHOOL DISTRICT 1, Winnett, Montana
  • First library: VICKSBURG DISTRICT LIBRARY, Vicksburg, Michigan
  • First consortium: MIDLAND COUNTY SCHOOLS INTERNET CONSORTIUM, Midland, Michigan

Funding Year 2010. USAC will release FY2010 Wave 54 FCDLs June 22. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 81% and above and denials at 79% and below. As of June 17, FY2010 commitments total over $2.55 billion.

On the day the FCDLs are mailed, you can check to see if you have a commitment by using USAC’s Automated Search of Commitments tool.

Fall Applicant Training Registration Continues

There is still space available at some of the fall applicant training sessions, and we continue to work the waiting lists for the other sessions as we receive cancellations. Please do remember to cancel your registration if you cannot attend in order to open a space for someone else.

To register online and to locate information on reserving a room at a conference hotel, go to the Training Sessions and Presentations page on the USAC website and click on the link for the training session you wish to attend. You can continue to send questions, cancellations, or requests for information to USAC Training.

Application Process: Form 486

After applicants receive a funding commitment from USAC and services have started for that funding year, applicants can file Form 486, Receipt of Service Confirmation Form to accomplish the following:

Filing Form 486 early

Form 486 can be filed early – that is, before the start of services – under the following conditions:

  • USAC has issued a positive commitment for a Funding Request Number (FRN) on an FCDL and
  • The applicant has confirmed with the service provider featured on the FRN that services will start in July (the first month of the funding year) and
  • The applicant can accurately make all of the certifications on Block 4 of the form (see below) and
  • The Form 486 is filed online or postmarked on or before July 31.

Filing a Form 486 early can allow the service provider to provide – and the applicant to receive – discounted services promptly at the start of the funding year. For services that are continuing from the previous funding year, this early filing may help prevent discounts on services from being interrupted.

Remember that when you file Form 486, you are providing information about and certifying compliance with program rules relating to technology planning and CIPA. As a reminder, we are including summary information about those program requirements below.

Technology planning requirements

Here are the basic requirements of a technology plan:

  • It must be created (written) before the Form 470 is filed. (Existing approved technology plans that include the requested Priority 2 services and that cover at least part of the upcoming funding year meet this requirement.)
  • It must cover all 12 months of the funding year for which you are applying.
  • It must contain all of the required elements. (Starting with FY2011, budget information is not required.)
  • It must be approved by a USAC-certified Technology Plan Approver (TPA) before the Form 486 is filed or services start, whichever is earlier.
  • In general, it cannot cover more than three years.

If you are filing Form 486 early, your technology plan – if you are required to have one – must have been approved on or before the date your Form 486 is filed. You also must be prepared to provide the name of the organization that approved your technology plan. If you must list more than one organization – for example, if you are filing a consortium application and more than one organization approved the technology plans of your individual members – you must be prepared to provide the names of all the appropriate organizations.

CIPA requirements

In general, CIPA requires schools and libraries receiving discounts on Internet Access, Internal Connections, and/or Basic Maintenance services to certify that they are enforcing a policy of Internet safety that includes measures to block or filter Internet access for both minors and adults to certain visual depictions.

To receive discounted services, your school or library authority must certify that:

There are three basic requirements for CIPA: a technology protection measure, an Internet safety policy, and a reasonable public notice and public hearing or meeting on the policy.

In general, once USAC successfully processes a Form 486 for a funding commitment for Internet Access, Internal Connections, and/or Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections, you must be in compliance with CIPA at the beginning of the next funding year.

For detailed information on the requirements of CIPA compliance, refer to the CIPA guidance on the USAC website

For more information on Form 486, refer to the Form 486 Instructions.