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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of December 16, 2014

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter BPart 54 → Subpart F


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 54—UNIVERSAL SERVICE


Subpart F—Universal Service Support for Schools and Libraries


Contents
§54.500   Terms and definitions.
§54.501   Eligible recipients.
§54.502   Eligible services.
§54.503   Competitive bidding requirements.
§54.504   Requests for services.
§54.505   Discounts.
§54.506   [Reserved]
§54.507   Cap.
§54.508   [Reserved]
§54.509   Adjustments to the discount matrix.
§54.511   Ordering services.
§54.513   Resale and transfer of services.
§54.514   Payment for discounted services.
§54.515   Distributing support.
§54.516   Auditing.
§54.517   [Reserved]
§54.518   Support for wide area networks.
§54.519   State telecommunications networks.
§54.520   Children's Internet Protection Act certifications required from recipients of discounts under the federal universal service support mechanism for schools and libraries.
§54.522   [Reserved]
§54.523   Payment for the non-discount portion of supported services.

§54.500   Terms and definitions.

Link to an amendment published at 79 FR 49197, August 19, 2014.

Link to an correction published at 79 FR 68634, November 18, 2014.

(a) Billed entity. A “billed entity” is the entity that remits payment to service providers for services rendered to eligible schools and libraries.

(b) Educational purposes. For purposes of this subpart, activities that are integral, immediate, and proximate to the education of students, or in the case of libraries, integral, immediate and proximate to the provision of library services to library patrons, qualify as “educational purposes.” Activities that occur on library or school property are presumed to be integral, immediate, and proximate to the education of students or the provision of library services to library patrons.

(c) Elementary school. An “elementary school” means an elementary school as defined in 20 U.S.C. 7801(18), a non-profit institutional day or residential school, including a public elementary charter school, that provides elementary education, as determined under state law.

(d) Library. A “library” includes:

(1) A public library;

(2) A public elementary school or secondary school library;

(3) An academic library;

(4) A research library, which for the purpose of this section means a library that:

(i) Makes publicly available library services and materials suitable for scholarly research and not otherwise available to the public; and

(ii) Is not an integral part of an institution of higher education; and

(5) A private library, but only if the state in which such private library is located determines that the library should be considered a library for the purposes of this definition.

(e) Library consortium. A “library consortium” is any local, statewide, regional, or interstate cooperative association of libraries that provides for the systematic and effective coordination of the resources of schools, public, academic, and special libraries and information centers, for improving services to the clientele of such libraries. For the purposes of these rules, references to library will also refer to library consortium.

(f) Lowest corresponding price. “Lowest corresponding price” is the lowest price that a service provider charges to non-residential customers who are similarly situated to a particular school, library, or library consortium for similar services.

(g) Master contract. A “master contract” is a contract negotiated with a service provider by a third party, the terms and conditions of which are then made available to an eligible school, library, rural health care provider, or consortium that purchases directly from the service provider.

(h) Minor contract modification. A “minor contract modification” is a change to a universal service contract that is within the scope of the original contract and has no effect or merely a negligible effect on price, quantity, quality, or delivery under the original contract.

(i) National school lunch program. The “national school lunch program” is a program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state agencies that provides free or reduced price lunches to economically disadvantaged children. A child whose family income is between 130 percent and 185 percent of applicable family size income levels contained in the nonfarm poverty guidelines prescribed by the Office of Management and Budget is eligible for a reduced price lunch. A child whose family income is 130 percent or less of applicable family size income levels contained in the nonfarm income poverty guidelines prescribed by the Office of Management and Budget is eligible for a free lunch.

(j) Pre-discount price. The “pre-discount price” means, in this subpart, the price the service provider agrees to accept as total payment for its telecommunications or information services. This amount is the sum of the amount the service provider expects to receive from the eligible school or library and the amount it expects to receive as reimbursement from the universal service support mechanisms for the discounts provided under this subpart.

(k) Secondary school. A “secondary school” means a secondary school as defined in 20 U.S.C. 7801(38), a non-profit institutional day or residential school, including a public secondary charter school, that provides secondary education, as determined under state law except that the term does not include any education beyond grade 12.

(l) State telecommunications network. A “state telecommunications network” is a state government entity that procures, among other things, telecommunications offerings from multiple service providers and bundles such offerings into packages available to schools, libraries, or rural health care providers that are eligible for universal service support, or a state government entity that provides, using its own facilities, such telecommunications offerings to such schools, libraries, and rural health care providers.

(m) Wide area network. For purposes of this subpart, a “wide area network” is a voice or data network that provides connections from one or more computers within an eligible school or library to one or more computers or networks that are external to such eligible school or library. Excluded from this definition is a voice or data network that provides connections between or among instructional buildings of a single school campus or between or among non-administrative buildings of a single library branch.

[63 FR 2128, Jan. 13, 1998, as amended at 68 FR 36942, June 20, 2003; 76 FR 56302, Sept. 13, 2011]

§54.501   Eligible recipients.

Link to an amendment published at 79 FR 68634, November 18, 2014.

(a) Schools. (1) Only schools meeting the statutory definition of “elementary school” or “secondary school” as defined in §54.500(c) or (k) of these rules, and not excluded under paragraphs (a)(2) or (a)(3) of this section shall be eligible for discounts on telecommunications and other supported services under this subpart.

(2) Schools operating as for-profit businesses shall not be eligible for discounts under this subpart.

(3) Schools with endowments exceeding $50,000,000 shall not be eligible for discounts under this subpart.

(b) Libraries. (1) Only libraries eligible for assistance from a State library administrative agency under the Library Services and Technology Act (Pub. L. 104-208) and not excluded under paragraphs (b)(2) or (3) of this section shall be eligible for discounts under this subpart.

(2) A library's eligibility for universal service funding shall depend on its funding as an independent entity. Only libraries whose budgets are completely separate from any schools (including, but not limited to, elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities) shall be eligible for discounts as libraries under this subpart.

(3) Libraries operating as for-profit businesses shall not be eligible for discounts under this subpart.

(c) Consortia.

(1) For consortia, discounts under this subpart shall apply only to the portion of eligible telecommunications and other supported services used by eligible schools and libraries.

(2) Service providers shall keep and retain records of rates charged to and discounts allowed for eligible schools and libraries—on their own or as part of a consortium. Such records shall be available for public inspection.

[62 FR 32948, June 17, 1997, as amended at 63 FR 2129, Jan. 13, 1998; 68 FR 36942, June 20, 2003; 75 FR 75411, Dec. 3, 2010; 76 FR 56302, Sept. 13, 2011; 79 FR 49198, Aug. 19, 2014]

§54.502   Eligible services.

Link to an amendment published at 79 FR 68634, November 18, 2014.

(a) Supported services. All supported services are listed in the Eligible Services List as updated annually in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section. The services in this subpart will be supported in addition to all reasonable charges that are incurred by taking such services, such as state and federal taxes. Charges for termination liability, penalty surcharges, and other charges not included in the cost of taking such service shall not be covered by the universal service support mechanisms. The supported services fall within the following general categories:

(1) Category one. Telecommunications services, telecommunications, and Internet access, as defined in §54.5 and described in the Eligible Services List are category one supported services.

(2) Category two. Internal connections, basic maintenance and managed internal broadband services as defined in §54.500 and described in the Eligible Services List are category two supported services.

(b) Funding years 2015 and 2016. Libraries, schools, or school districts with schools that receive funding for category two services in funding years 2015 and/or 2016 shall be eligible for support pursuant to paragraphs (b)(1) through (6) of this section.

(1) Five-year budget. Each eligible school or library shall be eligible for a budgeted amount of support for category two services over a five-year funding cycle. Excluding support for internal connections received prior to funding year 2015, each school or library shall be eligible for the total available budget less any support received for category two services in the prior four funding years.

(2) School budget. Each eligible school shall be eligible for support for category two services up to a pre-discount price of $150 per student over a five-year funding cycle. Applicants shall provide the student count per school, calculated at the time that the discount is calculated each funding year. New schools may estimate the number of students, but shall repay any support provided in excess of the maximum budget based on student enrollment the following funding year.

(3) Library budget. Each eligible library shall be eligible for support for category two services, up to a pre-discount price of $2.30 per square foot over a five-year funding cycle. Libraries shall provide the total area for all floors, in square feet, of each library outlet separately, including all areas enclosed by the outer walls of the library outlet and occupied by the library, including those areas off-limits to the public.

(4) Funding floor. Each eligible school and library will be eligible for support for category two services up to at least a pre-discount price of $9,200 over five funding years.

(5) Requests. Applicants shall request support for category two services for each school or library based on the number of students per school building or square footage per library building. Category two funding for a school or library may not be used for another school or library. If an applicant requests less than the maximum budget available for a school or library, the applicant may request the remaining balance in a school's or library's category two budget in subsequent funding years of a five year cycle. The costs for category two services shared by multiple eligible entities shall be divided reasonably between each of the entities for which support is sought in that funding year.

(6) Non-instructional buildings. Support is not available for category two services provided to or within non-instructional school buildings or separate library administrative buildings unless those category two services are essential for the effective transport of information to or within one or more instructional buildings of a school or non-administrative library buildings, or the Commission has found that the use of those services meets the definition of educational purpose, as defined in §54.500. When applying for category two support for eligible services to a non-instructional school building or library administrative building, the applicant shall allocate the cost of providing services to one or more of the eligible school or library buildings that benefit from those services being provided.

(c) Funding year 2017 and beyond. Absent further action from the Commission, each eligible library or school in a school district, which did not receive funding for category two services in funding years 2015 and/or 2016, shall be eligible for support for category two services, except basic maintenance services, no more than twice every five funding years. For the purpose of determining eligibility, the five-year period begins in any funding year in which the school or library receives discounted category two services other than basic maintenance services. If a school or library receives category two services other than basic maintenance services that are shared with other schools or libraries (for example, as part of a consortium), the shared services will be attributed to the school or library in determining whether it is eligible for support. Support is not available for category two services provided to or within non-instructional school buildings or separate library administrative buildings unless those category two services are essential for the effective transport of information to or within one or more instructional buildings of a school or non-administrative library buildings, or the Commission has found that the use of those services meets the definition of educational purpose, as defined in §54.500.

(d) Eligible services list process. The Administrator shall submit by March 30 of each year a draft list of services eligible for support, based on the Commission's rules for the following funding year. The Wireline Competition Bureau will issue a Public Notice seeking comment on the Administrator's proposed eligible services list. The final list of services eligible for support will be released at least 60 days prior to the opening of the application filing window for the following funding year.

Effective Date Notes: 1. At 79 FR 49198, Aug. 19, 2014, §54.502 was revised. Paragraphs (b)(2) contain information collection and recordkeeping requirements and will not become effective until approval has been given by the Office of Management and Budget.

2. At 79 FR 49198, Aug. 19, 2014, §54.502 was revised, however paragraph (a) does not become effective until July 1, 2015.

§54.503   Competitive bidding requirements.

Link to an correction published at 79 FR 68632, November 18, 2014.

(a) All entities participating in the schools and libraries universal service support program must conduct a fair and open competitive bidding process, consistent with all requirements set forth in this subpart.

Note to paragraph (a): The following is an illustrative list of activities or behaviors that would not result in a fair and open competitive bidding process: the applicant for supported services has a relationship with a service provider that would unfairly influence the outcome of a competition or would furnish the service provider with inside information; someone other than the applicant or an authorized representative of the applicant prepares, signs, and submits the FCC Form 470 and certification; a service provider representative is listed as the FCC Form 470 contact person and allows that service provider to participate in the competitive bidding process; the service provider prepares the applicant's FCC Form 470 or participates in the bid evaluation or vendor selection process in any way; the applicant turns over to a service provider the responsibility for ensuring a fair and open competitive bidding process; an applicant employee with a role in the service provider selection process also has an ownership interest in the service provider seeking to participate in the competitive bidding process; and the applicant's FCC Form 470 does not describe the supported services with sufficient specificity to enable interested service providers to submit responsive bids.

(b) Competitive bid requirements. Except as provided in §54.511(c), an eligible school, library, or consortium that includes an eligible school or library shall seek competitive bids, pursuant to the requirements established in this subpart, for all services eligible for support under §54.502. These competitive bid requirements apply in addition to state and local competitive bid requirements and are not intended to preempt such state or local requirements.

(c) Posting of FCC Form 470. (1) An eligible school, library, or consortium that includes an eligible school or library seeking bids for eligible services under this subpart shall submit a completed FCC Form 470 to the Administrator to initiate the competitive bidding process. The FCC Form 470 and any request for proposal cited in the FCC Form 470 shall include, at a minimum, the following information, to the extent applicable with respect to the services requested:

(i) A list of specified services for which the school, library, or consortium requests bids; and

(ii) Sufficient information to enable bidders to reasonably determine the needs of the applicant.

(2) The FCC Form 470 shall be signed by a person authorized to request bids for eligible services for the eligible school, library, or consortium, including such entities.

(i) A person authorized to request bids on behalf of the entities listed on an FCC Form 470 shall certify under oath that:

(A) The schools meet the statutory definition of “elementary school” or “secondary school” as defined in §54.500 of these rules, do not operate as for-profit businesses, and do not have endowments exceeding $50 million.

(B) The libraries or library consortia eligible for assistance from a State library administrative agency under the Library Services and Technology Act of 1996 do not operate as for-profit businesses and have budgets that are completely separate from any school (including, but not limited to, elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities).

(C) Support under this support mechanism is conditional upon the school(s) and library(ies) securing access to all of the resources, including computers, training, software, maintenance, internal connections, and electrical connections necessary to use the services purchased effectively.

(ii) A person authorized to both request bids and order services on behalf of the entities listed on an FCC Form 470 shall, in addition to making the certifications listed in paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section, certify under oath that:

(A) The services the school, library, or consortium purchases at discounts will be used primarily for educational purposes and will not be sold, resold, or transferred in consideration for money or any other thing of value, except as allowed by §54.513.

(B) All bids submitted for eligible products and services will be carefully considered, with price being the primary factor, and the bid selected will be for the most cost-effective service offering consistent with §54.511.

(3) The Administrator shall post each FCC Form 470 that it receives from an eligible school, library, or consortium that includes an eligible school or library on its Web site designated for this purpose.

(4) After posting on the Administrator's Web site an eligible school, library, or consortium FCC Form 470, the Administrator shall send confirmation of the posting to the entity requesting service. That entity shall then wait at least four weeks from the date on which its description of services is posted on the Administrator's Web site before making commitments with the selected providers of services. The confirmation from the Administrator shall include the date after which the requestor may sign a contract with its chosen provider(s).

