Amendment Text: H.Amdt.985 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)

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Amendment as Offered (06/08/2006)

This Amendment appears on page H3574 in the following article from the Congressional Record.



[Pages H3551-H3587]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




   COMMUNICATIONS OPPORTUNITY, PROMOTION, AND ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 2006

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 850 and rule 
XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House 
on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 5252.

                              {time}  1758


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill 
(H.R. 5252) to promote the deployment of broadband networks and 
services, with Mr. Price of Georgia in the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read the 
first time.
  The gentleman from Texas (Mr. Barton) and the gentleman from Michigan 
(Mr. Dingell) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I enthusiastically bring the general debate for H.R. 
5252, the Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 
2006, to the floor of the House of Representatives. The process in 
getting the bill to this stage has been long, has been fruitful, and, 
in my opinion, it has been fair. It has involved more than a year of 
hearings, as well as staff and Member-level negotiations. That process 
has clearly borne, I think, positive fruit.
  We come to the House today with a bill that has received overwhelming 
bipartisan support in both the subcommittee and the full committee. The 
bill passed the subcommittee by a margin of 27-4, with all Republicans 
voting for it and two-thirds of the Democrat minority party voting for 
it. In the full committee it was reported by a margin of 42-12, again 
all Republicans voting for it and a majority of the Democrats voting 
for it.
  The primary focus of this legislation is to create a streamlined 
cable franchising process in order to increase the number of 
facilities-based providers for video, voice, and data services 
everywhere in our great Nation.
  Today, there are thousands of local franchising authorities. Each may 
impose disparate restriction on the provision of cable service in its 
specific franchising area. The requirement to negotiate such local 
franchises and the patchwork of obligations that local franchising 
authorities impose are hindering the deployment of advanced broadband 
networks that will bring increasingly innovative and competitive 
services to all of our constituents.
  The United States does not even rank in the top 10 of the nations of 
the world in broadband deployment. This bill should change that 
statistic.
  H.R. 5252 seeks to address this concern and strike the right balance 
between national standards and local oversight. It would allow the 
negotiation of local franchises, but make available an alternative 
national franchise process.

                              {time}  1800

  Moreover, the national franchise preserves local franchise fees, 
municipal control over their rights-of-way, and support for their 
Public Education and Governmental channels that so many of our Members 
are strongly in favor of.
  The bill also seeks to strike the right balance between ensuring the 
public Internet remains an open, vibrant marketplace, and ensuring 
Congress does not hand the FCC a blank check to regulate Internet 
services, an action that I believe would have a chilling effect on 
broadband deployment, especially broadband innovation. We need the FCC 
to stop the cheats without killing honest creativity. We don't need 
anybody to be the first Secretary of the Internet.
  Finally, the bill addresses rules for voiceover Internet protocol 
services, or VoIP services, to ensure that the Internet voice services 
become a vibrant competitor to what we call plain old telephone 
service.
  I want to thank Congressman Rush for his cosponsorship, Subcommittee 
Chairman Mr. Upton for his cosponsorship, Vice Chairman Chip Pickering 
of Mississippi for his leadership, and all the members of the committee 
and the subcommittee on both sides of the aisle who have cosponsored 
this bipartisan legislation with me.
  I would urge my colleagues to support this bill and look forward to a 
vigorous debate on the amendments that have been made in order by the 
Rules Committee.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 5 minutes.
  (Mr. DINGELL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this measure. It 
is a bad bill. It does nothing except take care of the special and the 
vested interests. The baby bells, the telephone companies, and the 
cable operators are going to cut a fat hog. The consumers are able to 
anticipate only a few things: One, they are going to get worse service, 
probably less competition, and almost certainly increases in rates.
  Consumers are going to see their cities lose control over their 
streets and roads to, of all things, the Federal Communications 
Commission, one of the sorriest of the Federal agencies, and an agency 
which has neither the staff time nor willingness to address the 
important questions that are going to be conferred on it by this 
legislation.
  In addition to that, the FCC is going to be clogged. There is going 
to be deadlock and absolute chaos in that agency because of the total 
lack of that agency in addressing the serious questions regarding 
administration of highways, streets, roads, and use of public 
facilities belonging to cities, counties, and States.
  It would be a wonderful argument, which is made by the proponents of 
this bill, that it will lower cable bills and bring consumers choice. 
What a wonderful argument, if only it were true. This bill is going to 
harm our consumers, harm our citizens, and harm commercial users of the 
Internet.
  First, with regard to consumers. The bill will leave many consumers 
paying higher prices for cable services. There is no general promise of 
lower prices. In fact, the telephone companies, and listen to this, 
have been telling Wall Street that the price they get for their 
services will be higher than cable. That is the competition we are 
going to see under this legislation.
  Worse, the bill is a blow to the universal service principles which 
Congress has insisted on since 1927. The bill abandons current law that 
in exchange for the use of public property cable operators are required 
to serve all consumers, all consumers in the franchise area. Both new 
and existing cable providers will, under this bill, be allowed to 
cherrypick and skim cream,

[[Page H3552]]

serving only attractive neighborhoods and the highest value of 
consumers in the way that best suits their balance sheets. The rest of 
us will only be left without competitive choice, but we very well can 
face higher cable bills, worse service qualities, or even withdrawal of 
our only provider.
  The bill's redlining provisions focused on income is too weak to 
offer any real protection against discrimination, which is why the 
leadership conference on civil rights opposes it. The bill does not 
stop cable operators from offering inferior service based on a person's 
race, color, religion, national origin or sex.
  Second, communities find that this bill inexplicably takes control 
over local rights-of-way. And as I mentioned, hands them, of all 
things, to the FCC. Now, the FCC knows about as much on street and 
sidewalk repairs and local traffic patterns and other local concerns as 
it does about astrophysics, yet the bill lets the FCC overrule the 
cities with regard to the management of their property. This is the 
reason that the League of Cities, the Conference of Mayors and the 
National Association of Counties oppose it.
  Citizens and commercial users of the Internet will find a third 
reason to oppose it. This bill does away with network neutrality. It is 
something in which there should be no mistake. Telephone and cable 
companies will be able to operate as private tax collectors to single 
out certain Web sites to pay extra fees, to make extra benefits, and 
get extra privileges. Small and large business schools, libraries, 
ordinary citizens running Web sites will get shut out of this fast lane 
unless they are willing to pay a lot more. This could significantly 
alter the open and innovative Internet that the government has, until 
now, protected.
  If you want a bad piece of legislation, Mr. Chairman, we are looking 
at it right here. It is going to hurt people. We could have written a 
good piece of legislation but, regrettably, did not. We have before us, 
then, a piece of the purest special interest legislation, something 
which will benefit the few at the expense of the many, something which 
is rather worthy of this Republican-led Congress.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to a member of 
the Energy and Commerce Committee, a strong supporter of the bill, the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Radanovich).
  Mr. RADANOVICH. Thanks, Mr. Chairman.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise to support H.R. 5252, the COPE Act. Today's 
communications networks have become national and international in 
nature, therefore it does not make sense to still require companies to 
provide video services to meet varying requirements in tens of 
thousands of different areas.
  We have seen evidence and heard stories of the months and years it 
takes to get any one individual franchise, and in some cases video 
providers must get dozens of individual franchises to service one area. 
All that does is slow down competition.
  This bill also helps get the next generation Internet to consumers 
with the ability to provide voice, data, and now video, 
telecommunications companies will be able to develop and increase their 
infrastructure and provide better and cheaper services.
  This is one of the most pro-consumer bills to come to the floor this 
year, and we need to make sure that the President signs video voice 
legislation this year. I urge all my colleagues to vote for the COPE 
Act.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Wisconsin (Ms. Baldwin).
  Ms. BALDWIN. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 5252, 
the Communications Opportunity Promotion and Enhancement Act of 2006.
  Simply put, I support the ends but not the means with respect to this 
legislation. The goal of increasing competition in the video 
communication market is worthy. Indeed, it is of great importance. We 
know that robust competition can improve customer services, reduce 
pricing, and spark innovation and technological advances. This House is 
right to take on this critical and timely subject. But I am 
disappointed the drafters felt the need to use a national cable 
franchise as the means to achieve these laudable ends.
  I see numerous examples of telephone companies, small and large, 
entering into successful negotiations with local franchise authorities, 
and I believe that we can encourage new entrants and new competition 
without moving to a federally managed national franchise.
  But, Mr. Chairman, despite my reservations about the national cable 
franchise, I might view this model more favorably if the legislation 
contained adequate safeguards and requirements to ensure that the 
benefits of increased competition are shared as widely as possible. 
Unfortunately, this is not what happened in committee when we marked up 
this legislation and we were denied the ability to bring our amendments 
to improve the bill to the floor this evening.
  Instead, H.R. 5252 backs away from the tenet of universal service to 
all citizens, which has been a fundamental principle of our Nation's 
communication policies for over 70 years. And while anti-redlining 
language is included in the bill, other provisions in the bill render 
it toothless.
  The legislation also strips the States and localities of their 
authority to both establish and enforce consumer protections and 
customer service standards. It makes the FCC the final arbiter of local 
rights-of-way disputes.
  Most disappointingly, the bill does little to protect what we call 
the neutrality of the Internet. Neutrality has become crucial to the 
development of innovative and competitive broadband content and 
services.
  I urge my colleagues to reject this legislation.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to a member of 
the full committee and the distinguished Chairman of the Veterans' 
Committee, Mr. Buyer of Indiana.
  Mr. BUYER. Mr. Chairman, I commend Chairman Barton and Chairman Upton 
for their leadership, along with my colleague, Mr. Rush, from Chicago, 
and others.
  This came out of the subcommittee 27-4, a majority of the minority 
Democrats of the full committee supported this legislation. So this is 
an overwhelmingly bipartisan piece of legislation that is very exciting 
for the American people because it outlines the principles of free, 
open, market competition. It continues to spawn the technological 
renaissance that will benefit consumers and lower price.
  We are talking about things today that weren't even around when we 
did the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Telephony? IPTV? We didn't even 
know those terms. As a matter of fact, when compression technology came 
along, we thought the future in 1996 was about voice. We got it wrong. 
It is about voice, video, and data, and that is what we have today on 
these cell phones.
  So when we talk about delivering of video services, the landscaped 
has changed. Congress has to change. We need to get out of the way. We 
need to deregulate. If you have to regulate, do so on parity and be 
technologically neutral.
  I commend the chairman.
  I do not support the Markey amendment.
  Mandated neutrality standards do nothing more than squelch 
innovation, stifle competition and undermine broadband deployment.
  Anytime the government attempts to legislate a ``potential'' problem 
it ends up either, at best in years of litigation, and at worst with a 
regulatory framework that does nothing to help this country.
  Currently, at great expense, large and small companies across the 
country have invested billions of dollars to lay fiber in an effort to 
provide wanted services to their consumers. Any attempt for government 
to then restrict their ability to potentially charge for the use of 
these pipelines acts as a disincentive to continue to deploy, or 
maintain current access.
  Even now, consumers choose different tiers of access to the 
Internet--I don't see how it can be fair to charge the same rate to one 
consumer who merely wants to use the internet for sending and receiving 
emails and another who is actively downloading a multitude of songs, 
videos, and television shows. The same goes for web sites that demand 
the use of large amounts of data, such as a video sharing site, or a 
music download site. In an effort to provide the fastest and most 
efficient service, should we be blind to those who paid and labored to 
place the fiber in the ground?
  It seems inequitable and counterintuitive to the pro-market 
principles from which this nation has benefited.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Boucher).

