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Acceptable Use Policies and the E-Rate

The E-rate program and other educational technology initiatives are transforming our nation's classrooms and libraries. As increasing numbers of children have access to the Internet from their schools and neighborhood libraries, we need to address how best to ensure that these children have positive, educational online experience. The Administration supports an "user empowerment" approach that will equip parents, teachers and librarians with a wide range of tools with which they can protect children in their community in a manner that is most consistent with their values and one that is most compatible with the First Amendment.

In September of 1999, the Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade and Consumer Protection of the House Commerce Committee held a hearing in September 1999, on H.R. 1746, the "Schools and Libraries Internet Access Act." NTIA opposed the bill. H.R.1746 would have transformed the "Education Rate" programs that fund telecommunications discounts and Internet access for schools and libraries through the universal service program administered by the Federal Communications Commission into a block granted program administered by NTIA and funded through the telephone excise tax.



Child Online Protection Act

In 1998, Congress passed the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), which established a commission to examine the extent to which current technological tools help protect children from inappropriate online content. The Commission held three public hearings that summer to examine the various technologies and methods used to protect children from inappropriate content online. The Commission also held two additional meetings to discuss report drafting. On October 20, 2000, the COPA Commission delivered its final report to Congress. The report made specific recommendations to Congress while also detailing each of the methods it studied. The Commission recommendations called on industry, consumers and the government to take action in four main areas: public education, consumer empowerment, law enforcement and industry self regulation. The final report is available on the COPA Commission's website: www.copacommission.org.

Press Release: Assistant Secretary Rohde welcomes COPA Commission Recommendations.

Joint Statement of Government Representatives to the COPA Commission.



NTIA Filings, Speeches, and Testimony Concerning Internet Content

FCC Letter Encouraging E-rate Funds for Schools and Libraries: NTIA filed a letter with the FCC in CC Docket No. 96-45 (Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service), encouraging the Commission to adopt a requirement that all schools and libraries that receive Federal E-rate funds certify that they will implement acceptable use policies before such funds are awarded to them.

Schools and Libraries Internet Access Act Testimony: Associate Administrator Kelly Levy delivered testimony on H.R. 1746, the Schools and Libraries Internet Access Act, before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications, 9-30-1999.



For more information contact:

Sallianne Schagrin, sschagrin@ntia.doc.gov

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