(d) Gift restrictions. (1) Subject to paragraphs (d)(3) and (4) of this section, an eligible school, library, or consortium that includes an eligible school or library may not directly or indirectly solicit or accept any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan, or any other thing of value from a service provider participating in or seeking to participate in the schools and libraries universal service program. No such service provider shall offer or provide any such gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan, or other thing of value except as otherwise provided herein. Modest refreshments not offered as part of a meal, items with little intrinsic value intended solely for presentation, and items worth $20 or less, including meals, may be offered or provided, and accepted by any individuals or entities subject to this rule, if the value of these items received by any individual does not exceed $50 from any one service provider per funding year. The $50 amount for any service provider shall be calculated as the aggregate value of all gifts provided during a funding year by the individuals specified in paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section.

(2) For purposes of this paragraph:

(i) The terms “school, library, or consortium” include all individuals who are on the governing boards of such entities (such as members of a school committee), and all employees, officers, representatives, agents, consultants or independent contractors of such entities involved on behalf of such school, library, or consortium with the Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund (E-rate Program), including individuals who prepare, approve, sign or submit E-rate applications, or other forms related to the E-rate Program, or who prepare bids, communicate or work with E-rate service providers, E-rate consultants, or with USAC, as well as any staff of such entities responsible for monitoring compliance with the E-rate Program; and

(ii) The term “service provider” includes all individuals who are on the governing boards of such an entity (such as members of the board of directors), and all employees, officers, representatives, agents, or independent contractors of such entities.

(3) The restrictions set forth in this paragraph shall not be applicable to the provision of any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan, or any other thing of value, to the extent given to a family member or a friend working for an eligible school, library, or consortium that includes an eligible school or library, provided that such transactions:

(i) Are motivated solely by a personal relationship,

(ii) Are not rooted in any service provider business activities or any other business relationship with any such eligible school, library, or consortium, and

(iii) Are provided using only the donor's personal funds that will not be reimbursed through any employment or business relationship.

(4) Any service provider may make charitable donations to an eligible school, library, or consortium that includes an eligible school or library in the support of its programs as long as such contributions are not directly or indirectly related to E-rate procurement activities or decisions and are not given by service providers to circumvent competitive bidding and other E-rate program rules, including those in paragraph (c)(2)(i)(C) of this section, requiring schools and libraries to pay their own non-discount share for the services they are purchasing.

(e) Exemption to competitive bidding requirements. An applicant that seeks support for commercially available high-speed Internet access services for a pre-discount price of $3,600 or less per school or library annually is exempt from the competitive bidding requirements in paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section.

(1) Internet access, as defined in §54.5, is eligible for this exemption only if the purchased service offers at least 100 Mbps downstream and 10 Mbps upstream.

(2) The Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau, is delegated authority to lower the annual cost of high-speed Internet access services or raise the speed threshold of broadband services eligible for this competitive bidding exemption, based on a determination of what rates and speeds are commercially available prior to the start of the funding year.

[75 FR 75412, Dec. 3, 2010, as amended at 76 FR 56302, Sept. 13, 2011; 79 FR 49199, Aug. 19, 2014]

§54.504   Requests for services.

Link to a correction published at 79 FR 68632, November 18, 2014.

Link to an amendment published at 79 FR 68634, November 18, 2014.

(a) Filing of the FCC Form 471. An eligible school, library, or consortium that includes an eligible school or library seeking to receive discounts for eligible services under this subpart shall, upon entering into a signed contract or other legally binding agreement for eligible services, submit a completed FCC Form 471 to the Administrator.

(1) The FCC Form 471 shall be signed by the person authorized to order eligible services for the eligible school, library, or consortium and shall include that person's certification under oath that:

(i) The schools meet the statutory definition of “elementary school” or “secondary school” as defined in §54.500 of this subpart, do not operate as for-profit businesses, and do not have endowments exceeding $50 million.

(ii) The libraries or library consortia eligible for assistance from a State library administrative agency under the Library Services and Technology Act of 1996 do not operate as for-profit businesses and whose budgets are completely separate from any school (including, but not limited to, elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities).

(iii) The entities listed on the FCC Form 471 application have secured access to all of the resources, including computers, training, software, maintenance, internal connections, and electrical connections, necessary to make effective use of the services purchased, as well as to pay the discounted charges for eligible services from funds to which access has been secured in the current funding year. The billed entity will pay the non-discount portion of the cost of the goods and services to the service provider(s).

(iv) The entities listed on the FCC Form 471 application have complied with all applicable state and local laws regarding procurement of services for which support is being sought.

(v) The services the school, library, or consortium purchases at discounts will be used primarily for educational purposes and will not be sold, resold, or transferred in consideration for money or any other thing of value, except as allowed by §54.513.

(vi) The entities listed in the application have complied with all program rules and acknowledge that failure to do so may result in denial of discount funding and/or recovery of funding.

(vii) The applicant understands that the discount level used for shared services is conditional, for future years, upon ensuring that the most disadvantaged schools and libraries that are treated as sharing in the service, receive an appropriate share of benefits from those services.

(viii) The applicant recognizes that it may be audited pursuant to its application, that it will retain for ten years any and all worksheets and other records relied upon to fill out its application, and that, if audited, it will make such records available to the Administrator.

(ix) Except as exempted by §54.503(e), all bids submitted to a school, library, or consortium seeking eligible services were carefully considered and the most cost-effective bid was selected in accordance with §54.503 of this subpart, with price being the primary factor considered, and it is the most cost-effective means of meeting educational needs and technology goals.

(2) All pricing and technology infrastructure information submitted as part of an FCC Form 471 shall be treated as public and non-confidential by the Administrator unless the applicant specifies a statute, rule, or other restriction, such as a court order or an existing contract limitation barring public release of the information.

(i) Contracts and other agreements executed after adoption of this rule may not prohibit disclosure of pricing or technology infrastructure information.

(ii) The exemption for existing contract limitations shall not apply to voluntary extensions or renewals of existing contracts.

(b) Mixed eligibility requests. If 30 percent or more of a request for discounts made in an FCC Form 471 is for ineligible services, the request shall be denied in its entirety.

(c) Rate disputes. Schools, libraries, and consortia including those entities, and service providers may have recourse to the Commission, regarding interstate rates, and to state commissions, regarding intrastate rates, if they reasonably believe that the lowest corresponding price is unfairly high or low.

(1) Schools, libraries, and consortia including those entities may request lower rates if the rate offered by the carrier does not represent the lowest corresponding price.

(2) Service providers may request higher rates if they can show that the lowest corresponding price is not compensatory, because the relevant school, library, or consortium including those entities is not similarly situated to and subscribing to a similar set of services to the customer paying the lowest corresponding price.

(d) Service substitution. (1) The Administrator shall grant a request by an applicant to substitute a service or product for one identified on its FCC Form 471 where:

(i) The service or product has the same functionality;

(ii) The substitution does not violate any contract provisions or state or local procurement laws;

(iii) The substitution does not result in an increase in the percentage of ineligible services or functions; and

(iv) The applicant certifies that the requested change is within the scope of the controlling FCC Form 470, including any associated Requests for Proposal, for the original services.

(2) In the event that a service substitution results in a change in the pre-discount price for the supported service, support shall be based on the lower of either the pre-discount price of the service for which support was originally requested or the pre-discount price of the new, substituted service.

(3) For purposes of this rule, the broad categories of eligible services (telecommunications service, Internet access, and internal connections) are not deemed to have the same functionality with one another.