[[Page H3553]]

  (Mr. BOUCHER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BOUCHER. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Massachusetts 
for yielding this time to me. I rise in support of the bill and I urge 
its approval by the House.
  In my view, it will bring urgently needed competition to cable 
television and benefit consumers nationwide with more varied program 
offerings and the better pricing that competition inevitably brings.
  The bill also opens the door for local governments to offer 
commercial telecommunication services, filling the gap where broadband 
is either not available or is available but is priced beyond the reach 
of residential subscribers and the small business community.
  The manager's amendment contains provisions I recommended that will 
assure fair treatment for electric utilities and telephone companies in 
pole attachment pricing, and I want to thank the gentleman from Texas 
(Mr. Barton), who chairs the full committee, for his assistance with 
that provision. And the bill will assure that consumers who desire to 
purchase a freestanding broadband service can do so without having to 
buy telephone or cable service from the broadband provider.
  I also urge support for the net neutrality amendment that the 
gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Markey) will be offering. It is 
essential to preserve the Internet as a platform for innovation. 
Broadband providers plan to create a two-lane Internet, a fast lane for 
their own content and for others who can pay for fast-lane access, and 
a slow lane for everyone else. That plan fundamentally changes the 
character of the Internet and would eliminate the openness and the 
accessibility that have enabled the Internet to be a platform for 
innovation unequaled by any advent in American history.

                              {time}  1815

  I will have more to say about that when the Markey amendment is 
offered, but I want to take the opportunity during these remarks to say 
that the net neutrality amendment is fundamental, and I strongly urge 
its adoption when it is offered.
  Mr. UPTON. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Louisiana (Mr. Alexander).
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of H.R. 5252. This 
legislation will permit us to move the video franchising process into 
the 21st century. The concept of a national franchise is needed to make 
the U.S. concurrent with the global nature of telecommunications by 
enabling competition to enter the market and build tomorrow's 
communications network in a timely manner.
  There are more than 30,000 individual franchise authorities in the 
United States. If telecom companies have to negotiate with each and 
every one of these, it will be a very long time before they get around 
to addressing video franchises for rural areas such as the one I 
represent in Louisiana. Video competition will increase access for 
these rural Americans and drive new innovations like telemedicine and 
distance learning. We can greatly accelerate that process by creating a 
national streamlined method for video entry.
  Let us not miss this opportunity to allow the marketplace to thrive 
and usher in a new era in technology.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentlewoman 
from California (Ms. Eshoo).
  Ms. ESHOO. Mr. Chairman, I thank the distinguished ranking member of 
the Telecommunications Subcommittee for yielding me this time.
  Mr. Chairman, I want to start out by saying, here we are again. I 
remember being a conferee on the 1996 telecommunications bill. It does 
not seem like it was a decade ago, but it was.
  That bill, if my colleagues will recall, was designed to create 
telephone competition for the Baby Bells. But instead, it resulted in 
the babies eating the mother.
  There is something monopolistic in the air here. And if any Member of 
the House is trying to make up their minds about what to do with this 
bill, I want to tell you something, if you like monopolies, you will 
love this bill because they are at it again.
  In 1996, they signed onto and said these are the rules that we are 
going to play by. Local competition, boy, that went out the window.
  Then they came on again and wanted something else. Now the telephone 
companies want to go for the golden goose of the American economy, and 
that is the Internet.
  What should be built into this bill is net neutrality. But I want to 
say a few other things about the bill. It is flawed in other ways. It 
really turns local control on its head. Local governments across the 
country have weighed in. Mayors have said these are not good rules for 
us.
  I came from local government. I have a deep regard for it. We can do 
much better by the cities and mayors in our communities. We can do much 
better about the rules in terms of build-out in our country. We should 
not in the 21st century be drawing lines around who is in and who is 
out. That is not where America is at its strongest and its best.
  This is a flawed bill, and we have to remember, all of us, that the 
Internet has been the key driver of the American economy. And to have 
the telecoms come after it and reconfigure it, reshape it to their 
liking, is something that is an echo of the past, their past behavior. 
We should not allow that.
  So I am urging my colleagues in this general debate to reconsider 
what it is you are considering because this is not the best legislation 
for the people of our country. We can do much, much better.


                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I wish to propound a parliamentary 
inquiry.
  I would like to yield 10 minutes to my Democrat sponsor, Mr. Rush, to 
control in the general debate in the Committee of the Whole. Is that 
possible, or how might I do that?
  The CHAIRMAN. The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole may not 
entertain a request to change the scheme for control of general debate 
ordered by the House.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. So I can't do it.
  The CHAIRMAN. Under the rule, the gentleman from Texas must be the 
one to yield the time, and the Chair cannot entertain a request to 
change the scheme for general debate from the established by the 
special order of business in House Resolution 850.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, in that case, I yield 2 minutes on 
behalf of Mr. Rush to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gonzalez).
  Mr. GONZALEZ. Mr. Chairman, first of all, I need to thank the 
chairman, my neighbor in Texas, as well as Mr. Rush, my dear friend and 
colleague.
  I want to express my support today as we move forward on the COPE 
Act. This bill will make necessary changes to the Nation's cable laws 
to ensure that for the first time we have a fully open national market 
for cable services. This will allow not only the major phone and cable 
companies to compete against each other in provision of video services 
to average Americans, but will allow countless new companies to quickly 
enter the cable television market and offer their services. This will 
not only drive down prices for every American, but it will undoubtedly 
result in countless unforeseen new services and technologies to be 
offered to Americans.
  Mr. Chairman, the telecommunications industry is the most dynamic 
industry in this country. Every day new technologies are introduced 
that have the potential to dramatically expand the opportunities for 
average Americans to have access to new sources of information, new 
forms of entertainment, and new ways to communicate with each other. 
These changes have become so rapid with so many implications to both 
business and public policy that the political process has simply failed 
to keep up.
  This bill reflects, in my view, how Congress should best handle the 
revolutionary changes that are occurring in telecommunications. It 
should let the marketplace work. Mayors, regulators, and Members of 
Congress simply do not know in advance how all of the revolutionary 
changes in telecommunications will turn out. For us to attempt to do 
so, whether under the guise of net neutrality or any other slogan, is 
both foolish and dangerous.
  Rather, we should aim, as this bill does, to relieve unnecessary 
barriers that prevent a full national market to

