[USC02] 47 USC Ch. 12: BROADBAND
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*Public Laws 116-283 through 117-1 have been enacted but classifications have not yet been finalized. The currency ("laws in effect") date does not reflect acts for which classification has not been finalized.

47 USC Ch. 12: BROADBAND
From Title 47—TELECOMMUNICATIONS

CHAPTER 12—BROADBAND

Sec.
1301.
Findings.
1302.
Advanced telecommunications incentives.
1303.
Improving Federal data on broadband.
1304.
Encouraging State initiatives to improve broadband.
1305.
Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.

        

§1301. Findings

The Congress finds the following:

(1) The deployment and adoption of broadband technology has resulted in enhanced economic development and public safety for communities across the Nation, improved health care and educational opportunities, and a better quality of life for all Americans.

(2) Continued progress in the deployment and adoption of broadband technology is vital to ensuring that our Nation remains competitive and continues to create business and job growth.

(3) Improving Federal data on the deployment and adoption of broadband service will assist in the development of broadband technology across all regions of the Nation.

(4) The Federal Government should also recognize and encourage complementary State efforts to improve the quality and usefulness of broadband data and should encourage and support the partnership of the public and private sectors in the continued growth of broadband services and information technology for the residents and businesses of the Nation.

(Pub. L. 110–385, title I, §102, Oct. 10, 2008, 122 Stat. 4096.)


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Short Title

Pub. L. 110–385, title I, §101, Oct. 10, 2008, 122 Stat. 4096, provided that: "This title [enacting this chapter and amending section 1302 of this title] may be cited as the 'Broadband Data Improvement Act'."

Tribal Digital Access

Pub. L. 115–141, div. P, title V, §508, Mar. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 1095, provided that:

"(a) Tribal Broadband Data Report.—

"(1) In general.—Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Mar. 23, 2018], the Commission [Federal Communications Commission] shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report evaluating broadband coverage in Indian country (as defined in section 1151 of title 18, United States Code) and on land held by a Native Corporation pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act [43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.].

"(2) Required assessments.—The report required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:

"(A) An assessment of areas of Indian country (as so defined) and land held by a Native Corporation pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act that have adequate broadband coverage.

"(B) An assessment of unserved areas of Indian country (as so defined) and land held by a Native Corporation pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

"(b) Tribal Broadband Proceeding.—Not later than 30 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commission shall complete a proceeding to address the unserved areas identified in the report under subsection (a)."

Ex. Ord. No. 13616. Accelerating Broadband Infrastructure Deployment

Ex. Ord. No. 13616, June 14, 2012, 77 F.R. 36903, provided:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and in order to facilitate broadband deployment on Federal lands, buildings, and rights of way, federally assisted highways, and tribal and individual Indian trust lands (tribal lands), particularly in underserved communities, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. Broadband access is essential to the Nation's global competitiveness in the 21st century, driving job creation, promoting innovation, and expanding markets for American businesses. Broadband access also affords public safety agencies the opportunity for greater levels of effectiveness and interoperability. While broadband infrastructure has been deployed in a vast majority of communities across the country, today too many areas still lack adequate access to this crucial resource. For these areas, decisions on access to Federal property and rights of way can be essential to the deployment of both wired and wireless broadband infrastructure. The Federal Government controls nearly 30 percent of all land in the United States, owns thousands of buildings, and provides substantial funding for State and local transportation infrastructure, creating significant opportunities for executive departments and agencies (agencies) to help expand broadband infrastructure.

Sec. 2. Broadband Deployment on Federal Property Working Group. (a) In order to ensure a coordinated and consistent approach in implementing agency procedures, requirements, and policies related to access to Federal lands, buildings, and rights of way, federally assisted highways, and tribal lands to advance broadband deployment, there is established a Broadband Deployment on Federal Property Working Group (Working Group), to be co-chaired by representatives designated by the Administrator of General Services and the Secretary of Homeland Security (Co-Chairs) from their respective agencies, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (Director) and in coordination with the Chief Performance Officer (CPO).

(b) The Working Group shall be composed of:

(i) a representative from each of the following agencies, and the Co-Chairs, all of which have significant ownership of, or responsibility for managing, Federal lands, buildings, and rights of way, federally assisted highways, and tribal lands (Broadband Member Agencies):

(1) the Department of Defense;

(2) the Department of the Interior;

(3) the Department of Agriculture;

(4) the Department of Commerce;

(5) the Department of Transportation;

(6) the Department of Veterans Affairs; and

(7) the United States Postal Service;

(ii) a representative from each of the following agencies or offices, to provide advice and assistance:

(1) the Federal Communications Commission;

(2) the Council on Environmental Quality;

(3) the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; and

(4) the National Security Staff; and

(iii) representatives from such other agencies or offices as the Co-Chairs may invite to participate.