(e) Mixed eligibility services. A request for discounts for a product or service that includes both eligible and ineligible components must allocate the cost of the contract to eligible and ineligible components.

(1) Ineligible components. If a product or service contains ineligible components, costs must be allocated to the extent that a clear delineation can be made between the eligible and ineligible components. The delineation must have a tangible basis, and the price for the eligible portion must be the most cost-effective means of receiving the eligible service.

(2) Ancillary ineligible components. If a product or service contains ineligible components that are ancillary to the eligible components, and the product or service is the most cost-effective means of receiving the eligible component functionality, without regard to the value of the ineligible component, costs need not be allocated between the eligible and ineligible components. Discounts shall be provided on the full cost of the product or service. An ineligible component is “ancillary” if a price for the ineligible component cannot be determined separately and independently from the price of the eligible components, and the specific package remains the most cost-effective means of receiving the eligible services, without regard to the value of the ineligible functionality.

(3) The Administrator shall utilize the cost allocation requirements of this paragraph in evaluating mixed eligibility requests under paragraph (e)(1) of this section.

(f) Filing of FCC Form 473. All service providers eligible to provide telecommunications and other supported services under this subpart shall submit annually a completed FCC Form 473 to the Administrator. The FCC Form 473 shall be signed by an authorized person and shall include that person's certification under oath that:

(1) The prices in any offer that this service provider makes pursuant to the schools and libraries universal service support program have been arrived at independently, without, for the purpose of restricting competition, any consultation, communication, or agreement with any other offeror or competitor relating to those prices, the intention to submit an offer, or the methods or factors used to calculate the prices offered;

(2) The prices in any offer that this service provider makes pursuant to the schools and libraries universal service support program will not be knowingly disclosed by this service provider, directly or indirectly, to any other offeror or competitor before bid opening (in the case of a sealed bid solicitation) or contract award (in the case of a negotiated solicitation) unless otherwise required by law; and

(3) No attempt will be made by this service provider to induce any other concern to submit or not to submit an offer for the purpose of restricting competition.

(4) The service provider listed on the FCC Form 473 certifies that the invoices that are submitted by this Service Provider to the Billed Entity for reimbursement pursuant to Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement Forms (FCC Form 472) are accurate and represent payments from the Billed Entity to the Service Provider for equipment and services provided pursuant to E-rate program rules.

(5) The service provider listed on the FCC Form 473 certifies that the bills or invoices issued by this service provider to the billed entity are for equipment and services eligible for universal service support by the Administrator, and exclude any charges previously invoiced to the Administrator by the service provider.

[79 FR 49199, Aug. 19, 2014, as amended at 79 FR 68634, Nov. 18, 2014]

Effective Date Note: At 79 FR 49199, Aug. 19, 2014, §54.504 was revised. However, paragraphs (f)(4) and (f)(5) will become effective July 1, 2016.

§54.505   Discounts.

(a) Discount mechanism. Discounts for eligible schools and libraries shall be set as a percentage discount from the pre-discount price.

(b) Discount percentages. The discounts available to eligible schools and libraries shall range from 20 percent to 90 percent of the pre-discount price for all eligible services provided by eligible providers, as defined in this subpart. The discounts available to a particular school, library, or consortium of only such entities shall be determined by indicators of poverty and high cost.

(1) For schools and school districts, the level of poverty shall be based on the percentage of the student enrollment that is eligible for a free or reduced price lunch under the national school lunch program or a federally-approved alternative mechanism. School districts shall divide the total number of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program within the school district by the total number of students within the school district to arrive at a percentage of students eligible. This percentage rate shall then be applied to the discount matrix to set a discount rate for the supported services purchased by all schools within the school district. Independent charter schools, private schools, and other eligible educational facilities should calculate a single discount percentage rate based on the total number of students under the control of the central administrative agency.

(2) For libraries and library consortia, the level of poverty shall be based on the percentage of the student enrollment that is eligible for a free or reduced price lunch under the national school lunch program or a federally-approved alternative mechanism in the public school district in which they are located and should use that school district's level of poverty to determine their discount rate when applying as a library system or as an individual library outlet within that system. When a library system has branches or outlets in more than one public school district, that library system and all library outlets within that system should use the address of the central outlet or main administrative office to determine which school district the library system is in, and should use that school district's level of poverty to determine its discount rate when applying as a library system or as one or more library outlets. If the library is not in a school district, then its level of poverty shall be based on an average of the percentage of students eligible for the national school lunch program in each of the school districts that children living in the library's location attend.

(3) The Administrator shall classify schools and libraries as “urban” or “rural” based on location in an urban or rural area, according to the following desigantions.

(i) The Administrator shall designate a school or library as “urban” if the school or library is located in an uurban area as determined by the most recent rural-urban classification by the Bureau of the Census. The Administrator shall designate all other schools and libraries as “rural.”

(ii) Any school district or library system that has a majority of schools or libraries in a rural area qualifies for the additional rural discount.

(4) School districts, library systems, or other billed entities shall calculate discounts on supported services described in §54.502(a) that are shared by two or more of their schools, libraries, or consortia members by calculating an average discount based on the applicable district-wide discounts of all member schools and libraries. School districts, library systems, or other billed entities shall ensure that, for each year in which an eligible school or library is included for purposes of calculating the aggregate discount rate, that eligible school or library shall receive a proportionate share of the shared services for which support is sought. For schools, the discount shall be a simple average of the applicable district-wide percentage for all schools sharing a portion of the shared services. For libraries, the average discount shall be a simple average of the applicable discounts to which the libraries sharing a portion of the shared services are entitled.

(c) Matrices. Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, the Administrator shall use the following matrices to set discount rates to be applied to eligible category one and category two services purchased by eligible schools, school districts, libraries, or consortia based on the institution's level of poverty and location in an “urban” or “rural” area.

   % of students eligible for National School Lunch ProgramCategory one schools and
libraries discount matrix
Category two schools and
libraries discount matrix
Discount levelDiscount level
Urban
discount
Rural
discount
Urban
discount
Rural
discount
< 120252025
1-1940504050
20-3450605060
35-4960706070
50-7480808080
75-10090908585

(d) Voice Services. Discounts for category one voice services shall be reduced by 20 percentage points off applicant discount percentage rates for each funding year starting in funding year 2015, and reduced by an additional 20 percentage points off applicant discount percentage rates each subsequent funding year.

(e) Interstate and intrastate services. Federal universal service support for schools and libraries shall be provided for both interstate and intrastate services.

(1) Federal universal service support under this subpart for eligible schools and libraries in a state is contingent upon the establishment of intrastate discounts no less than the discounts applicable for interstate services.

(2) A state may, however, secure a temporary waiver of this latter requirement based on unusually compelling conditions.

(f) State support. Federal universal service discounts shall be based on the price of a service prior to the application of any state provided support for schools or libraries.

[62 FR 32948, June 17, 1997, as amended at 62 FR 41304, Aug. 1, 1997; 63 FR 2130, Jan. 13, 1998; 63 FR 70572, Dec. 21, 1998; 75 FR 75414, Dec. 3, 2010; 79 FR 49201, Aug. 19, 2014; 79 FR 68634, Nov. 18, 2014]

§54.506   [Reserved]

§54.507   Cap.

Link to a correction published at 79 FR 68632, November 18, 2014.