[[Page H3554]]

develop and leave the ultimate decision-making process to the 
engineers, the businessmen and, most importantly, the consumers of our 
country.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Zoe Lofgren).
  Ms. ZOE LOFGREN of California. Mr. Chairman, until August of last 
year, broadband Internet providers were considered common carriers 
under the law, with a legal requirement to carry all traffic equally.
  A series of FCC decisions and the Supreme Court's decision to them 
changed all that, turning broadband services into unregulated 
``information services.''
  Why is this important? In my district in Silicon Valley, everybody 
uses the Internet and knows that you have to have net neutrality. They 
cannot believe that we would even consider changing that rule.
  So what does ``common carrier'' mean? For those of you who don't use 
the Internet a lot, common carrier is a concept that is quite old. What 
it really means in exchange for rights to use public ways: you agree to 
carry all passengers on the same terms. If you get on the bus, a common 
carrier, you are charged a fee; but the bus company cannot charge more 
to women than it can to men, and that is really the equivalent of what 
we are talking about here.
  The phone company consolidations have meant that most Americans have 
one or at most two choices for their broadband service provider. What 
that means is that we are going to have a duopoly or a monopoly unless 
we have net neutrality rules that will stifle the Internet. It will 
turn the Internet into the equivalent of cable TV. That is not going to 
be good for innovation.
  Google is a multi-billion dollar corporation that was founded in a 
dorm room by two Stanford students. They had an opportunity to be 
successful because they were not screened out at the very beginning by 
incumbents who paid for access. That is about to change unless this 
House adopts net neutrality rules.
  Some of the phone companies have suggested that there is a free ride. 
What they have failed to point out is that the phone companies are paid 
an enormous amount of money, just like the bus company is, for use of 
their services. What the net neutrality rules say is you cannot 
differentiate.
  I would just like to say we want to go on seeing the girl in the 
funny hat making lemonade. Don't make us watch Robin Williams's cousin 
making bacon juice instead.
  Mr. UPTON. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Tennessee (Mrs. Blackburn), a very valuable member of the subcommittee.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank our chairman for the 
good work on the bill, and I want to encourage my colleagues to support 
this legislation tonight.
  My colleague, Representative Wynn, and I began working on the effort 
to streamline this Nation's franchising rules more than a year ago when 
we introduced the Video Choice Act. It has been a pleasure to work with 
him on the issue.
  We knew that government regulations were keeping prices high for 
American consumers; and when I spoke earlier today during debate on the 
rule, I talked a bit about how competition helps lower prices. I have a 
chart here to help make that point. This data demonstrates consumer 
price changes over the past 7 years. Here is the Consumer Price Index. 
Now take a look at what has happened with cable prices over the past 7 
years and how they have soared. This blue line right here is our long 
distance prices, and then our wireless prices are the green line. So 
you can see how dramatically our video or cable pricing has outpaced 
the Consumer Price Index.
  Mr. Chairman, the COPE bill will bring competition. It will help 
lower prices. It will help all entrants, including the little guys, 
like Ben Lomand Telephone Cooperative in McMinnville, Tennessee.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Maine (Mr. Allen).
  Mr. ALLEN. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to H.R. 5252. I regret 
that leadership did not allow votes on key amendments important to 
municipalities and community television.
  Each of us wants more competition in video. That can happen today. 
There is no legal impediment to a telephone company offering video over 
its lines. There are two towns in Maine wired for video, but the 
service has not been turned on.
  If the current local franchising regime is as cumbersome as the phone 
companies say, then let's figure out a way to streamline the process. 
The municipalities are open to streamlining. We should negotiate a 
consensus bill involving all of the stakeholders.
  Unfortunately, this bill did not follow that process. Twice the 
Committee on Energy and Commerce on which I serve struck bipartisan 
deals that gave all stakeholders a voice in the legislation; and twice 
the bipartisan deals were scuttled by external forces that preferred a 
divisive bill to a consensus one.
  My substantive concerns are threefold:
  First, local control. The current cable franchising process gives 
communities the ability to meet their needs. Municipalities can ensure 
that every resident gets service and that access to public access 
channels. They retain management of public rights-of-way.
  This bill goes too far by federalizing the process of streamlining. 
It makes the FCC the arbiter of consumer complaints, for example; and 
the FCC has neither the resources nor expertise to do that.
  Second, universal access. The new video providers have been honest. 
They are going to the swanky neighborhoods first. Maine is a rural 
State. Without a build-out requirement, companies are free to ignore 
northern and eastern Maine.

                              {time}  1830

  If we abandon universal access, we will leave rural areas behind.
  Third, net neutrality. I support the Markey amendment. Allowing toll 
booths on the Internet will undermine the freedom of the Internet and 
hurt consumers.
  Lastly, any franchising bill that becomes law should include reform 
of the universal service fund to bring broadband and video competition 
to rural and underserved counties.
  I urge defeat of the bill.
  Mr. UPTON. At this point, Mr. Chairman, on behalf of Mr. Rush, I 
yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gene Green).
  Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Chairman, the COPE Act is a complex 
piece of legislation with a simple purpose, granting a nationwide cable 
television franchise to provide competition.
  Today, cable television is a series of local monopolies. Only 2 
percent of the United States has competition, companies that those 
local franchises are aggressively marketing, Voice Over IP, telephone 
service, broadband, and giving them a triple play of video, broadband 
and voice services at a flat monthly rate.
  In Houston, that monthly rate is about $100 and you can get digital 
cable, high speed Internet and unlimited telephone calls from the cable 
company. To compete with the cable's triple-play monopoly, telephone 
companies need to spend billions to upgrade their networks to carry the 
high-definition cable television service and faster broadband.
  The FCC has found that cable television rates drop 40 percent after 
competition. And that doesn't even factor in the consumer benefits from 
the triple play, so to speak, that you add, also the cost savings from 
telephone Internet and high speed cable service, definition service.
  As a result, we should support granting national franchises for cable 
television service to spur competition. If we stick with local 
franchises, then there will be much less cable and triple-play 
competition.
  The purpose of the bill is great, and I have had a number of concerns 
about the district I represent that is not a wealthy area. These 
concerns have been addressed.
  For example, franchise areas are defined as they are today that would 
prevent telephone companies from cherry-picking areas out of existing 
franchises. This means that the bill's redlining provisions, drafted by 
my colleague from Illinois, Bobby Rush, would stop companies from 
picking and choosing the areas they want to serve. I would have 
preferred Mr. Dingell's

[[Page H3555]]

approach, but again we don't have that opportunity, and it didn't pass 
in committee even though I voted for it.
  However, I still strongly support the legislation because we have had 
several discussions with our local telecom company about their plans 
for competition in my area. As a result, I am confident that the build-
out will increase in all areas of Houston, and they are not just going 
to go to the high-income areas; they will come to my low-wealth and my 
middle class area.
  Mr. Chairman, I would like to place my full statement into the 
Record, and I would hope that this would be a compromise bill. I am 
sorry that our leadership and the committee didn't work it. But some 
day, hopefully, it will be the Barton-Dingell bill again.
  Mr. Chairman, the COPE Act is a complex piece of legislation with a 
simple purpose: granting nationwide cable television franchises to 
provide competition.
  Today cable television is a series of local monopolies--only 2 
percent of the U.S. has competition.
  Companies with these local franchises are aggressively marketing VOIP 
telephone service and broadband, giving them a ``triple play'' of 
video, broadband, and voice services at a flat monthly rate.
  In Houston, for $100 a month, you can get digital cable, high speed 
Internet, and unlimited telephone calls from the cable company.
  To compete with cable's triple play monopoly, telephone companies 
need to spend billions to upgrade their networks to carry high-
definition cable television service and faster broadband.
  The Federal Communications Commission has found that cable television 
rats drop 40 percent after competition and that doesn't even factor in 
the consumer benefits of the triple play.
  As a result, we should support granting national franchises for cable 
television service to spur competition. If we stick with local 
franchises, then there will be much less cable and triple play 
competition.
  The purpose of the bill is great, but I did have a number of concerns 
about this legislation and its effects on the middle-class folks in my 
district. These concerns have been addressed.
  For example, franchise areas in the bill were defined as they are 
today, which would prevent telephone companies from cherry-picking 
areas out of existing franchise areas.
  This means that the bill's anti-redlining provisions, drafted by 
Congressman Bobby Rush, will stop companies from picking and choosing 
the areas they want to offer service.
  I would have preferred the approach by Mr. Dingell, which would have 
set reasonable, flexible guidelines for companies to build out their 
networks and offer new services.
  I wish we could have considered Mr. Dingell's amendment today, and I 
am disappropriated that the Rules Committee rejected it.
  They did a disservice to one of the most knowledgeable, respected 
Members in the history of Congress.
  However, I can still strongly support this legislation because we 
have had several discussions with our local telecom company about their 
plans for competition in the Houston area.
  As a result of those conversations, I am confident that buildout is 
going to increase in all areas of Houston and that they are not going 
to discriminate against our middle class and low wealth areas.
  To all members who are concerned about the impact of this legislation 
on your district, I encourage you to contact your incumbent telecom 
company and meet with their local staff responsible for deployment, not 
just the DC staff. I think you will be happy with what you hear.
  Cities are also concerned with their interests in franchising, but 
many of these concerns have been addressed. Cities will not lose any 
revenue as a result of this bill. The COPE Act allows 5 percent 
franchise fees and 1 percent public access fees.
  Cities will also not lose any right-of-way control and to make sure, 
I included an amendment in Committee to require companies to certify in 
writing that they will obey local right of way rules.
  I do regret that the usual bi-partisan telecom process between the 
leadership of our Committee has temporarily broken down.
  Today is not the end of the road, so I hope this can still become a 
Barton-Dingell bill or a Dingell-Barton bill before all is said and 
done.
  Mr. MARKEY. I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Brown).
  Mr. BROWN of Ohio. Mr. Chairman, I thank my friend from Massachusetts 
for his leadership on all of these issues.
  Net neutrality would maintain the free and open Internet that exists 
today. This bill simply does not protect the right of consumers to a 
wide array of information and entertainment sources.
  The Markey amendment would provide those essential protections by 
outlawing sweetheart deals between network operators, like the phone or 
cable companies, and Internet content providers.
  Without net neutrality, buying company A's phone service might 
restrict you to Google and deny you Yahoo, might deny you CNN.com and 
only give you FoxNews.com.
  American consumers deserve choice, whether they choose to use the 
Internet giant Google or the new start-up search engine. This amendment 
is about consumer choice. This amendment is about market 
competitiveness.
  I urge you to join me in support of the Markey amendment in 
opposition to the bill.
  Mr. UPTON. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to a member of the Energy 
and Commerce Committee, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Burgess).
  Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Chairman, I do want to thank Chairman Barton, 
chairman of the Full Committee; and the gentleman from Michigan, who is 
the subcommittee chairman; as well as Vice Chairman Pickering. And also 
we have enjoyed the bipartisan support from Bobby Rush on our 
committee.
  This is truly a bipartisan product that was forged together after 
countless hours of negotiation. Its recent passage out of the Energy 
and Commerce Committee by a vote of 42-12 only underscores this point.
  Mr. Chairman, I represent a district in north Texas, and there is a 
community within that area in north Texas named Keller. Keller, Texas, 
a very forward-thinking town of over 36,000 people. Keller is home to 
Verizon's first fiberoptic television system. What has happened since 
the fiberoptic system was introduced in the Keller market is that 
prices for cable TV are now 25 percent lower than they were before the 
entry into the video market. New services, new technologies, lower 
prices.
  Consumers now have a choice, and over 30 percent of the market has 
signed up for this new fiberoptic service from Verizon. Clearly, people 
want choice. The citizens of Keller not only have access to one of the 
best telecommunications networks in the world, and a choice of 
providers, but they also get much better services at competitive 
prices.
  What is even more intriguing is about a third of those new video 
customers were not previously cable customers. That means that these 
customers now are a new source of franchise fee revenue for the city of 
Keller.
  Mr. Chairman, it is no accident that every member from Texas on the 
committee supports this bill. This past year the State of Texas passed 
legislation similar to that which we are considering here, removing the 
franchise fee from the local level. Texas is now at the forefront of 
video competition.
  I sponsored H.R. 5252. I voted for it in committee. I will vote for 
it on the floor. I urge my colleagues to support this commonsense 
legislation as well.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 2 minutes.
  This is a historic bill. Without question, the Republican majority is 
not respecting the importance of the issue.
  Tonight, we will have a debate on net neutrality that will last 20 
minutes, 10 minutes on either side. That is, without question, a 
disgrace. We debate week after week out here on the House floor, 
namings of post offices that each get 40 minutes. Here we are talking 
about an engine of economic growth which has transformed our economy 
and the global economy over the last 15 years. And it has done so with 
provisions which guaranteed nondiscrimination to the smallest players 
being able to enter with their ideas and communicate across our country 
and across the globe.
  What the Republicans are doing tonight is they are refusing to have a 
debate on who is going to be benefited