(c) Within 1 year of the date of this order, the Working Group shall report to the Steering Committee on Federal Infrastructure Permitting and Review Process Improvement, established pursuant to Executive Order 13604 of March 22, 2012 (Improving Performance of Federal Permitting and Review of Infrastructure Projects), on the progress that has been made in implementing the actions mandated by sections 3 through 5 of this order.

Sec. 3. Coordinating Consistent and Efficient Federal Broadband Procedures, Requirements, and Policies. (a) Each Broadband Member Agency, following coordination with other Broadband Member Agencies and interested non-member agencies, shall:

(i) develop and implement a strategy to facilitate the timely and efficient deployment of broadband facilities on Federal lands, buildings, and rights of way, federally assisted highways, and tribal lands, that:

(1) ensures a consistent approach across the Federal Government that facilitates broadband deployment processes and decisions, including by: avoiding duplicative reviews; coordinating review processes; providing clear notice of all application and other requirements; ensuring consistent interpretation and application of all procedures, requirements, and policies; supporting decisions on deployment of broadband service to those living on tribal lands consistent with existing statutes, treaties, and trust responsibilities; and ensuring the public availability of current information on these matters;

(2) where beneficial and appropriate, includes procedures for coordination with State, local, and tribal governments, and other appropriate entities;

(3) is coordinated with appropriate external stakeholders, as determined by each Broadband Member Agency, prior to implementation; and

(4) is provided to the Co-Chairs within 180 days of the date of this order; and

(ii) provide comprehensive and current information on accessing Federal lands, buildings, and rights of way, federally assisted highways, and tribal lands for the deployment of broadband facilities, and develop strategies to increase the usefulness and accessibility of this information, including ensuring such information is available online and in a format that is compatible with appropriate Government websites, such as the Federal Infrastructure Projects Dashboard created pursuant to my memorandum of August 31, 2011 (Speeding Infrastructure Development Through More Efficient and Effective Permitting and Environmental Review).

(b) The activities conducted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, particularly with respect to the establishment of timelines for permitting and review processes, shall be consistent with Executive Order 13604 and with the Federal Plan and Agency Plans to be developed pursuant to that order.

(c) The Co-Chairs, in consultation with the Director and in coordination with the CPO, shall coordinate, review, and monitor the development and implementation of the strategies required by paragraph (a)(i) of this section.

(d) Broadband Member Agencies may limit the information made available pursuant to paragraph (a)(ii) of this section as appropriate to accommodate national security, public safety, and privacy concerns.

Sec. 4. Contracts, Applications, and Permits. (a) Section 6409 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–96) contains provisions addressing access to Federal property for the deployment of wireless broadband facilities, including requirements that the General Services Administration (GSA) develop application forms, master contracts, and fees for such access. The GSA shall consult with the Working Group in developing these application forms, master contracts, and fees.

(b) To the extent not already addressed by section 6409, each Broadband Member Agency with responsibility for managing Federal lands, buildings, or rights of way (as determined by the Co-Chairs) shall, in coordination with the Working Group and within 1 year of the date of this order, develop and use one or more templates for uniform contract, application, and permit terms to facilitate nongovernment entities' use of Federal property for the deployment of broadband facilities. The templates shall, where appropriate, allow for access by multiple broadband service providers and public safety entities. To ensure a consistent approach across the Federal Government and different broadband technologies, the templates shall, to the extent practicable and efficient, provide equal access to Federal property for the deployment of wireline and wireless facilities.

Sec. 5. Deployment of Conduit for Broadband Facilities in Conjunction with Federal or Federally Assisted Highway Construction. (a) The installation of underground fiber conduit along highway and roadway rights of way can improve traffic flow and safety through implementation of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and reduce the cost of future broadband deployment. Accordingly, within 1 year of the date of this order:

(i) the Department of Transportation, in consultation with the Working Group, shall review dig once requirements in its existing programs and implement a flexible set of best practices that can accommodate changes in broadband technology and minimize excavations consistent with competitive broadband deployment;

(ii) the Department of Transportation shall work with State and local governments to help them develop and implement best practices on such matters as establishing dig once requirements, effectively using private investment in State ITS infrastructure, determining fair market value for rights of way on federally assisted highways, and reestablishing any highway assets disturbed by installation;

(iii) the Department of the Interior and other Broadband Member Agencies with responsibility for federally owned highways and rights of way on tribal lands (as determined by the Co-Chairs) shall revise their procedures, requirements, and policies to include the use of dig once requirements and similar policies to encourage the deployment of broadband infrastructure in conjunction with Federal highway construction, as well as to provide for the reestablishment of any highway assets disturbed by installation;

(iv) the Department of Transportation, after outreach to relevant nonfederal stakeholders, shall review and, if necessary, revise its guidance to State departments of transportation on allowing for-profit or other entities to accommodate or construct, safely and securely maintain, and utilize broadband facilities on State and locally owned rights of way in order to reflect changes in broadband technologies and markets and to promote competitive broadband infrastructure deployment; and

(v) the Department of Transportation, in consultation with the Working Group and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, shall create an online platform that States and counties may use to aggregate and make publicly available their rights of way laws and joint occupancy guidelines and agreements.