(a) Amount of the annual cap. The aggregate annual cap on federal universal service support for schools and libraries shall be $2.25 billion per funding year, of which $1 billion per funding year will be available for the category two services, as described in §54.502(a)(2), unless demand for category one services is higher than available funding.

(1) Inflation increase. In funding year 2010 and subsequent funding years, the $2.25 billion funding cap on federal universal service support for schools and libraries shall be automatically increased annually to take into account increases in the rate of inflation as calculated in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

(2) Increase calculation. To measure increases in the rate of inflation for the purposes of this paragraph (a), the Commission shall use the Gross Domestic Product Chain-type Price Index (GDP-CPI). To compute the annual increase as required by this paragraph (a), the percentage increase in the GDP-CPI from the previous year will be used. For instance, the annual increase in the GDP-CPI from 2008 to 2009 would be used for the 2010 funding year. The increase shall be rounded to the nearest 0.1 percent by rounding 0.05 percent and above to the next higher 0.1 percent and otherwise rounding to the next lower 0.1 percent. This percentage increase shall be added to the amount of the annual funding cap from the previous funding year. If the yearly average GDP-CPI decreases or stays the same, the annual funding cap shall remain the same as the previous year.

(3) Public notice. When the calculation of the yearly average GDP-CPI is determined, the Wireline Competition Bureau shall publish a public notice in the Federal Register within 60 days announcing any increase of the annual funding cap based on the rate of inflation.

(4) Filing window requests. At the close of the filing window, if requests for category one services are greater than the available funding, the Administrator shall shift category two funds to provide support for category one services. If available funds are sufficient to meet demand for category one services, the Administrator, at the direction of the Wireline Competition Bureau, shall direct the remaining additional funds to provide support for category two requests.

(5) Amount of unused funds. All funds collected that are unused shall be carried forward into subsequent funding years for use in the schools and libraries support mechanism in accordance with the public interest and notwithstanding the annual cap. The Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau, is delegated authority to determine the proportion of unused funds, if any, needed to meet category one demand, and to direct the Administrator to use any remaining funds to provide support for category two requests. The Administrator shall report to the Commission, on a quarterly basis, funding that is unused from prior years of the schools and libraries support mechanism.

(6) Application of unused funds. On an annual basis, in the second quarter of each calendar year, all funds that are collected and that are unused from prior years shall be available for use in the next full funding year of the schools and libraries mechanism in accordance with the public interest and notwithstanding the annual cap as described in this paragraph (a).

(b) Funding year. A funding year for purposes of the schools and libraries cap shall be the period July 1 through June 30.

(c) Requests. Funds shall be available to fund discounts for eligible schools and libraries and consortia of such eligible entities on a first-come-first-served basis, with requests accepted beginning on the first of July prior to each funding year. The Administrator shall maintain on the Administrator's Web site a running tally of the funds already committed for the existing funding year. The Administrator shall implement an initial filing period that treats all schools and libraries filing within that period as if their applications were simultaneously received. The initial filing period shall begin on the date that the Administrator begins to receive applications for support, and shall conclude on a date to be determined by the Administrator. The Administrator may implement such additional filing periods as it deems necessary.

(d) Annual filing requirement. Schools and libraries, and consortia of such eligible entities shall file new funding requests for each funding year no sooner than the July 1 prior to the start of that funding year. Schools, libraries, and eligible consortia must use recurring services for which discounts have been committed by the Administrator within the funding year for which the discounts were sought. Implementation of non-recurring services may begin on April 1 prior to the July 1 start of the funding year. The deadline for implementation of non-recurring services will be September 30 following the close of the funding year. An applicant may request and receive from the Administrator an extension of the implementation deadline for non-recurring services if it satisfies one of the following criteria:

(1) The applicant's funding commitment decision letter is issued by the Administrator on or after March 1 of the funding year for which discounts are authorized;

(2) The applicant receives a service provider change authorization or service substitution authorization from the Administrator on or after March 1 of the funding year for which discounts are authorized;

(3) The applicant's service provider is unable to complete implementation for reasons beyond the service provider's control; or

(4) The applicant's service provider is unwilling to complete installation because funding disbursements are delayed while the Administrator investigates their application for program compliance.

(e) Long term contracts. If schools and libraries enter into long term contracts for eligible services, the Administrator shall only commit funds to cover the pro rata portion of such a long term contract scheduled to be delivered during the funding year for which universal service support is sought.

(f) Rules of distribution. When the filing period described in paragraph (c) of this section closes, the Administrator shall calculate the total demand for both category one and category two support submitted by applicants during the filing period. If total demand for the funding year exceeds the total support available for category one or both categories, the Administrator shall take the following steps:

(1) Category one. The Administrator shall first calculate the demand for category one services for all discount levels. The Administrator shall allocate the category one funds to these requests for support, beginning with the most economically disadvantaged schools and libraries, as determined by the schools and libraries discount matrix in §54.505(c). Schools and libraries eligible for a 90 percent discount shall receive first priority for the category one funds. The Administrator shall next allocate funds toward the requests submitted by schools and libraries eligible for an 80 percent discount, then for a 70 percent discount, and shall continue committing funds for category one services in the same manner to the applicants at each descending discount level until there are no funds remaining.

(2) Category two. The Administrator shall next calculate the demand for category two services for all discount categories as determined by the schools and libraries discount matrix in §54.505(c). If that demand exceeds the category two budget for that funding year, the Administrator shall allocate the category two funds beginning with the most economically disadvantaged schools and libraries, as determined by the schools and libraries discount matrix in §54.505(c). The Administrator shall allocate funds toward the category two requests submitted by schools and libraries eligible for an 85 percent discount first, then for a 80 percent discount, and shall continue committing funds in the same manner to the applicants at each descending discount level until there are no category two funds remaining.

(3) To the extent that there are single discount percentage levels associated with “shared services” under §54.505(b)(4), the Administrator shall allocate funds to the applicants at each descending discount level (e.g., 90 percent, 89 percent, then 88 percent) until there are no funds remaining.

(4) For both paragraphs (f)(1) and (2) of this section, if the remaining funds are not sufficient to support all of the funding requests within a particular discount level, the Administrator shall allocate funds at that discount level using the percentage of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program. Thus, if there is not enough support to fund all requests at the 40 percent discount level, the Administrator shall allocate funds beginning with those applicants with the highest percentage of NSLP eligibility for that discount level by funding those applicants with 19 percent NSLP eligibility, then 18 percent NSLP eligibility, and shall continue committing funds in the same manner to applicants at each descending percentage of NSLP until there are no funds remaining.

[79 FR 49201, Aug. 19, 2014]

§54.508   [Reserved]

§54.509   Adjustments to the discount matrix.

(a) Estimating future spending requests. When submitting their requests for specific amounts of funding for a funding year, schools, libraries, library consortia, and consortia including such entities shall also estimate their funding requests for the following funding year to enable the Administrator, to estimate funding demand for the following year.

(b) Reduction in percentage discounts. At all times other than within a filing period described in §54.507(c), if the estimates schools and libraries make of their future funding needs lead the Administrator to predict that total funding request for a funding year will exceed the available funding, the Administrator shall calculate the percentage reduction to all schools and libraries, except those in the two most disadvantaged categories, necessary to permit all requests in the next funding year to be fully funded.

(c) Remaining funds. If funds remain under the cap at the end of the funding year in which discounts have been reduced below those set in the matrices, the Administrator shall consult with the Commission to establish the best way to distribute those funds.