[[Page H3556]]

from it. That is, will the telephone companies be responsible for 
building-out across all communities? Their bill says you don't have to, 
and they won't allow us an amendment out here on the floor so that we 
can have that debate.
  Will there be redlining? We believe there should not be. The 
Republicans refuse to allow Hilda Solis's amendment out here on the 
floor so we can have a full debate on it.
  Will there be a bill that passes tonight which is defeatist in terms 
of entrepreneurs and equal access, democratization of access to 
opportunity because of access to this new technology in every part of 
the community? Or will it be a bill that has a future orientation, 
looking ahead over the next century as to who Americans are going to 
be, what the nature of our economy is going to be in terms of these 
entrepreneurs playing this change agent role? Or will we have this bill 
that has been put together behind closed doors with the most powerful 
three or four companies in America, the telephone companies who had 
nothing to do with the construction of the Internet?
  Mr. UPTON. Mr. Chairman, on behalf of Congressman Rush, I yield 2 
minutes to the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Wynn), an able member of 
the subcommittee.
  Mr. WYNN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the committee chairman for his 
leadership, the subcommittee chairman for his leadership, as well as 
Mrs. Blackburn of Tennessee who worked with me on the Video Choice Act 
which was somewhat of a precursor to this bill.
  I want to say, first of all, that this bill is not about net 
neutrality. The Google crowd, the Internet crowd does not care about 
cable rates. But this bill is about cable rates. And what we know today 
is that cable rates are too high in America. We know that consumers are 
paying as much as 80 percent increases over the last years in cable 
rates, and so that is what this bill seeks to address. It addresses it 
by trying to create more competition. And there is no disagreement that 
if we had more competition in video services we would have lower cable 
bills.
  Now, there are new companies, telephone companies and other 
companies, that want to come into the market. But under current law, 
they have to negotiate hundreds of thousands of individual agreements 
with local governments. That is why we don't have more competition.
  This bill creates a national franchise and says we can bring in new 
entrants to provide competitive services and lower prices. What happens 
with this? Well, we do protect the local communities because they still 
receive franchise fees from new entrants. We protect their rights to 
control their rights-of-way.
  We also have antidiscrimination to protect against redlining. We have 
language that says that if you discriminate, you can and will be 
punished and penalized. So I think this is a very good bill that 
addresses the fundamental issue, which is cable rates.
  Let me turn for a moment to net neutrality. Understand, there is only 
finite space within the network. Everybody can't travel at top speed at 
the same time, so there has to be some differentiation. And ultimately, 
the issue is who will pay. Will the consumer pay, or will the content 
providers pay? That is the Google and the Internet and the innovators 
that they talk about. Those innovators, those people would rather have 
the consumer pay if there has to be a differentiation, if you want 
ultra-high speeds, if you want excessive amounts of the bandwidth.
  I believe net neutrality is not a relevant issue here. I believe that 
we have a solid bill that addresses the fundamental concern, which is 
reducing cable rates. We have an opportunity to do something very good 
for the American people, and I think we ought to do it and pass the 
COPE bill.
  Mr. MARKEY. I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. 
Solis).
  Ms. SOLIS. Mr. Chairman and Members, today I rise again in strong 
opposition to this bill. I support the efforts to increase competition 
in the video marketplace.
  Greater competition, as we know, will inevitably help to create jobs 
and provide for lower consumer costs. But we must also make certain 
that benefits derived from a streamlined franchising process benefit 
consumers and not just the telecommunications industry.
  The bill doesn't go far enough, in my opinion, to ensure that all 
communities have access to broadband Internet. Although the broadband 
access has increased greatly in recent years, the digital divide 
remains a reality in communities like mine, the ones that I represent 
in Los Angeles County in California.
  In fact, in 2003, a study by the Pew Foundation found that those 
least likely to have broadband Internet access at home are the poor, 
the older, less educated and Latinos and African Americans; 60 percent 
of the constituents I represent in my district happen to be underserved 
Latinos.
  While Latinos are the fastest growing demographic group of online 
users, only one in eight Latino households has access to broadband 
services.
  Eleven Hispanic Members of this Congress and numerous civil rights 
organizations, consumer and Latino advocacy organizations weighed in in 
strong support of such language, including the Leadership Conference on 
Civil Rights; the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, 
known as MALDEF; the National Conference of Hispanic State Legislators; 
the Hispanic Federation; the National Puerto Rican Coalition; and the 
National Hispanic Bar Association. That is why these groups are urging 
a ``no'' vote on the bill.
  The bill also weakens, in my opinion, consumer protections without 
providing strong enforcement for consumer rights. We should ensure that 
all States and localities retain the ability to establish consumer 
protection standards for video services. No one here knows the needs of 
the residents that I represent in Los Angeles, El Monte, West Covina, 
and other cities that I represent.
  In fact, this week I received numerous letters that I will submit for 
the Record from cities in my district, including the City of Los 
Angeles, the newly elected mayor, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, urging me 
and others to oppose the bill.
  I share with my colleagues' goals of passing legislation which 
promotes an increased competition, lower prices, improves the quality 
and access to developing brand-new services that help all consumers. 
But the digital divide, Members, remains a reality for many 
constituents in my district and many others across this country. We 
should not let this opportunity pass without addressing this fact. I 
would ask that we not let this opportunity pass without addressing the 
fact in an effective manner.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose the bill. Furthermore, I would like to 
say that while we have had numerous discussions outside of the 
committee room regarding this bill, I still have not heard from the 
telephone companies and others that they would like to see strong 
language put in the bill to provide for protection so that we don't 
exclude communities like mine that I represent.

                              {time}  1845

  I am disheartened when I hear that there is a possibility that they 
will come into Los Angeles, but they will go around East Los Angeles 
and they won't attend to those constituents that I represent.
  Mr. UPTON. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Texas 
(Mr. Conaway).
  Mr. CONAWAY. Mr. Chairman, rural America needs broadband now more 
than ever. The information society is in full swing with an abundant 
amount of choices and access to the infinite sources of information, 
yet there are those who may not have the same access to information and 
will therefore be left out in the cold.
  As we move away from dial-up Internet to broadband via cable modem, 
DSL, satellite, and fiber-based networks, Congress should be enacting 
legislation that encourages broader network deployment. Without the 
proper economic incentives and regulatory environment, rural America 
will be left behind when the next generation networks are built.
  That is why we must pass the COPE Act tonight. Not only does COPE 
open competition in the video market, but it also includes the proper 
regulatory light touch and the right incentives to