(b) For the purposes of this section, the term "dig once requirements" means requirements designed to reduce the number and scale of repeated excavations for the installation and maintenance of broadband facilities in rights of way.

Sec. 6. General Provisions. (a) This order shall be implemented consistent with all applicable laws, treaties, and trust obligations, and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(c) Independent agencies are strongly encouraged to comply with this order.

(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Barack Obama.      

[Reference to the National Security Staff deemed to be a reference to the National Security Council Staff, see Ex. Ord. No. 13657, set out as a note under section 3021 of Title 50, War and National Defense.]

Ex. Ord. No. 13821. Streamlining and Expediting Requests To Locate Broadband Facilities in Rural America

Ex. Ord. No. 13821, Jan. 8, 2018, 83 F.R. 1507, provided:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to promote better access to broadband internet service in rural America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. Americans need access to reliable, affordable broadband internet service to succeed in today's information-driven, global economy. Currently, too many American citizens and businesses still lack access to this basic tool of modern economic connectivity. This problem is particularly acute in rural America, and it hinders the ability of rural American communities to increase economic prosperity; attract new businesses; enhance job growth; extend the reach of affordable, high-quality healthcare; enrich student learning with digital tools; and facilitate access to the digital marketplace.

It shall therefore be the policy of the executive branch to use all viable tools to accelerate the deployment and adoption of affordable, reliable, modern high-speed broadband connectivity in rural America, including rural homes, farms, small businesses, manufacturing and production sites, tribal communities, transportation systems, and healthcare and education facilities.

To implement this policy and enable sustainable rural broadband infrastructure projects, executive departments and agencies (agencies) should seek to reduce barriers to capital investment, remove obstacles to broadband services, and more efficiently employ Government resources.

Among other actions, the executive branch will continue its implementation of section 6409 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–96) [47 U.S.C. 1455] ("section 6409"), which requires, among other things, that the General Services Administration (GSA) develop a common form and master contract for wireless facility sitings on buildings and other property owned by the Federal Government. These documents enable the Federal Government to process wireless facility siting requests more efficiently and will also provide additional predictability regarding the availability of locations for asset installation to installers of wireless broadband facilities.

Sec. 2. Reviewing Requests to Locate Broadband Facilities on Federal Real Property. (a) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Administrator of General Services (Administrator), in coordination with the heads of Federal property managing agencies, shall evaluate the effectiveness of the GSA Common Form Application for use in streamlining and expediting the processing and review of requests to locate broadband facilities on Federal real property.

(b) As part of this evaluation, the Administrator shall determine whether any revisions to the GSA Common Form Application are appropriate and, to the extent consistent with law, shall begin implementation of any such revisions.

(c) In furtherance of section 6409, all applicants and Federal property managing agencies shall use the GSA Common Form Application for wireless service antenna structure siting developed by the Administrator for requests to locate broadband facilities on Federal property. Federal property managing agencies shall expeditiously review and approve such requests unless an approval would negatively affect performance of the agency's mission or otherwise not be in the best interests of the United States.

(d) Within 180 days of the date of this order, and on a quarterly basis thereafter, all Federal property managing agencies shall report to the GSA regarding their required use of the Common Form Application, the number of Common Form Applications received, the percentage approved, the percentage rejected, the basis for any rejection, and the number of working days each application was pending before being approved or rejected. Each report shall include the number of applications received, approved, and rejected within the preceding quarter.

(e) Ninety days after the date of this order, and on a quarterly basis thereafter, the Administrator shall prepare and provide to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Director) an aggregated summary report detailing results from the reports submitted under subsection (d) of this section. Not later than 1 year from the date of this order, the Administrator shall recommend to the Director improvements to the Common Form Application needed to further the purposes of this order.

Sec. 3. Definitions. As used in this order:

(a) The term "Federal property managing agencies" means agencies that have custody and control of, or responsibility for managing, Federal lands, buildings, and rights of way, federally assisted highways, and tribal lands.

(b) The term "Federal real property" has the same meaning as that term has in Executive Order 13327 of February 4, 2004 (Federal Real Property Asset Management) [40 U.S.C. 121 note].

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Donald J. Trump.      