[62 FR 32948, June 17, 1997, as amended at 62 FR 41304, Aug. 1, 1997; 63 FR 70572, Dec. 21, 1998; 69 FR 6191, Feb. 10, 2004]

§54.511   Ordering services.

(a) Selecting a provider of eligible services. Except as exempted in §54.503(e), in selecting a provider of eligible services, schools, libraries, library consortia, and consortia including any of those entities shall carefully consider all bids submitted and must select the most cost-effective service offering. In determining which service offering is the most cost-effective, entities may consider relevant factors other than the pre-discount prices submitted by providers, but price should be the primary factor considered.

(b) Lowest corresponding price. Providers of eligible services shall not submit bids for or charge schools, school districts, libraries, library consortia, or consortia including any of these entities a price above the lowest corresponding price for supported services, unless the Commission, with respect to interstate services or the state commission with respect to intrastate services, finds that the lowest corresponding price is not compensatory. Promotional rates offered by a service provider for a period of more than 90 days must be included among the comparable rates upon which the lowest corresponding price is determined.

[79 FR 59203, Aug. 19, 2014]

§54.513   Resale and transfer of services.

(a) Prohibition on resale. Eligible supported services provided at a discount under this subpart shall not be sold, resold, or transferred in consideration of money or any other thing of value, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) Disposal of obsolete equipment components of eligible services. Eligible equipment components of eligible services purchased at a discount under this subpart shall be considered obsolete if the equipment components have has been installed for at least five years. Obsolete equipment components of eligible services may be resold or transferred in consideration of money or any other thing of value, disposed of, donated, or traded.

(c) Permissible fees. This prohibition on resale shall not bar schools, school districts, libraries, and library consortia from charging either computer lab fees or fees for classes in how to navigate over the Internet. There is no prohibition on the resale of services that are not purchased pursuant to the discounts provided in this subpart.

(d) Eligible services and equipment components of eligible services purchased at a discount under this subpart shall not be transferred, with or without consideration of money or any other thing of value, for a period of three years after purchase, except that eligible services and equipment components of eligible services may be transferred to another eligible school or library in the event that the particular location where the service originally was received is permanently or temporarily closed. If an eligible service or equipment component of a service is transferred due to the permanent or temporary closure of a school or library, the transferor must notify the Administrator of the transfer, and both the transferor and recipient must maintain detailed records documenting the transfer and the reason for the transfer for a period of five years.

[62 FR 32948, June 17, 1997, as amended at 69 FR 6191, Feb. 10, 2004; 75 FR 75415, Dec. 3, 2010]

§54.514   Payment for discounted services.

Link to a correction published at 79 FR 68632, November 18, 2014.

(a) Invoice filing deadline. Invoices must be submitted to the Administrator:

(1) 120 days after the last day to receive service, or

(2) 120 days after the date of the FCC Form 486 Notification Letter, whichever is later.

(b) Invoice deadline extension. In advance of the deadline calculated pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, service providers or billed entities may request a one-time extension of the invoicing deadline. The Administrator shall grant a 120 day extension of the invoice filing deadline, if it is timely requested.

(c) Choice of payment method. Service providers providing discounted services under this subpart in any funding year shall, prior to the submission of the FCC Form 471, permit the billed entity to choose the method of payment for the discounted services from those methods approved by the Administrator, including by making a full, undiscounted payment and receiving subsequent reimbursement of the discount amount from the Administrator.

[79 FR 49203, Aug. 19, 2014]\

§54.515   Distributing support.

(a) A telecommunications carrier providing services eligible for support under this subpart to eligible schools and libraries may, at the election of the carrier, treat the amount eligible for support under this subpart as an offset against the carrier's universal service contribution obligation for the year in which the costs for providing eligible services were incurred or receive a direct reimbursement from the Administrator for that amount. Carriers shall elect in January of each year the method by which they will be reimbursed and shall remain subject to that method for the duration of the calendar year. Any support amount that is owed a carrier that fails to remit its monthly universal service contribution obligation, however, shall first be applied as an offset to that carrier's contribution obligation. Such a carrier shall remain subject to the offsetting method for the remainder of the calendar year in which it failed to remit their monthly universal service obligation. A carrier that continues to be in arrears on its universal service contribution obligations at the end of a calendar year shall remain subject to the offsetting method for the next calendar year.

(b) If a telecommunications carrier elects to treat the amount eligible for support under this subpart as an offset against the carrier's universal service contribution obligation and the total amount of support owed to the carrier exceeds its universal service obligation, calculated on an annual basis, the carrier shall receive a direct reimbursement in the amount of the difference. Any such reimbursement due a carrier shall be submitted to that carrier no later than the end of the first quarter of the calendar year following the year in which the costs were incurred and the offset against the carrier's universal service obligation was applied.

[63 FR 67009, Dec. 4, 1998]

§54.516   Auditing.

Link to an amendment published at 79 FR 49203, August 19, 2014.

(a) Recordkeeping requirements—(1) Schools and libraries. Schools and libraries shall retain all documents related to the application for, receipt, and delivery of discounted telecommunications and other supported services for at least 5 years after the last day of service delivered in a particular Funding Year. Any other document that demonstrates compliance with the statutory or regulatory requirements for the schools and libraries mechanism shall be retained as well. Schools and libraries shall maintain asset and inventory records of equipment purchased as components of supported internal connections services sufficient to verify the actual location of such equipment for a period of five years after purchase.

(2) Service providers. Service providers shall retain documents related to the delivery of discounted telecommunications and other supported services for at least 5 years after the last day of the delivery of discounted services. Any other document that demonstrates compliance with the statutory or regulatory requirements for the schools and libraries mechanism shall be retained as well.

(b) Production of records. Schools, libraries, and service providers shall produce such records at the request of any representative (including any auditor) appointed by a state education department, the Administrator, the FCC, or any local, state or federal agency with jurisdiction over the entity.

(c) Audits. Schools, libraries, and service providers shall be subject to audits and other investigations to evaluate their compliance with the statutory and regulatory requirements for the schools and libraries universal service support mechanism, including those requirements pertaining to what services and products are purchased, what services and products are delivered, and how services and products are being used. Schools and libraries receiving discounted services must provide consent before a service provider releases confidential information to the auditor, reviewer, or other representative.

[69 FR 55111, Sept. 13, 2004]

Effective Date Notes: 1.At 79 FR 49203, Aug. 19, 2014, §54.516 was revised, effective July 1, 2015. For the convenience of the user, the revised text is set forth as follows:

§54.516   Auditing and inspections.

(a) Recordkeeping requirements—(1) Schools, libraries, and consortia. Schools, libraries, and any consortium that includes schools or libraries shall retain all documents related to the application for, receipt, and delivery of supported services for at least 10 years after the latter of the last day of the applicable funding year or the service delivery deadline for the funding request. Any other document that demonstrates compliance with the statutory or regulatory requirements for the schools and libraries mechanism shall be retained as well. Schools, libraries, and consortia shall maintain asset and inventory records of equipment purchased as components of supported category two services sufficient to verify the actual location of such equipment for a period of 10 years after purchase.

(2) Service providers. Service providers shall retain documents related to the delivery of supported services for at least 10 years after the latter of the last day of the applicable funding year or the service delivery deadline for the funding request. Any other document that demonstrates compliance with the statutory or regulatory requirements for the schools and libraries mechanism shall be retained as well.