[[Page H3557]]

foster the deployment of advanced networks. More importantly, it 
creates incentives to build out these networks without the spending of 
government funds.
  It is time to pass this bill and get broadband deployment moving in 
the right direction, the direction of rural America.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. UPTON. Mr. Chairman, I would yield on behalf of Mr. Rush 1 minute 
to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Engel).
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the COPE Act. 
Fundamentally, it is all about promoting greater competition in the 
video service industry, what we often call cable, but is no longer 
limited to that delivery system.
  We have all heard the complaints from our constituents about the 
rising cost of cable. For part of my district, the fact is there is no 
competitor to cable. Satellite TV signals can't magically go around 
tall buildings nor pass through them to reach someone on the other 
side. The COPE Act will speed competition into the video service 
industry and drive down prices.
  I am also pleased with the VoIP provisions of the bill. I was an 
early proponent to require emergency 911 services for VoIP providers. I 
am also pleased that we cleaned up the rules for VoIP providers to 
interconnect, thus providing the same level playing field that C-LECs 
enjoyed. Finally, I was pleased to offer language requiring 
disabilities access with my colleague from Washington (Mr. Inslee). 
With the support of Chairman Upton, we have ensured that disabled 
Americans will be a full part of this broadband resolution.
  We will consider a number of amendments today, some I will support 
because I believe that they will make this a better bill. I would have 
voted for the Baldwin and Solis amendments if they had been allowed to 
be put forth. Nevertheless, we start with a good base bill, and it will 
have my support on final passage regardless of which amendments pass. 
We have before us a bill that seeks to update our laws to keep pace 
with new technologies and new market realities.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I continue to reserve my time.
  Mr. UPTON. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from the 
Buckeye State, the chairman of the Financial Services Committee, Mr. 
Oxley.
  (Mr. OXLEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. OXLEY. Mr. Chairman, it seems like old times debating a 
telecommunications bill. It has been a while since I had that 
opportunity, and I see some familiar faces on both sides. I first want 
to congratulate my good friend from Michigan for his concerted efforts 
on this legislation as well as Chairman Barton and other members who 
have worked on this legislation.
  This is a good solid follow-up of the 1996 Act. It recognizes market 
forces, it gets government out of picking winners and losers. I chair 
the Financial Service Committee now, and there have been some arguments 
about whether the net neutrality issue that the gentleman from 
Massachusetts will be offering will be a boon for the financial 
services industry. I am here to say that the financial services 
industry understands competition, they understand choice, they 
understand how markets work, and the folks that are represented in that 
financial services community will benefit by this legislation without 
the Markey amendment, and that is what is important to keep in mind.
  This has been a great effort. I congratulate again all those who have 
put this bill on the floor today.
  I rise in strong support of H.R. 5252, the Communications 
Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006.
  I've been a believer in the power of competition in 
telecommunications since I came to Congress 25 years ago. The move from 
government regulation to market competition has totally changed the 
telecommunications landscape, and the consumer has been the big winner. 
There are more products, services, and choices than ever before.
  I remember people looking at Congressman Rick Boucher and me like we 
were nuts when we first introduced a bill to allow telephone and cable 
companies to compete with each other. Since then, satellite TV and the 
Internet have joined the act and we have more channels than we know 
what to do with.
  Some saw the spectrum auctions as a heretical idea. But they helped 
give birth to the cell phone industry, and now there's a kiosk in every 
mall begging for your business. Along the way, those auctions brought 
in billions of dollars for the U.S. Treasury and our own budgeters.
  I was on the conference committee for the Telecommunications Reform 
Act of 1996, and the law has done a lot to promote private investment 
and consumer choice. But I'm not sure we ever fully broke the 
regulatory mindset at the bureaucratic level.
  Ten years later, we're at the point where we need to see more 
investment in the advanced telecommunications systems vital to our 
international competitiveness. We trail some of our hungriest 
competitors in broadband deployment. And by next year, China may have 
more broadband subscribers than the United States.
  There are still too many regulatory impediments holding back 
competition. H.R. 5252 does a good job of removing them, so we can 
unleash private capital on this national need.
  Historically, video entrants--primarily cable companies--have been 
required to negotiate contracts, called franchises, with local 
governments before offering video service. With some 33,000 
municipalities, this negotiating process is time consuming and costly, 
serving as a barrier to market access.
  H.R. 5252 streamlines this process by creating a single, national 
approval process. This will open the door for telephone companies to 
enter the video services market and build out extensive new fiber-optic 
networks to compete with the cable industry whose network is already 
well established. The bottom line is a national franchise will open the 
door for more choices, better services and lower bills.
  I am concerned about some of the potential amendments that, under the 
guise of ``fairness,'' would just defeat the purpose of the bill.
  The first is mandatory build-out requirements, which are nothing less 
than the government telling a business how to run itself. Requiring a 
new entry in a competitive market to deploy broadband everywhere at 
once, even when it's not economical, guarantees that nothing will be 
built. Market demand will make the case for broadband expansion soon 
enough.
  Next, there seem to be new efforts to regulate the ``last frontier,'' 
the Internet. I think the Internet has experienced explosive growth 
because for the most part, the government has kept its hands off by not 
taxing and regulating it to death.
  But in the name of something called ``net neutrality,'' some would 
have the government effectively impose free carriage requirements on 
the Internet and Internet backbone providers. Supporters claim that in 
order to ``keep the internet as we know it'' we must regulate the 
service providers. Regulating Internet Service Providers will stall 
investment, curbing the growth and innovation the Internet has fostered 
in the last decade.
  Again, this is something best left to the market to figure out. And 
at this point, it seems to be a solution in search of an actual 
problem.
  We are again at a pivotal point in telecommunications policy. At one 
time, telecom was one of the drivers of our economy and we need a full 
comeback. This bill will promote investment in the advanced networks 
that will keep the U.S. economy competitive in a fierce global 
marketplace. Let's again unleash the innovation of our telecom, cable, 
satellite, and Internet companies because when the rules are right, 
there are none in the world who are better.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 30 seconds.
  Mr. Chairman, I just want to thank the distinguished chairman of the 
Financial Services Committee, Mr. Oxley, for his leadership and his 
statement that he just made. It is greatly appreciated and it I think 
enlightens the debate.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 1 minute at this time.
  Mr. Chairman, let me explain one of the real problems with this bill. 
In testimony before the Commerce Committee on this legislation, I asked 
the head of the national cable industry what they would do once this 
bill passed, and the answer was quite revealing. They said that after 
this bill passes, since the telephone companies are going to go into 
the wealthy side of town in order to deploy their new broadband 
systems, that under the legislation they no longer had any 
responsibility to serve the whole community. They had no responsibility 
to continue to upgrade on the other side of the town, which the cable 
industry is already serving, because every mayor always extracted that 
from every cable company as they came into town.
  So we are going to wind up with a perverse situation where the cable 
industry on the poor side of town is able

[[Page H3558]]

to raise rates because the telephone companies won't promise to go 
there and actually compete against the cable company. And the 
Republicans oppose even having a debate on the House floor in order to 
accomplish that, and so we wind up with a situation where the wealthy 
people are going to have two competitors and have lower rates, and the 
poor people are going to have only one company that is saying they are 
going to raise rates because there will be no competition. It is a 
perverse result for cable subscribers in America.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Keller).
  Mr. KELLER. Mr. Chairman, I thank the chairman for yielding.
  I rise today in support of H.R. 5252, and I want to discuss the so-
called net neutrality provisions. The free Internet that we have today 
will remain free. If you can go there today, you will be able to go 
there tomorrow. If you would like to be able, in the future, to 
immediately download full-length movies and high definition video games 
and you are willing to pay for that greater bandwidth to do that, you 
will have the freedom to make that choice as well. If we take away 
these choices, it will be like trying to send a golf ball through a 
garden hose in terms of clogging up the bandwidth for everyone.
  In a nutshell, it seems to me that more consumer freedom and less 
government regulation is the better approach. If down the road the 
telecommunication companies improperly restrict access to the Internet 
and the FCC fails to act, then we can drop the hammer on them. Until 
then, it seems like imposing new regulations on the Internet is a case 
of Big Brother being a big pain in the behind.
  I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on H.R. 5252.
  I rise today in support of H.R. 5252, and I want to discuss the so-
called ``Net Neutrality'' provisions.
  I don't understand why we need new laws for a problem that doesn't 
yet exist. I've heard that some high-tech companies, like Yahoo and 
Google, are worried that certain cable or phone companies might block, 
or limit, consumers' internet access.
  At this early stage, it seems to me that the market place will take 
care of that issue real quick. Consumers simply will not continue to 
purchase service from a provider that seeks to block or restrict their 
internet access.
  For example, when I'm at my home in Orlando, Florida, I use Google 
and Yahoo nearly every day, and I get my high speed internet access 
through my local cable company, Bright House. If Bright House 
restricted my access to either Google or Yahoo, I would switch to my 
local phone company, BellSouth, so fast it would make your head spin. 
In other words, competition is what will keep companies on the straight 
and narrow.
  The free internet that we have today will remain free. If you can go 
there today, you will be able to go there tomorrow.
  If you would like to be able, in the future, to immediately download 
full-length movies and high-definition video games, and you're willing 
to pay for the greater bandwidth to do that, you'll have the freedom to 
make that choice as well.
  If we take away these choices, it will be like trying to send a ball 
through a garden hose in terms of clogging up the bandwidth for 
everyone.
  In a nutshell, it seems to me, that more consumer freedom, and less 
government regulation, is the better approach. If, down the road, the 
telecommunications companies improperly restrict access to the 
internet, and the FCC fails to act, then we can drop the hammer on 
them.
  Until then, it seems like imposing new regulations on the internet is 
a case of Big Brother being a big pain in the behind.
  I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on H.R. 5252.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, on behalf of Mr. Rush of Illinois, 
I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from Illinois (Ms. Bean).
  (Ms. BEAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
remarks.)
  Ms. BEAN. Mr. Chairman, I thank Mr. Rush for this opportunity to 
speak, and I thank him and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for 
their work on this bill. As a new Member of this body who brings 20 
years of experience in the tech sector, I rise today to speak in 
support of H.R. 5252.
  Many of our constituents have one option for cable TV and one price. 
Our constituents desire choice. I believe this bill will provide much-
needed modernization of our telecommunications laws to provide for 
improved competition for video services and lower prices for consumers. 
By overhauling current rules and speeding the entry of competitors in 
the market, we encourage competition and provide our constituents with 
new choices and cheaper bills.
  To keep America competitive in the global economy, telecommunications 
companies will be expected to invest heavily in infrastructure. This 
bill will spur investment in broadband networks that will help bring 
America up to speed with other nations who have jumped ahead of us in 
broadband capacity.
  Some colleagues have raised legitimate concerns about how to 
streamline our laws while advancing new technologies. I am confident 
this bill will ensure consumer choice and preserve innovation on the 
Net, respect rights for municipalities while establishing a new source 
of revenue for them, and strictly prohibiting discriminatory practices 
like redlining.
  I encourage support.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 1\1/2\ minutes.
  Mr. Chairman, so again we hear the argument that this is going to 
lower cable rates. And it will lower cable rates, I don't deny that, on 
the good side of town, which is where they are going with their Harvard 
Business School 3-by-5 card, ``go to the wealthy side of town and offer 
them a package of broadband services to compete against the cable 
companies.'' Rates are going down.
  But the problem is on the other side of town, once this bill passes, 
once the telephone company comes into town, the cable company is no 
longer bound by the agreement that it made with the city. So the cable 
industry, and they testified to this in the committee, they can then 
raise rates on the parts of town that the telephone company is not 
going to go to and provide cable service.
  So you are going to wind up with this incredible situation where we, 
that is, Congressmen in our parts of town, we are going to have lower 
cable rates. But people on the other side of town, and you don't have 
to be a summa cum laude, you from Harvard Business School, to 
understand this, the people on the other side of town are not going to 
get this service, because obviously the Republicans are protecting AT 
and Verizon by prohibiting us having this discussion here on the floor.
  They won't even let the discussion take place, because they know that 
is what is going to happen, that the other side of town isn't going to 
get this service, because AT doesn't want us to have to mandate that 
if they are going into the town, they just can't cherry-pick the good 
parts of town. They are going to have to do everybody. And if they 
don't do everybody, what do you think is going to happen when there is 
no competition? Rates are going up in that part of town, because that 
part of the town will be a monopoly.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I want to yield 1 minute to a 
gentleman from Mississippi who doesn't have a degree from Harvard 
Business School, but he does have a degree from Ole Miss, Chip 
Pickering, the vice chairman of the full committee.
  Mr. PICKERING. Mr. Chairman, I thank the chairman.
  Having received an MBA from a great institution in the State of 
Texas, Baylor, I was taught that competition drives deployment, 
innovation, investment.
  Why would the telephone companies have to go to both sides of the 
town? Because the cable companies are going with something called 
voiceover Internet, voice over cable systems, voice providers and other 
companies, into both sides of the town. And unless the telephone 
companies want to lose both sides of the town, they are going to have 
to go with video.
  So more video choice, more voice choice, more investment, more 
innovation, greater competition. And that is why we will see benefits 
on all parts, in all parts of our country, and all sides of our cities 
and communities.
  That is why this is a good bill. It makes a national framework, as it 
should do, as we go into an IP, Internet-based world. It is interstate. 
It is international. It should be done at the

