SLD News 6/7/13 – Focus: Form 486 and CIPA

June 7, 2013

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you are preparing to file FCC Form 486, review the information below. Remember that you cannot file this form for a Funding Request Number (FRN) before USAC has issued a commitment for that FRN.

Commitments for Funding Years 2013 and 2012

Funding Year 2013. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2013 Wave 4 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) June 11. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 1 (Telecommunications Services and Internet Access) requests at all discount levels. As of June 7, FY2013 commitments total over $145 million.

Funding Year 2012. USAC will release FY2012 Wave 47 FCDLs June 12. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 90 percent and denials at 89 percent and below. As of June 7, FY2012 commitments total over $2.40 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.

APPLICATION PROCESS: FCC Form 486 and FCC Form 479

USAC has begun issuing FCDLs for FY2013. Applicants should be preparing for the next steps in the application process.

  • If services have started, applicants should be getting ready to file FCC Form 486, Receipt of Service Confirmation Form.
  • For members of a consortium or in other situations where the entity filing the FCC Form 486 is not the Administrative Authority for purposes of CIPA (see below), recipients of service may need to file the FCC Form 479, Certification of Administrative Authority to Billed Entity of Compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, with the entity that will file the FCC Form 486 on their behalf.

Both forms are discussed below.

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

  • To notify USAC that services have started.
  • To authorize the payment of invoices for those services. (Note that the service provider must also file FCC Form 473, Service Provider Annual Certification Form, for that funding year before USAC can pay invoices.)
  • To indicate the approval of technology plan(s) – if they are required – by a USAC-certified technology plan approver for the entities that will receive discounted services. (Remember that, starting with FY2011, technology plans are not required for Priority 1 services.)
  • To certify the status of compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) for the entities that will receive discounted services.

Remember that when you file FCC 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 FCC Form 470 is filed. (An existing approved technology plan that includes the requested Priority 2 services and that covers at least part of the upcoming funding year meets 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.
  • It must be approved by a USAC-certified Technology Plan Approver (TPA) before the FCC Form 486 is filed or services start, whichever is earlier.
  • In general, it cannot cover more than three years.

You must be prepared to provide on the FCC Form 486 the name of the TPA that approved your technology plan. If you must list more than one TPA – for example, if you are filing a consortium application and more than one TPA approved the technology plans of your individual members – you must be prepared to provide the names of all appropriate TPAs.

– 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, the Administrative Authority for your school or library must certify that:

  • You are in compliance with CIPA or
  • You are undertaking actions to comply with CIPA or
  • CIPA does not apply because you are receiving discounts for telecommunications services. Note that CIPA also does not apply if you are receiving discounts for telecommunications, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, or fiber services requested in the Internet Access category for telecommunications transmission purposes only.

For a school, the Administrative Authority may be the school, school district, school board, local educational agency, or other authority with responsibility for administration of the school. For a library, the Administrative Authority may be the library, library board, or other authority with responsibility for administration of the library.

  • If the Administrative Authority is the same as the Billed Entity, the Administrative Authority certifies on the FCC Form 486.
  • If the Administrative Authority is not the Billed Entity, the Administrative Authority must certify on the FCC Form 479 and submit the completed FCC Form 479 to the Billed Entity. The Billed Entity then certifies on the FCC Form 486 that it has collected duly completed and signed FCC Form(s) 479. The Billed Entity does not need to collect FCC Forms 479 when the Billed Entity applies only for telecommunications services.

Keep in mind that – when FCC Forms 479 are required – Billed Entities must wait until they have collected all FCC Forms 479 before they can accurately make the appropriate CIPA certification(s) on the FCC Form 486. To avoid reductions in funding due to late-filed FCC Forms 486, recipients of service should act promptly when their Billed Entity asks them to complete and submit this form. Remember that FCC Forms 479 are submitted to the Billed Entity, not to USAC or the FCC.

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

For more information on FCC Form 486 and FCC Form 479, refer to the FCC Form 486 Instructions and the FCC Form 479 Instructions.

Guidance for Completing the FY2013 FCC Form 486 Technology Plan Certification

Beginning with FY2011, technology plans are required for Priority 2 services only. Because the certification on the FCC Form 486 has not yet been updated, applicants filing FY2013 FCC Forms 486 featuring funding requests for Priority 1 services only should complete Block 4, Item 8 of the form as follows:

  • If you are filing online using the Form 486 Expert, version check the box next to Item 8, choose “Other” from the dropdown menu, and enter “NONE” in the resulting text box.
  • If you are filing online using the Form 486 Interview version, check the box next to Item 8 and click on “I agree,” then choose “Other” from the dropdown menu and click “Go,” then type “NONE” in the resulting text box.
  • If you are filing on paper, check the box next to Item 8 and write “NONE” in the space below the Item 8 certification.