Unleashing the Wireless Broadband Revolution

Memorandum of President of the United States, June 28, 2010, 75 F.R. 38387, which related to making available 500 MHz of Federal and nonfederal spectrum suitable for mobile and fixed wireless broadband use, was revoked by section 6(e) of Memorandum of President of the United States, Oct. 25, 2018, 83 F.R. 54515, set out as a note under section 901 of this title.

Expanding America's Leadership in Wireless Innovation

Memorandum of President of the United States, June 14, 2013, 78 F.R. 37431, which related to shared access to spectrum previously allocated exclusively for Federal use, was revoked by section 6(e) of Memorandum of President of the United States, Oct. 25, 2018, 83 F.R. 54515, set out as a note under section 901 of this title.

Supporting Broadband Tower Facilities in Rural America on Federal Properties Managed by the Department of the Interior

Memorandum of President of the United States, Jan. 8, 2018, 83 F.R. 1511, provided:

Memorandum for the Secretary of the Interior

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of the executive branch to use all viable tools to accelerate the deployment and adoption of affordable, reliable, modern high-speed broadband connectivity in rural America, including rural homes, farms, small businesses, manufacturing and production sites, tribal communities, transportation systems, and healthcare and education facilities. Lowering the costs of broadband deployment to rural areas can strengthen the business case for broadband facilities deployment and therefore amplify investments in broadband infrastructure. To that end, the executive branch will seek to make Federal assets more available for rural broadband deployment, with due consideration of national security concerns.

Sec. 2. Supporting Broadband Deployment. (a) The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) shall develop a plan to support rural broadband development and adoption by increasing access to tower facilities and other infrastructure assets managed by the Department of the Interior (DOI), consistent with applicable law and to the extent practicable. DOI shall draft model terms and conditions for use in securing tower facilities and other infrastructure assets for broadband deployment.

(b) Within 180 days of the date of this memorandum, the Secretary shall report to the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy recording DOI's progress in identifying the assets that can be used to support rural broadband deployment and adoption.

Sec. 3. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Donald J. Trump.      

§1302. Advanced telecommunications incentives

(a) In general

The Commission and each State commission with regulatory jurisdiction over telecommunications services shall encourage the deployment on a reasonable and timely basis of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans (including, in particular, elementary and secondary schools and classrooms) by utilizing, in a manner consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity, price cap regulation, regulatory forbearance, measures that promote competition in the local telecommunications market, or other regulating methods that remove barriers to infrastructure investment.

(b) Inquiry

The Commission shall, within 30 months after February 8, 1996, and annually thereafter, initiate a notice of inquiry concerning the availability of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans (including, in particular, elementary and secondary schools and classrooms) and shall complete the inquiry within 180 days after its initiation. In the inquiry, the Commission shall determine whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion. If the Commission's determination is negative, it shall take immediate action to accelerate deployment of such capability by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting competition in the telecommunications market.

(c) Demographic information for unserved areas

As part of the inquiry required by subsection (b), the Commission shall compile a list of geographical areas that are not served by any provider of advanced telecommunications capability (as defined by subsection (d)(1)) 1 and to the extent that data from the Census Bureau is available, determine, for each such unserved area—

(1) the population;

(2) the population density; and

(3) the average per capita income.

(d) Definitions

For purposes of this subsection: 2

(1) Advanced telecommunications capability

The term "advanced telecommunications capability" is defined, without regard to any transmission media or technology, as high-speed, switched, broadband telecommunications capability that enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications using any technology.

(2) Elementary and secondary schools

The term "elementary and secondary schools" means elementary and secondary schools, as defined in section 7801 of title 20.

(Pub. L. 104–104, title VII, §706, Feb. 8, 1996, 110 Stat. 153; Pub. L. 107–110, title X, §1076(gg), Jan. 8, 2002, 115 Stat. 2093; Pub. L. 110–385, title I, §103(a), Oct. 10, 2008, 122 Stat. 4096; Pub. L. 114–95, title IX, §9215(ttt), Dec. 10, 2015, 129 Stat. 2190.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

Subsection (d)(1), referred to in subsec. (c), was in the original "section 706(c)(1) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996" and was translated as reading "section 706(d)(1) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996", which is classified to subsection (d)(1) of this section, to reflect the probable intent of Congress and the redesignation of subsec. (c) as (d) by Pub. L. 110–385, title I, §103(a)(2), Oct. 10, 2008, 122 Stat. 4096.

Codification

Section was formerly set out as a note under section 157 of this title.

Section was enacted as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and not as part of the Broadband Data Improvement Act which comprises this chapter.

Amendments

2015—Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 114–95 made technical amendment to reference in original act which appears in text as reference to section 7801 of title 20.