(b) Production of records. Schools, libraries, consortia, and service providers shall produce such records at the request of any representative (including any auditor) appointed by a state education department, the Administrator, the FCC, or any local, state or federal agency with jurisdiction over the entity.

(c) Audits. Schools, libraries, consortia, and service providers shall be subject to audits and other investigations to evaluate their compliance with the statutory and regulatory requirements for the schools and libraries universal service support mechanism, including those requirements pertaining to what services and products are purchased, what services and products are delivered, and how services and products are being used. Schools, libraries, and consortia receiving discounted services must provide consent before a service provider releases confidential information to the auditor, reviewer, or other representative.

(d) Inspections. Schools, libraries, consortia and service providers shall permit any representative (including any auditor) appointed by a state education department, the Administrator, the Commission or any local, state or federal agency with jurisdiction over the entity to enter their premises to conduct E-rate compliance inspections.

§54.517   [Reserved]

§54.518   Support for wide area networks.

To the extent that schools, libraries or consortia that include an eligible school or library build or purchase a wide area network to provide telecommunications services, the cost of such wide area networks shall not be eligible for universal service discounts provided under this subpart.

[75 FR 75415, Dec. 3, 2010]

§54.519   State telecommunications networks.

(a) Telecommunications services. State telecommunications networks may secure discounts under the universal service support mechanisms on supported telecommunications services (as described in §54.502(a)) on behalf of eligible schools and libraries (as described in §54.501) or consortia that include an eligible school or library. Such state telecommunications networks shall pass on such discounts to eligible schools and libraries and shall:

(1) Maintain records listing each eligible school and library and showing the basis for each eligibility determination;

(2) Maintain records demonstrating the discount amount to which each eligible school and library is entitled and the basis for such determination;

(3) Take reasonable steps to ensure that each eligible school or library receives a proportionate share of the shared services;

(4) Request that service providers apply the appropriate discount amounts on the portion of the supported services used by each school or library;

(5) Direct eligible schools and libraries to pay the discounted price; and

(6) Comply with the competitive bid requirements set forth in §54.503.

(b) Internet access and installation and maintenance of internal connections. State telecommunications networks either may secure discounts on Internet access and installation and maintenance of internal connections in the manner described in paragraph (a) of this section with regard to telecommunications, or shall be eligible, consistent with §54.502(a), to receive universal service support for providing such services to eligible schools, libraries, and consortia including those entities.

[63 FR 2131, Jan. 13, 1998; 63 FR 33586, June 19, 1998, as amended at75 FR 75415, Dec. 3, 2010]

§54.520   Children's Internet Protection Act certifications required from recipients of discounts under the federal universal service support mechanism for schools and libraries.

(a) Definitions.

(1) School. For the purposes of the certification requirements of this rule, school means school, school board, school district, local education agency or other authority responsible for administration of a school.

(2) Library. For the purposes of the certification requirements of this rule, library means library, library board or authority responsible for administration of a library.

(3) Billed entity. Billed entity is defined in §54.500. In the case of a consortium, the billed entity is the lead member of the consortium.

(4) Statutory definitions.

(i) The term “minor” means any individual who has not attained the age of 17 years.

(ii) The term “obscene” has the meaning given such term in 18 U.S.C. 1460.

(iii) The term “child pornography” has the meaning given such term in 18 U.S.C. 2256.

(iv) The term “harmful to minors” means any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that—

(A) Taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion;

(B) Depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals; and

(C) Taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors.

(v) The terms “sexual act” and “sexual contact” have the meanings given such terms in 18 U.S.C. 2246.

(vi) The term “technology protection measure” means a specific technology that blocks or filters Internet access to the material covered by a certification under paragraph (c) of this section.

(b) Who is required to make certifications? (1) A school or library that receives discounts for Internet access and internal connections services under the federal universal service support mechanism for schools and libraries, must make such certifications as described in paragraph (c) of this section. The certifications required and described in paragraph (c) of this section must be made in each funding year.

(2) Schools and libraries that only receive discounts for telecommunications services under the federal universal service support mechanism for schools and libraries are not subject to the requirements 47 U.S.C. 254(h) and (l), but must indicate, pursuant to the certification requirements in paragraph (c) of this section, that they only receive discounts for telecommunications services.

(c) Certifications required under 47 U.S.C. 254(h) and (l)—(1) Schools. The billed entity for a school that receives discounts for Internet access or internal connections must certify on FCC Form 486 that an Internet safety policy is being enforced. If the school is an eligible member of a consortium but is not the billed entity for the consortium, the school must certify instead on FCC Form 479 (“Certification to Consortium Leader of Compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act”) that an Internet safety policy is being enforced.

(i) The Internet safety policy adopted and enforced pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 254(h) must include a technology protection measure that protects against Internet access by both adults and minors to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or, with respect to use of the computers by minors, harmful to minors. The school must enforce the operation of the technology protection measure during use of its computers with Internet access, although an administrator, supervisor, or other person authorized by the certifying authority under paragraph (a)(1) of this section may disable the technology protection measure concerned, during use by an adult, to enable access for bona fide research or other lawful purpose. This Internet safety policy must also include monitoring the online activities of minors. Beginning July 1, 2012, schools' Internet safety policies must provide for educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking Web sites and in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and response.

(ii) The Internet safety policy adopted and enforced pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 254(l) must address all of the following issues:

(A) Access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web,

(B) The safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications,

(C) Unauthorized access, including so-called “hacking,” and other unlawful activities by minors online;

(D) Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors; and

(E) Measures designed to restrict minors' access to materials harmful to minors.

(iii) A school must satisfy its obligations to make certifications by making one of the following certifications required by paragraph (c)(1) of this section on FCC Form 486:

(A) The recipient(s) of service represented in the Funding Request Number(s) on this Form 486 has (have) complied with the requirements of the Children's Internet Protection Act, as codified at 47 U.S.C. 254(h) and (l).

(B) Pursuant to the Children's Internet Protection Act, as codified at 47 U.S.C. 254(h) and (l), the recipient(s) of service represented in the Funding Request Number(s) on this Form 486, for whom this is the first funding year in the federal universal service support mechanism for schools and libraries, is (are) undertaking such actions, including any necessary procurement procedures, to comply with the requirements of CIPA for the next funding year, but has (have) not completed all requirements of CIPA for this funding year.

(C) The Children's Internet Protection Act, as codified at 47 U.S.C. 254(h) and (l), does not apply because the recipient(s) of service represented in the Funding Request Number(s) on this Form 486 is (are) receiving discount services only for telecommunications services.

(2) Libraries. The billed entity for a library that receives discounts for Internet access and internal connections must certify, on FCC Form 486, that an Internet safety policy is being enforced. If the library is an eligible member of a consortium but is not the billed entity for the consortium, the library must instead certify on FCC Form 479 (“Certification to Consortium Leader of Compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act”) that an Internet safety policy is being enforced.

(i) The Internet safety policy adopted and enforced pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 254(h) must include a technology protection measure that protects against Internet access by both adults and minors to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or, with respect to use of the computers by minors, harmful to minors. The library must enforce the operation of the technology protection measure during use of its computers with Internet access, although an administrator, supervisor, or other person authorized by the certifying authority under paragraph (a)(2) of this section may disable the technology protection measure concerned, during use by an adult, to enable access for bona fide research or other lawful purpose.

(ii) The Internet safety policy adopted and enforced pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 254(l) must address all of the following issues:

(A) Access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web;

(B) The safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications;

(C) Unauthorized access, including so-called “hacking,” and other unlawful activities by minors online;

(D) Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors; and

(E) Measures designed to restrict minors' access to materials harmful to minors.

(iii) A library must satisfy its obligations to make certifications by making one of the following certifications required by paragraph (c)(2) of this section on FCC Form 486:

(A) The recipient(s) of service represented in the Funding Request Number(s) on this Form 486 has (have) complied with the requirements of the Children's Internet Protection Act, as codified at 47 U.S.C. 254(h) and (l).

(B) Pursuant to the Children's Internet Protection Act, as codified at 47 U.S.C. 254(h) and (l), the recipient(s) of service represented in the Funding Request Number(s) on this Form 486, for whom this is the first funding year in the federal universal service support mechanism for schools and libraries, is (are) undertaking such actions, including any necessary procurement procedures, to comply with the requirements of CIPA for the next funding year, but has (have) not completed all requirements of CIPA for this funding year.

(C) The Children's Internet Protection Act, as codified at 47 U.S.C. 254(h) and (l), does not apply because the recipient(s) of service represented in the Funding Request Number(s) on this Form 486 is (are) receiving discount services only for telecommunications services.

(3) Certifications required from consortia members and billed entities for consortia. (i) The billed entity of a consortium, as defined in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, other than one requesting only discounts on telecommunications services for consortium members, must collect from the authority for each of its school and library members, one of the following signed certifications on FCC Form 479 (“Certification to Consortium Leader of Compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act”), which must be submitted to the billed entity consistent with paragraph (c)(1) or paragraph (c)(2) of this section:

(A) The recipient(s) of service under my administrative authority and represented in the Funding Request Number(s) for which you have requested or received Funding Commitments has (have) complied with the requirements of the Children's Internet Protection Act, as codified at 47 U.S.C. 254(h) and (l).

(B) Pursuant to the Children's Internet Protection Act, as codified at 47 U.S.C. 254(h) and (l), the recipient(s) of service under my administrative authority and represented in the Funding Request Number(s) for which you have requested or received Funding Commitments, and for whom this is the first funding year in the federal universal service support mechanism for schools and libraries, is (are) undertaking such actions, including any necessary procurement procedures, to comply with the requirements of CIPA for the next funding year, but has (have) not completed all requirements of CIPA for this funding year.

(C) The Children's Internet Protection Act, as codified at 47 U.S.C. 254(h) and (l), does not apply because the recipient(s) of service under my administrative authority and represented in the Funding Request Number(s) for which you have requested or received Funding Commitments is (are) receiving discount services only for telecommunications services; and

(ii) The billed entity for a consortium, as defined in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, must make one of the following two certifications on FCC Form 486: “I certify as the Billed Entity for the consortium that I have collected duly completed and signed Forms 479 from all eligible members of the consortium.”; or I certify “as the Billed Entity for the consortium that the only services that I have been approved for discounts under the universal service support on behalf of eligible members of the consortium are telecommunications services, and therefore the requirements of the Children's Internet Protection Act, as codified at 47 U.S.C. 254(h) and (l), do not apply.”; and

(iii) The billed entity for a consortium, as defined in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, who filed an FCC Form 471 as a “consortium application” and who is also a recipient of services as a member of that consortium must select one of the certifications under paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section on FCC Form 486.

(4) Local determination of content. A determination regarding matter inappropriate for minors shall be made by the school board, local educational agency, library, or other authority responsible for making the determination. No agency or instrumentality of the United States Government may establish criteria for making such determination; review the determination made by the certifying school, school board, school district, local educational agency, library, or other authority; or consider the criteria employed by the certifying school, school board, school district, local educational agency, library, or other authority in the administration of the schools and libraries universal service support mechanism.

(5) Availability for review. Each Internet safety policy adopted pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 254(l) shall be made available to the Commission, upon request from the Commission, by the school, school board, school district, local educational agency, library, or other authority responsible for adopting such Internet safety policy for purposes of the review of such Internet safety policy by the Commission.

(d) Failure to provide certifications—(1) Schools and libraries. A school or library that knowingly fails to submit certifications as required by this section, shall not be eligible for discount services under the federal universal service support mechanism for schools and libraries until such certifications are submitted.

(2) Consortia. A billed entity's knowing failure to collect the required certifications from its eligible school and library members or knowing failure to certify that it collected the required certifications shall render the entire consortium ineligible for discounts under the federal universal service support mechanism for school and libraries.

(3) Reestablishing eligibility. At any time, a school or library deemed ineligible for discount services under the federal universal service support mechanism for schools and libraries because of failure to submit certifications required by this section, may reestablish eligibility for discounts by providing the required certifications to the Administrator and the Commission.

(e) Failure to comply with the certifications—(1) Schools and libraries. A school or library that knowingly fails to ensure the use of computers in accordance with the certifications required by this section, must reimburse any funds and discounts received under the federal universal service support mechanism for schools and libraries for the period in which there was noncompliance.

(2) Consortia. In the case of consortium applications, the eligibility for discounts of consortium members who ensure the use of computers in accordance with the certification requirements of this section shall not be affected by the failure of other school or library consortium members to ensure the use of computers in accordance with such requirements.

(3) Reestablishing compliance. At any time, a school or library deemed ineligible for discounts under the federal universal service support mechanism for schools and libraries for failure to ensure the use of computers in accordance with the certification requirements of this section and that has been directed to reimburse the program for discounts received during the period of noncompliance, may reestablish compliance by ensuring the use of its computers in accordance with the certification requirements under this section. Upon submittal to the Commission of a certification or other appropriate evidence of such remedy, the school or library shall be eligible for discounts under the universal service mechanism.

(f) Waivers based on state or local procurement rules and regulations and competitive bidding requirements. Waivers shall be granted to schools and libraries when the authority responsible for making the certifications required by this section, cannot make the required certifications because its state or local procurement rules or regulations or competitive bidding requirements, prevent the making of the certification otherwise required. The waiver shall be granted upon the provision, by the authority responsible for making the certifications on behalf of schools or libraries, that the schools or libraries will be brought into compliance with the requirements of this section, for schools, before the start of the third program year after April 20, 2001 in which the school is applying for funds under this title, and, for libraries, before the start of Funding Year 2005 or the third program year after April 20, 2001, whichever is later.

(g) Funding year certification deadlines. For Funding Year 2003 and for subsequent funding years, billed entities shall provide one of the certifications required under paragraph (c)(1), (c)(2) or (c)(3) of this section on an FCC Form 486 in accordance with the existing program guidelines established by the Administrator.

(h) Public notice; hearing or meeting. A school or library shall provide reasonable public notice and hold at least one public hearing or meeting to address the proposed Internet safety policy.

[66 FR 19396, Apr. 16, 2001; 66 FR 22133, May 3, 2001, as amended at 67 FR 50603, Aug. 5, 2002; 68 FR 47255, Aug. 8, 2003; 76 FR 56303, Sept. 13, 2011]

§54.522   [Reserved]

§54.523   Payment for the non-discount portion of supported services.

An eligible school, library, or consortium must pay the non-discount portion of services or products purchased with universal service discounts. An eligible school, library, or consortium may not receive rebates for services or products purchased with universal service discounts. For the purpose of this rule, the provision, by the provider of a supported service, of free services or products unrelated to the supported service or product constitutes a rebate of the non-discount portion of the supported services.

[69 FR 6192, Feb. 10, 2004]



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