[[Page H3559]]

FCC, not in a patchwork of entities all across the country, slowing 
deployment and investment.
  I want to commend the great chairman from the Great State of Texas 
and the subcommittee chairman from Michigan, and I also want to thank 
our colleagues on the other side.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Watson).
  Ms. WATSON. Mr. Chairman, I stand in opposition to the fact that the 
provisions that are going to be considered do not contain any language 
that would guard against discrimination, discrimination as to where 
people live, redlining. And we want to be sure that when we go into 
restructuring where we place our cable lines, I want to be sure no 
community is left out.
  Unless we can see that language in the bill, I cannot support it. 
Communications are too important, and I don't want the cable companies 
choosing the high-end communities and leaving the low-end communities 
out of the cable network.

                              {time}  1900

  So I would hope that if we do not get a provision in the bill, and it 
looks like we are not going to, that we vote against it and try all 
over again.
  This will affect every area of my district, and many districts in 
this country, if we do not put provisions in there to eliminate 
redlining, to be sure we have antidiscrimination clauses in there, and 
be sure that people do not have to come to the FCC to get rulings when 
they find they are underserved. I would suggest that we vote against 
the bill.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Mack).
  Mr. MACK. Mr. Chairman, competition is the backbone of innovation. 
Competition has enabled the Internet and scores of new technologies to 
be introduced to the marketplace, and it has changed the way we live, 
work and play.
  Mr. Chairman, the COPE Act will ensure that competition and 
innovation continue to flourish. It will eliminate needless government 
barriers and has shown that the expansion of new technology and 
innovation comes when competition is alive and well.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to vote in support of this piece 
of legislation. It will help drive prices down. It will help companies 
invest in future technology that will help make our lives better.
  Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you, I want to thank the committee for 
giving me the opportunity to speak on this bill.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 1\1/2\ minutes.
  Mr. Chairman, here is the really perverse part of this. The telephone 
company is going to come into town, and they are going to start 
offering lower rates on the good part of town, as they are delivering 
the service.
  The people on the other side of town, the poorer part of town, are 
going to say, hey, do we get the lower rates too in town? Because under 
the cable-negotiated agreement with the city, everyone got the same 
rate in town.
  Well, the telephone company will not offer that same lower rate to 
the other part of the town, only to the people on the good part of 
town, which is where they are going. So we said to the majority, the 
Republicans, well, let's make sure everyone in town gets that lower 
rate, because now we know what the rate should be for that community, 
because they are offering it to the good side of town.
  The Republicans say, oh, no, we are not going to give the lower rate 
to the poor side of town where the telephone company is not going to, 
because they are not going there. And the cable industry says, fine, we 
are going to raise rates on that side of town because the telephone 
company is telling us we are not going there.
  So we are going to have again this crazy situation where they are 
going to the homes, and we are going to wind up with this perverse 
result where they are going to the good side of town, they are going to 
the good communities. They are going to have lower cable rates because 
they are going to have competition. And the telephone companies have 
told us over and over and over again they are not going to the other 
side of town.
  They are not going to the poorer communities, and we object to any 
amendment by Democrats on the floor that will make us do the poor part 
of town, that will make us go to the other side of town. We are going 
to fight it and we are going to ask the Republicans to not even allow 
for a debate on the House floor that will help the people on the poor 
side of town get the lower rates.
  That is what this bill at its heart is all about tonight, the ability 
of the telephone companies to cherry-pick the wealthiest families in 
America to have competing cable service.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman 
from Michigan (Mr. Upton), our subcommittee chairman.
  Mr. UPTON. Mr. Chairman, a couple of weeks ago, the Wall Street 
Journal ran a story headlined: ``U.S. lags behind in high speed 
Internet access, ranking slips to 12th spot among 30 nations.''
  Today telecommunication providers offer a host of services, whether 
it be voice, data, or video. And this legislation, should it be enacted 
later this year like I think it will, will jump-start, jump-start that 
competition, as it will provide more competition, it will lower prices, 
probably in the range of $30 to $40 per household per month, nearly 
$400 for the year, and I have to tell you that that is great for 
America.
  Now, over the last year we have had plenty of hearings, lots of 
witnesses, input from almost every sector. It has been a fair and open 
process from the start. And I commend my chairman, Joe Barton. He has 
done a magnificent job pulling together folks from all sides of the 
aisle, all different sides of the issues, to put together a bipartisan 
bill that we debate tonight.
  Now, the document that we marked up in my subcommittee and then in 
full committee changed. It changed because of amendments that were 
debated and offered and accepted and voted on. And I have to tell you 
that after each step of that process, the bill was better. It was 
stronger and it was better. And the proof was in the pudding.
  We passed the bill in subcommittee 27-4. We passed the bill in full 
committee, changed, 42-12. And I would note that when we introduced 
H.R. 5252, after the full committee markup process was completed, there 
were 15 Democrats from the Energy and Commerce Committee that asked 
that their names be listed as cosponsors.
  Now, in some debate tonight we have talked about the cities, a 
question about right-of-way. Well, let us read the language in the 
bill. Page 19 says this: ``Nothing in this act affects the authority of 
a State or local government to manage, on a reasonable, competitively 
neutral, and nondiscriminatory basis, the public rights-of-way and 
easements that have been dedicated for compatible use.
  That protects the cities with rights-of-way. We protect the cities 
with a revenue stream. Most of them today have about a 5 percent 
revenue from the receipts that are collected. We add to that. It will 
be 6 percent, because we guarantee that that extra percent is going to 
go to the community access channels, what we call the PEG channels, the 
Public, Education, Government channels.
  In fact, some of the studies that have come out show that the cities 
will gain revenues in the neighborhood of perhaps as much as 30 
percent. We added an anti-redline provision that was offered by our 
friend, Mr. Rush from Chicago. It was a great provision. It made the 
bill better. It was accepted, as I recall, on a voice vote.
  The bottom line is this: if you are happy with the status quo, please 
vote ``no'' tonight. If you like cable rates going up, if you like the 
regulations, vote ``no.'' But if you want change, please vote ``yes.''
  Mr. MARKEY. Could I inquire of the Chair how much time is remaining.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Markey) has 2\1/
2\ minutes remaining. The gentleman from Texas (Mr. Barton) has 3\1/2\ 
minutes remaining.
  Mr. MARKEY. I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. 
Jackson-Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I thank the distinguished 
gentleman. I know this has been hard work for members of the Energy and 
Commerce Committee. This is another