2008—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 110–385, §103(a)(1), substituted "annually" for "regularly".

Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 110–385, §103(a)(2), (3), added subsec. (c) and redesignated former subsec. (c) as (d).

2002—Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 107–110 substituted "section 7801 of title 20" for "paragraphs (14) and (25), respectively, of section 14101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 8801)".


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date of 2015 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 114–95 effective Dec. 10, 2015, except with respect to certain noncompetitive programs and competitive programs, see section 5 of Pub. L. 114–95, set out as a note under section 6301 of Title 20, Education.

Effective Date of 2002 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 107–110 effective Jan. 8, 2002, except with respect to certain noncompetitive programs and competitive programs, see section 5 of Pub. L. 107–110, set out as an Effective Date note under section 6301 of Title 20, Education.

Definitions

For definitions of terms used in this section, see section 3(b) of Pub. L. 104–104, set out as a Common Terminology note under section 153 of this title.

1 See References in Text note below.

2 So in original. Probably should be "section:".

§1303. Improving Federal data on broadband

(a) Omitted

(b) International comparison

(1) In general

As part of its report under section 163 of this title, the Federal Communications Commission shall include information comparing the extent of broadband service capability (including data transmission speeds and price for broadband service capability) in a total of 75 communities in at least 25 countries abroad for each of the data rate benchmarks for broadband service utilized by the Commission to reflect different speed tiers.

(2) Contents

The Commission shall choose communities for the comparison under this subsection in a manner that will offer, to the extent possible, communities of a population size, population density, topography, and demographic profile that are comparable to the population size, population density, topography, and demographic profile of various communities within the United States. The Commission shall include in the comparison under this subsection—

(A) a geographically diverse selection of countries; and

(B) communities including the capital cities of such countries.

(3) Similarities and differences

The Commission shall identify relevant similarities and differences in each community, including their market structures, the number of competitors, the number of facilities-based providers, the types of technologies deployed by such providers, the applications and services those technologies enable, the regulatory model under which broadband service capability is provided, the types of applications and services used, business and residential use of such services, and other media available to consumers.

(c) Consumer survey of broadband service capability

(1) In general

For the purpose of evaluating, on a statistically significant basis, the national characteristics of the use of broadband service capability, the Commission shall conduct and make public periodic surveys of consumers in urban, suburban, and rural areas in the large business, small business, and residential consumer markets to determine—

(A) the types of technology used to provide the broadband service capability to which consumers subscribe;

(B) the amounts consumers pay per month for such capability;

(C) the actual data transmission speeds of such capability;

(D) the types of applications and services consumers most frequently use in conjunction with such capability;

(E) for consumers who have declined to subscribe to broadband service capability, the reasons given by such consumers for declining such capability;

(F) other sources of broadband service capability which consumers regularly use or on which they rely; and

(G) any other information the Commission deems appropriate for such purpose.

(2) Public availability

The Commission shall make publicly available the results of surveys conducted under this subsection at least once per year.

(d) Improving Census data on broadband

The Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Federal Communications Commission, shall expand the American Community Survey conducted by the Bureau of the Census to elicit information for residential households, including those located on native lands, to determine whether persons at such households own or use a computer at that address, whether persons at that address subscribe to Internet service and, if so, whether such persons subscribe to dial-up or broadband Internet service at that address.

(e) Proprietary information

Nothing in this chapter shall reduce or remove any obligation the Commission has to protect proprietary information, nor shall this chapter be construed to compel the Commission to make publicly available any proprietary information.

(Pub. L. 110–385, title I, §103, Oct. 10, 2008, 122 Stat. 4096; Pub. L. 115–141, div. P, title IV, §402(c), Mar. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 1089.)


Editorial Notes

Codification

Section is comprised of section 103 of Pub. L. 110–385. Subsec. (a) of section 103 of Pub. L. 110–385 amended section 1302 of this title.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 115–141 substituted "its report under section 163 of this title, the Federal Communications Commission" for "the assessment and report required by section 1302 of this title, the Federal Communications Commission".

§1304. Encouraging State initiatives to improve broadband

(a) Purposes

The purposes of any grant under subsection (b) are—

(1) to ensure that all citizens and businesses in a State have access to affordable and reliable broadband service;

(2) to achieve improved technology literacy, increased computer ownership, and broadband use among such citizens and businesses;

(3) to establish and empower local grassroots technology teams in each State to plan for improved technology use across multiple community sectors; and

(4) to establish and sustain an environment ripe for broadband services and information technology investment.

(b) Establishment of State broadband data and development grant program

(1) In general

The Secretary of Commerce shall award grants, taking into account the results of the peer review process under subsection (d), to eligible entities for the development and implementation of statewide initiatives to identify and track the availability and adoption of broadband services within each State.

(2) Competitive basis

Any grant under subsection (b) shall be awarded on a competitive basis.

(c) Eligibility

To be eligible to receive a grant under subsection (b), an eligible entity shall—

(1) submit an application to the Secretary of Commerce, at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require;

(2) contribute matching non-Federal funds in an amount equal to not less than 20 percent of the total amount of the grant; and

(3) agree to comply with confidentiality requirements in subsection (h)(2) of this section.

(d) Peer review; nondisclosure

(1) In general

The Secretary shall by regulation require appropriate technical and scientific peer review of applications made for grants under this section.

(2) Review procedures

The regulations required under paragraph (1) shall require that any technical and scientific peer review group—

(A) be provided a written description of the grant to be reviewed;

(B) provide the results of any review by such group to the Secretary of Commerce; and

(C) certify that such group will enter into voluntary nondisclosure agreements as necessary to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of confidential and proprietary information provided by broadband service providers in connection with projects funded by any such grant.

(e) Use of funds

A grant awarded to an eligible entity under subsection (b) shall be used—

(1) to provide a baseline assessment of broadband service deployment in each State;

(2) to identify and track—

(A) areas in each State that have low levels of broadband service deployment;

(B) the rate at which residential and business users adopt broadband service and other related information technology services; and

(C) possible suppliers of such services;


(3) to identify barriers to the adoption by individuals and businesses of broadband service and related information technology services, including whether or not—

(A) the demand for such services is absent; and

(B) the supply for such services is capable of meeting the demand for such services;


(4) to identify the speeds of broadband connections made available to individuals and businesses within the State, and, at a minimum, to rely on the data rate benchmarks for broadband service utilized by the Commission to reflect different speed tiers, to promote greater consistency of data among the States;

(5) to create and facilitate in each county or designated region in a State a local technology planning team—

(A) with members representing a cross section of the community, including representatives of business, telecommunications labor organizations, K–12 education, health care, libraries, higher education, community-based organizations, local government, tourism, parks and recreation, and agriculture; and

(B) which shall—

(i) benchmark technology use across relevant community sectors;

(ii) set goals for improved technology use within each sector; and

(iii) develop a tactical business plan for achieving its goals, with specific recommendations for online application development and demand creation;


(6) to work collaboratively with broadband service providers and information technology companies to encourage deployment and use, especially in unserved areas and areas in which broadband penetration is significantly below the national average, through the use of local demand aggregation, mapping analysis, and the creation of market intelligence to improve the business case for providers to deploy;

(7) to establish programs to improve computer ownership and Internet access for unserved areas and areas in which broadband penetration is significantly below the national average;

(8) to collect and analyze detailed market data concerning the use and demand for broadband service and related information technology services;

(9) to facilitate information exchange regarding the use and demand for broadband services between public and private sectors; and

(10) to create within each State a geographic inventory map of broadband service, including the data rate benchmarks for broadband service utilized by the Commission to reflect different speed tiers, which shall—

(A) identify gaps in such service through a method of geographic information system mapping of service availability based on the geographic boundaries of where service is available or unavailable among residential or business customers; and

(B) provide a baseline assessment of statewide broadband deployment in terms of households with high-speed availability.

(f) Participation limit

For each State, an eligible entity may not receive a new grant under this section to fund the activities described in subsection (d) within such State if such organization obtained prior grant awards under this section to fund the same activities in that State in each of the previous 4 consecutive years.

(g) Reporting; broadband inventory map

The Secretary of Commerce shall—

(1) require each recipient of a grant under subsection (b) to submit a report on the use of the funds provided by the grant; and

(2) create a web page on the Department of Commerce website that aggregates relevant information made available to the public by grant recipients, including, where appropriate, hypertext links to any geographic inventory maps created by grant recipients under subsection (e)(10).

(h) Access to aggregate data

(1) In general

Subject to paragraph (2), the Commission shall provide eligible entities access, in electronic form, to aggregate data collected by the Commission based on the Form 477 submissions of broadband service providers.

(2) Limitation

Notwithstanding any provision of Federal or State law to the contrary, an eligible entity shall treat any matter that is a trade secret, commercial or financial information, or privileged or confidential, as a record not subject to public disclosure except as otherwise mutually agreed to by the broadband service provider and the eligible entity. This paragraph applies only to information submitted by the Commission or a broadband provider to carry out the provisions of this chapter and shall not otherwise limit or affect the rules governing public disclosure of information collected by any Federal or State entity under any other Federal or State law or regulation.

(i) Definitions

In this section:

(1) Commission

The term "Commission" means the Federal Communications Commission.

(2) Eligible entity

The term "eligible entity" means—

(A) an entity that is either—

(i) an agency or instrumentality of a State, or a municipality or other subdivision (or agency or instrumentality of a municipality or other subdivision) of a State;

(ii) a nonprofit organization that is described in section 501(c)(3) of title 26 and that is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such title; or

(iii) an independent agency or commission in which an office of a State is a member on behalf of the State; and


(B) is the single eligible entity in the State that has been designated by the State to receive a grant under this section.

(j) No regulatory authority

Nothing in this section shall be construed as giving any public or private entity established or affected by this chapter any regulatory jurisdiction or oversight authority over providers of broadband services or information technology.

(Pub. L. 110–385, title I, §106, Oct. 10, 2008, 122 Stat. 4099.)

§1305. Broadband Technology Opportunities Program

(a) Establishment

The Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information (Assistant Secretary), in consultation with the Federal Communications Commission (Commission), shall establish a national broadband service development and expansion program in conjunction with the technology opportunities program, which shall be referred to as the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. The Assistant Secretary shall ensure that the program complements and enhances and does not conflict with other Federal broadband initiatives and programs.

(b) Purposes

The purposes of the program are to—

(1) provide access to broadband service to consumers residing in unserved areas of the United States;

(2) provide improved access to broadband service to consumers residing in underserved areas of the United States;

(3) provide broadband education, awareness, training, access, equipment, and support to—

(A) schools, libraries, medical and healthcare providers, community colleges and other institutions of higher education, and other community support organizations and entities to facilitate greater use of broadband service by or through these organizations;

(B) organizations and agencies that provide outreach, access, equipment, and support services to facilitate greater use of broadband service by low-income, unemployed, aged, and otherwise vulnerable populations; and

(C) job-creating strategic facilities located within a State-designated economic zone, Economic Development District designated by the Department of Commerce, Renewal Community or Empowerment Zone designated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or Enterprise Community designated by the Department of Agriculture;


(4) improve access to, and use of, broadband service by public safety agencies; and

(5) stimulate the demand for broadband, economic growth, and job creation.

(c) Consultation with States

The Assistant Secretary may consult a State, the District of Columbia, or territory or possession of the United States with respect to—

(1) the identification of areas described in subsection (b)(1) or (2) located in that State; and

(2) the allocation of grant funds within that State for projects in or affecting the State.

(d) Duties of Assistant Secretary

The Assistant Secretary shall—

(1) establish and implement the grant program as expeditiously as practicable;

(2) ensure that all awards are made before the end of fiscal year 2010;

(3) seek such assurances as may be necessary or appropriate from grantees under the program that they will substantially complete projects supported by the program in accordance with project timelines, not to exceed 2 years following an award; and

(4) report on the status of the program to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, every 90 days.

(e) Eligibility

To be eligible for a grant under the program, an applicant shall—

(1)(A) be a State or political subdivision thereof, the District of Columbia, a territory or possession of the United States, an Indian tribe (as defined in section 5304 of title 25) or native Hawaiian organization;

(B) a nonprofit—

(i) foundation,

(ii) corporation,

(iii) institution, or

(iv) association; or


(C) any other entity, including a broadband service or infrastructure provider, that the Assistant Secretary finds by rule to be in the public interest. In establishing such rule, the Assistant Secretary shall to the extent practicable promote the purposes of this section in a technologically neutral manner;

(2) submit an application, at such time, in such form, and containing such information as the Assistant Secretary may require;

(3) provide a detailed explanation of how any amount received under the program will be used to carry out the purposes of this section in an efficient and expeditious manner, including a showing that the project would not have been implemented during the grant period without Federal grant assistance;

(4) demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the Assistant Secretary, that it is capable of carrying out the project or function to which the application relates in a competent manner in compliance with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws;

(5) demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the Assistant Secretary, that it will appropriate (if the applicant is a State or local government agency) or otherwise unconditionally obligate, from non-Federal sources, funds required to meet the requirements of subsection (f);

(6) disclose to the Assistant Secretary the source and amount of other Federal or State funding sources from which the applicant receives, or has applied for, funding for activities or projects to which the application relates; and

(7) provide such assurances and procedures as the Assistant Secretary may require to ensure that grant funds are used and accounted for in an appropriate manner.

(f) Federal share

The Federal share of any project may not exceed 80 percent, except that the Assistant Secretary may increase the Federal share of a project above 80 percent if—

(1) the applicant petitions the Assistant Secretary for a waiver; and

(2) the Assistant Secretary determines that the petition demonstrates financial need.

(g) Authorization to make grants; purposes

The Assistant Secretary may make competitive grants under the program to—

(1) acquire equipment, instrumentation, networking capability, hardware and software, digital network technology, and infrastructure for broadband services;

(2) construct and deploy broadband service related infrastructure;

(3) ensure access to broadband service by community anchor institutions;

(4) facilitate access to broadband service by low-income, unemployed, aged, and otherwise vulnerable populations in order to provide educational and employment opportunities to members of such populations;

(5) construct and deploy broadband facilities that improve public safety broadband communications services; and

(6) undertake such other projects and activities as the Assistant Secretary finds to be consistent with the purposes for which the program is established.

(h) Factors considered in award of grants

The Assistant Secretary, in awarding grants under this section, shall, to the extent practical—

(1) award not less than 1 grant in each State;

(2) consider whether an application to deploy infrastructure in an area—

(A) will, if approved, increase the affordability of, and subscribership to, service to the greatest population of users in the area;

(B) will, if approved, provide the greatest broadband speed possible to the greatest population of users in the area;

(C) will, if approved, enhance service for health care delivery, education, or children to the greatest population of users in the area; and

(D) will, if approved, not result in unjust enrichment as a result of support for non-recurring costs through another Federal program for service in the area; and


(3) consider whether the applicant is a socially and economically disadvantaged small business concern as defined under section 637(a) of title 15.

(i) Reporting and information requirements; deobligation of awards; Internet disclosure

The Assistant Secretary—

(1) shall require any entity receiving a grant pursuant to this section to report quarterly, in a format specified by the Assistant Secretary, on such entity's use of the assistance and progress fulfilling the objectives for which such funds were granted, and the Assistant Secretary shall make these reports available to the public;

(2) may establish additional reporting and information requirements for any recipient of any assistance made available pursuant to this section;

(3) shall establish appropriate mechanisms to ensure appropriate use and compliance with all terms of any use of funds made available pursuant to this section;

(4) may, in addition to other authority under applicable law, deobligate awards to grantees that demonstrate an insufficient level of performance, or wasteful or fraudulent spending, as defined in advance by the Assistant Secretary, and award these funds competitively to new or existing applicants consistent with this section; and

(5) shall create and maintain a fully searchable database, accessible on the Internet at no cost to the public, that contains at least a list of each entity that has applied for a grant under this section, a description of each application, the status of each such application, the name of each entity receiving funds made available pursuant to this section, the purpose for which such entity is receiving such funds, each quarterly report submitted by the entity pursuant to this section, and such other information sufficient to allow the public to understand and monitor grants awarded under the program.

(j) Publication of contractual conditions

Concurrent with the issuance of the Request for Proposal for grant applications pursuant to this section, the Assistant Secretary shall, in coordination with the Commission, publish the non-discrimination and network interconnection obligations that shall be contractual conditions of grants awarded under this section, including, at a minimum, adherence to the principles contained in the Commission's broadband policy statement (FCC 05-15, adopted August 5, 2005).

(k) National broadband plan

(1) Not later than 1 year after February 17, 2009, the Commission shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, a report containing a national broadband plan.

(2) The national broadband plan required by this section shall seek to ensure that all people of the United States have access to broadband capability and shall establish benchmarks for meeting that goal. The plan shall also include—

(A) an analysis of the most effective and efficient mechanisms for ensuring broadband access by all people of the United States;

(B) a detailed strategy for achieving affordability of such service and maximum utilization of broadband infrastructure and service by the public;

(C) an evaluation of the status of deployment of broadband service, including progress of projects supported by the grants made pursuant to this section; and

(D) a plan for use of broadband infrastructure and services in advancing consumer welfare, civic participation, public safety and homeland security, community development, health care delivery, energy independence and efficiency, education, worker training, private sector investment, entrepreneurial activity, job creation and economic growth, and other national purposes.


(3) In developing the plan, the Commission shall have access to data provided to other Government agencies under the Broadband Data Improvement Act [47 U.S.C. 1301 et seq.].

(l) Map of service availability and capability

The Assistant Secretary shall develop and maintain a comprehensive nationwide inventory map of existing broadband service capability and availability in the United States that depicts the geographic extent to which broadband service capability is deployed and available from a commercial provider or public provider throughout each State. Not later than 2 years after February 17, 2009, the Assistant Secretary shall make the broadband inventory map developed and maintained pursuant to this section accessible by the public on a World Wide Web site of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in a form that is interactive and searchable.

(m) Regulations

The Assistant Secretary shall have the authority to prescribe such rules as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.

(Pub. L. 111–5, div. B, title VI, §6001, Feb. 17, 2009, 123 Stat. 512.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

The Broadband Data Improvement Act, referred to in subsec. (k)(3), is title I of Pub. L. 110–385, Oct. 10, 2008, 122 Stat. 4096, which is classified generally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1301 of this title and Tables.

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and not as part of the Broadband Data Improvement Act which comprises this chapter.