E-Rate for Public Libraries

E-Rate is a program administered by the the Universal Service Administrative Company under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). E-rate allows schools and libraries to receive discounts on telecommunications, internet access and related services. By funding discounts on connectivity, E-Rate allows schools and libraries to keep pace with constantly evolving technology.


Application Window

The Funding Year 2020 (July 1, 2020- June 30, 2021) application filing window will open on January 15, 2020 and close on April 29, 2020 at 10:59 pm Central Daylight Time. For assistance, contact amber.gregory@arkansas.gov.


Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

All libraries that receive E-Rate discounts for Internet Access, Internal Connections, Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections or Managed Internal Broadband Services must be compliant with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Computers purchased with LSTA funds must also be CIPA compliant. In Arkansas, a library that does not receive E-Rate or LSTA funds for computers is not required to filter.

To be CIPA compliant, a library must:

  • Filter visual images of child pornography, obscene material and images that are harmful to minors (for use on computers accessed by minors)
  • Have an Internet Safety Policy
  • Hold at least one meeting open to the public where the filter and internet safety policy are discussed. A board meeting open to the public is an example of a public meeting. Save meeting minutes and public notice announcing the meeting agenda.

Resources

For more information about the program, contact: