Public elementary and secondary schools and public libraries are required to certify annual compliance with the law if they wish to maintain eligibility for federal funding for computers and/or Internet access. The extent to which they are regulated depends upon what types of federal funding they already receive. There are three distinct federal programs that provide subsidies to institutions for Internet access, service, internal connections, and personal computers:
- Universal Service (E-rate) discounts for Internet access, Internet service, or internal connections.
- Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) state grant funding to buy computers used to access the Internet or to pay direct Internet access costs.
- Title III funding under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to buy computers used to access the Internet or to pay direct Internet access costs.
The libraries and schools that receive E-rate funding face the broadest range of new requirements, including installation of filters, public notification and participation, and other measures. The law governs all such federal funding, whether it is disbursed directly or through a state intermediary agency. However, it does not apply to academic or college libraries, which do not qualify for the types of federal funding in question.