[[Page H3560]]

giant step in telecommunications, and now with the focus on broadband.
  I recall, Mr. Chairman, the 1996 opportunity, and in fact I recall 
many, many years ago before I was in Congress the opportunities that 
led to the creation of BET. I hope as we go forward that we will be 
able to focus on small, medium, women-owned, minority-owned businesses 
that may engage in the cable franchising business.
  I think as we make our way to the Senate and this bill comes back to 
the House, more emphasis needs to be focused on those generating 
opportunities. We are seeking, of course, to open telecommunications, 
broadband to the world. And to do that, it is also important that small 
businesses have the opportunity, both in terms of the franchise fees, 
and both in terms of mentoring by larger companies, so I hope that in 
working with my colleagues on Energy and Commerce and through the 
Senate, we will have the opportunity to put a focus on small, medium, 
women-owned and minority-owned businesses.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3\1/2\ minutes to the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Rush), my distinguished primary cosponsor 
on the Democrat side.
  Mr. RUSH. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the gentleman for yielding me 
time.
  Mr. Chairman, I am from the other side of town. I live on the other 
side of town; and, Mr. Chairman, those who live on the other side of 
town understand the Biblical principle, the verse in the Bible that 
says, know ye the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
  Mr. Chairman, there are some untruths that have been spoken today 
about this bill. This is a good bill. This is a marvelous bill. This is 
a bill that is worthwhile. This is a bill that will make a difference 
in the lives of the people who live on the other side of town.
  Mr. Chairman, there are five truths about this legislation that I 
want to share with you. This legislation, number one, represents a huge 
step in bringing lower prices and more choices for cable services, not 
only from the other side of town, but from all of town, and also to the 
Nation.
  Mr. Chairman, this bill will provide equitable competition amongst a 
variety of video service providers on the other side of town. Video 
service providers can compete in price, in quality, and in quantity. 
And the people on the other side of town, on my side of town, can 
finally decide which service provider they prefer.
  Number two, Mr. Chairman, the second truth, this bill will create a 
nationwide approval process for pay TV services. The people on my side 
of town, on the other side of town, pay more money for cable TV 
services than any other demographic group within the Nation. And by 
streamlining this archaic franchise system, companies will be able to 
offer new TV services on the other side of town, while also protecting 
the local interests.
  The third truth. And this is a truth, Mr. Chairman, that I take to 
heart. I have spent all of my life fighting against discrimination. And 
I will never, never, ever be a sponsor or cosponsor or vote for a bill 
that allows for discrimination in any area of life within this Nation.
  The third truth, Mr. Chairman, is that this bill will prohibit 
discrimination on the basis of income and give the FCC the power to 
impose stiff fines, up to $500,000 a day, or revoke a provider's 
franchise area if there is willful or repeated violation of 
discrimination.
  And it goes even beyond that. The burden of proof will be on the 
company and not on the consumer.
  The fourth truth, Mr. Chairman, is that this bill also preserves net 
neutrality by allowing the FCC explicit power to go after companies 
that violate network neutrality principles.
  And, Mr. Chairman, on network neutrality, let me just say this: 
network neutrality is a Trojan horse in this whole debate. It is not 
about build-out; it is not about access. The opponents of this bill are 
in favor of network neutrality, and they are not in favor, Mr. 
Chairman, of lowering cable costs for the people on the other side of 
town.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Chairman, this bill is a failure. It fails the challenge to 
ensure that this broadband technology will be deployed in every 
neighborhood in America. The Bell Companies oppose it, and the 
Republicans are not going to allow us to even have that debate here on 
the House floor.

                              {time}  1915

  Why is it important? Because in a post-GATT, post-NAFTA world, we 
have to make sure that every family and every child in every family has 
access to this high tech skillset which can only come from access to 
this broadband technology. The telephone companies do not want the 
responsibility to build out into the poor side of the town, the 
Republicans have not built that responsibility into the bill, and they 
have prohibited the Democrats from making that amendment. And their 
bill also fails the Internet. It fails the nondiscriminatory history of 
the Internet which has required, which has made possible for 
entrepreneurs and individuals on a nondiscriminatory basis, to use the 
Internet.
  We want to have a debate on net neutrality. All the Republicans are 
willing to give to the proponents of the Net neutrality, the central 
constitutional protection built into the Internet for the last 20 
years, is 10 minutes. That is a disgrace. The whole way we are making 
this bill is really a tribute to the Republican control of Congress and 
their lack of willingness to have full and open debate on the most 
important post-GATT, post-NAFTA issues we could debate, the access to a 
21st century skillset and the ability for entrepreneurs to use the 
information superhighway to create the new jobs. I urge a ``no'' vote 
on final passage on this bill.
  Mr. STARK. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 5252, 
the so-called Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act 
of 2006, H.R. 5252.
  Supporters of this bill claim that if telephone companies provide 
video services to compete with cable and satellite, rates will decrease 
and quality of service will increase.
  I agree, but there is nothing in current law stopping phone companies 
from offering video services. Just ask Verizon, which currently offers 
fiber optic TV in 16 states--and counting. However, AT and others 
thought they could get a better deal from their Congressional 
benefactors. The Leave No Lobbyist Behind Republican Congress did not 
disappoint them.
  This bill eliminates all requirements to build out service to an 
entire community, so if you want to benefit from competition, you 
better live on the right side of town with the rich people. Your city 
also better have enough money to have a lawyer permanently stationed in 
Washington, DC, because this bill gives the Federal Communications 
Commission, FCC, final say over all video services. Under current law, 
cities control when and where video providers dig up streets to lay 
cable and they set standards for customer service and billing. But 
small government Republicans think that the FCC knows better. They 
provide no new staff or money to handle this enormous responsibility, 
so expect a busy signal the next time you have a problem with your 
cable bill.
  Finally, this bill was a critical opportunity to renew so-called 
``net neutrality'' rules that require Internet Service Providers to 
treat all Web sites equally. When Google was being run out of a college 
dorm, the search page loaded just as quickly as Yahoo or MSN or the 
Comcast corporate Web site. The ability for so-called ``garage 
inventors'' to enter the market without paying a toll or suffering 
degraded service enabled the Internet's rapid growth and success. Those 
non-discrimination rules ended last year, and broadband providers have 
made no secret of their desire to extract a high price for continued 
service. Their multi-million dollar campaign to defeat a net neutrality 
amendment only confirms their insidious plans.
  This gift to giant telecom companies, devoid of any worthwhile public 
policy, is a disgrace, and I urge my colleagues to join me in voting 
no.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Chairman, I agree with the intent of the bill, 
which is to improve competitive choice for consumers, lower costs, and 
increase innovation. I hope that is where we will be at the end of this 
process. However, currently, I have profound concerns about the loss of 
local revenues, lack of assurances for universal access, and the 
potential for anti-competitive behavior by network providers.
  This comes to the floor with significant problems for local 
governments. The COPE Act will reduce Public Education Government, PEG, 
funding for Portland and Multnomah County by $2.4 million each year.
  Proponents argue that more competitors will increase local revenues. 
However, the revenue is based on the size of the customer population, 
thus more competitors will not necessarily result in more revenue than 
already

[[Page H3561]]

exists. This bill also grants new authorities to the FCC to resolve 
local and private disputes. I am uncertain that the FCC possesses the 
capacity to effectively handle these local issues.
  In the spirit of preserving innovation and providing equal access to 
web surfers and businesses alike, the Internet must remain a non-
discriminatory, egalitarian, and open playing field. This is an issue 
that has often been referred to as ``net neutrality.'' I am concerned 
about the ability of the Internet to remain neutral and equal under the 
COPE Act.
  This issue is particularly important to my district in Oregon as it 
has one of the highest broadband penetration rates in the country. I 
have received thousands of letters, e-mails, and phone calls from my 
constituents expressing concerns about the COPE Act's ability to 
safeguard the neutrality of the Internet. I support the Markey 
Amendment on network neutrality, which regretfully the House failed to 
adopt.
  Lastly, I am concerned that the COPE Act does not ensure universal 
access for vital telecommunication services. Without strong ``build out 
provisions,'' poor and rural areas in the country are at risk of 
falling behind. Telecom companies will be able to cherry pick the most 
profitable areas and force cable companies to follow suit in order to 
remain competitive. History suggests that it is unrealistic to expect 
one company to continue to invest in all of its regions if a competitor 
applies market pressure to small concentrated areas.
  This bill is the start of a long conversation regarding how best to 
address telecommunications in this country. It is my strong belief that 
we will be revisiting the concerns I have outlined should this bill 
pass, and it is my hope that through the legislative process, we can 
provide the American people the telecom reform they deserve.
  Mr. WELLER. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of the 
Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act of 2006 
(COPE), H.R. 5252. This is an important, bipartisan bill that will 
benefit the consumers I represent, especially those in rural areas.
  While the cost of wireless minutes has fallen more than 77 percent in 
the past 10 years, the cost of cable rates has done the exact opposite, 
increasing over 86 percent during that same time frame. The COPE bill 
will bring choice and competition to television and the Internet. 
Through this bill, the market will have a chance to expand to areas in 
which competition does not currently exist. As we have consistently 
seen in other industries, competition helps the consumer through more 
choices and lower prices. For example, my own parents live in a small 
rural community. Mom and dad are retired on a fixed income. Like 
millions of other Americans living in small towns or rural communities, 
they have limited options when it comes to cable service. With the COPE 
bill, my parents and countless others will have increased access and 
competition.
  It should be noted that this bill is about more than just lowering 
prices and creating a competitive marketplace. Significant benefits 
will be brought uniquely for rural communities. It will bring faster 
broadband to more places, especially rural areas. It will also mean the 
opportunity for distance learning and distance medical diagnosis and 
treatment for those living in rural communities. These are new and 
important opportunities for improving the quality of life for rural 
America.
  This legislation really is about choice, competition, and rural 
access. I urge my colleagues to support the Barton-Rush COPE Act, an 
important bipartisan bill.
  Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. Chairman, while I have some reservations 
about the COPE Act, H.R. 5252, I will vote for it today.
  There have been many changes in the telecommunications and cable 
industry in the 10 years since the last major revision of 
telecommunications law.
  In 1996, telecommunication companies and cable companies provided 
very different services. Today though, these industries are providing 
very similar services and the distinctions in the old law are no longer 
as relevant. As a result, I believe it is time for us to make changes 
to our telecommunication laws that take into account the technological 
advances of the industry and the changes in the marketplace.
  This bill would make some of those needed changes. However, I am 
concerned that its provisions, particularly those affecting the local 
franchise authorities, may go a little too far and do not do enough to 
allow localities and their constituents to adequately address right-of-
way concerns in a timely fashion. I hope that Congress will be able to 
more fully address these concerns as this bill proceeds through the 
legislative process.
  I supported the Markey amendment, even though its language would have 
needed some adjustments in conference particularly as it pertained to 
the ``last mile'' of Internet connectivity, because I thought it would 
improve the bill.
  I was joined in this support for ``net neutrality'' by a wide variety 
of organizations whose members place a high value on unencumbered use 
of the internet--from AARP, ACLU and Gun Owners of America. I regret 
the amendment was not adopted.
  However, even without that amendment this bill is an improvement over 
current law. It takes important steps to increase competition and 
reduce costs of cable and Internet. There is no doubt that the Internet 
has revolutionized how we do business, educate, and entertain. Making 
broadband services more affordable and accessible is vital to ensure we 
close the digital divide and allow businesses to benefit from new 
Internet-based technologies.
  While this bill is not perfect, it is a good step forward. I believe 
it is important that we continue to work with the Senate to improve 
this bill and hope a conference report will continue to provide an 
increase in competition while protecting the freedom of the Internet.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I rise in general support of this 
legislation, which will increase competition in the video services 
market by reducing the regulatory barriers that effectively bar new 
entrants into this important market. Competition will give consumers 
more choices and will help ensure the delivery of new and innovative 
services at lower prices.
  However, I have concerns about the way this bill addresses the net 
neutrality issue. Specifically, this legislation was drafted such that 
it grants exclusive jurisdiction to the Federal Communications 
Commission to adjudicate complaints arising from anticompetitive 
practices of broadband providers. This grant of exclusive jurisdiction 
unfortunately puts into question whether the antitrust laws would apply 
when anticompetitive conduct arises in this area.
  I believe in free market principles and the fact that government 
involvement often stifles innovation in the marketplace. However, I 
also believe that our Nation's antitrust laws have served as important 
guidelines to ensure that markets remain competitive and that these 
antitrust laws must remain applicable in the broadband services market.
  I understand that Congressman Lamar Smith will offer an amendment 
today to expressly state that the antitrust laws do indeed apply 
despite the use of the word ``exclusive'' in the underlying bill. I 
support that clarification to ensure that our nation's antitrust laws 
continue to have full effect and continue to guard against 
anticompetitive conduct in the marketplace. However, I do not believe 
that this amendment goes far enough to discourage anticompetitive 
conduct in the Internet arena.
  On the other hand, I do not believe that the amendment that will be 
offered by Congressman Markey is the right approach either. 
Specifically, that amendment would create more government red tape and 
hurdles for broadband providers by applying an FCC-focused overly 
regulatory approach to protecting the Internet. The way to ensure 
competition in the provision of broadband is not to bury broadband 
providers with more regulations.
  I believe that competition in this area can be encouraged by setting 
forth clear and articulate guidelines that do not stifle innovation or 
the ability for broadband providers to recoup the investments they make 
in their infrastructures. Relatively minor amendments to our Nation's 
antitrust laws could be the right approach in this area. Unfortunately, 
neither this legislation, nor any of the amendments being offered 
today, contains such a narrowly-tailored and effective approach.
  Despite my strong concerns about how the underlying bill handles the 
net neutrality issue, I will support this legislation because of the 
video services provisions that will increase competition and lower 
prices in that market. However, I look forward to working with all 
affected parties to ensure that robust competition remains the standard 
in the broadband services market.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to 
share my thoughts on H.R. 5252, the Communications Opportunity, 
Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006.
  Similar to the 1996 telecommunications law that deregulated the phone 
and cable industries, I have examined this bill with the interests of 
my constituents in mind and a deep respect for the advancement of 
technological innovation.
  As a result of this I have decided to vote in favor of H.R. 5252 as 
the bill provides the best we here in the House of Representatives 
could wish for with regard to the increased distribution of affordable 
cable services and a continued support of increased telecommunications 
innovation.
  As with any complex bill, I do not agree with every aspect of the 
measure; however, I do feel that the measure provides the tools 
necessary to facilitate increased video choice for my district. 
Streamlining the video franchise process will help accelerate 
competition in the video market.
  Constituents within my congressional district are crying out for 
increased competition and affordable cable rates and it is impossible 
for me to disregard their concerns by voting

[[Page H3562]]

against this, bill. According to the Federal Communications Commission, 
roughly 1.5 percent of markets have head-to-head competition for cable 
services.
  Increased competition amongst cable providers will provide my 
constituents with consumer choice that is currently lacking. Consumers 
win when telecom carriers and cable operators compete head to head.
  A multitude of service providers, each committed to indiscriminately 
serving my constituents regardless of income levels holds great promise 
for lower prices, better service and increased programming content and 
diverse ownership opportunities for minority and women-owned 
businesses.
  Lastly, much has been said regarding the issue of net neutrality, the 
notion that broadband service providers should operate their networks 
in a nondiscriminatory manner.
  While I agree wholeheartedly with this notion, I also feel that the 
government should not act too prematurely in intervening with the 
growth and innovation of the internet. The net neutrality bill 
presented before us tonight would impose a non-discriminate requirement 
on the internet backbone.
  For years, the internet has blossomed, thanks in large part due the 
hands-off approach the federal government has taken. Currently I am 
satisfied with the language captured in H.R. 5252.
  The bill gives the FCC strong authority to protect web access and 
internet applications by allowing the FCC to enforce its broadband 
principles that ensure consumers are entitled to: (1) Access the lawful 
internet content of their choice; (2) Run applications and services of 
their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement; (3) Connect 
their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network; and (4) 
Competition among network providers, application and service providers, 
and content providers.
  While I do not feel that additional action above and beyond the 
bill's current language at this time, I do support revisiting the issue 
in the event discriminatory conduct amongst internet service providers 
in the future.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I rise against this legislation for 
several reasons. I fully support the concept of bringing competition to 
video, but the bill before us today contains some serious flaws and 
omissions that negate the positive intentions.
  First, the bill does not contain meaningful net neutrality 
protections. All it does is reference the FCC's policy statement, which 
does not clearly delineate what a network provider can and cannot do. 
It provides the FCC with ``exclusive'' authority to define and 
adjudicate discriminatory broadband practices but also deprives the FCC 
of the authority to adopt rules on net neutrality. It only allows for 
case-by-case adjudication of complaints so that there will never be an 
order of general applicability.
  Chairman Sensenbrenner and I hoped that our net neutrality 
legislation, which passed the Judiciary Committee with bipartisan 
support, would be debated on the House floor today. Qur amendment would 
have required that broadband service providers interconnect with the 
facilities of other network providers on a reasonable and 
nondiscriminatory basis. It also would have required them to operate 
their network in a reasonable and nondiscriminatory manner so that all 
content, applications and services are treated the same and have an 
equal opportunity to reach consumers.
  To the detriment of the COPE Act, the Rules Committee did not make 
our amendment in order. The Committee did make in order an amendment 
offered by Representative Smith, which purports to preserve the 
antitrust laws for net neutrality but is actually nothing but a fig 
leaf. It changes nothing and does nothing to protect net neutrality. Of 
course the antitrust laws apply, but the Smith amendment does nothing 
to clarify how they apply and whether they apply to protect non-
discrimination.
  The failure to provide strong net neutrality rules is not the only 
flaw of the COPE Act. Again, while I support the goal of furthering 
competition in video, I could only endorse this approach with certain 
protections to ensure that the service is distributed equitably and 
fairly. The COPE Act does not include these important safeguards.
  The COPE Act removes guarantees that all cable customers must be 
treated equally, regardless of race, color, nationality or sex because 
it permits providers to designate their franchise areas. As a result, a 
provider will be able to ``cherry pick'' those areas it wants to serve 
and totally bypass other parts of the community. And it allows national 
franchise holders to offer service in one area of a community at a 
higher rate in order to subsidize the provision of service to residents 
in a more competitive area of the community.
  These are serious problems that detract from the ultimate goal of 
furthering competition in the provision of video services. As a result, 
I oppose this legislation and urge my colleagues to do the same.
  Mr. BACHUS. Mr. Chairman, I support H.R. 5252. Communications 
technology today is advancing rapidly but communications law is not. 
H.R. 5252 will allow the law to not only ``catch-up'' with technology, 
but also to get out of the way so consumers may benefit from new 
innovations and competition for broadband video services.
  It is odd to me that, at the same time we are streamlining our policy 
in one area, we are considering new regulation in another area that has 
enjoyed explosive growth and innovation precisely because it has been 
free of government regulation. Mr. Chairman, this is not the time to 
start regulating the Internet.
  Some voices say new regulation is necessary to preserve the Internet 
and protect consumers. I do not agree. The Internet is growing and 
thriving without regulation. Until there is a specific problem to fix, 
I think Internet regulation is a heavy-handed solution in search of a 
problem that will have many unintended consequences.
  It is important to remember that the FCC has already adopted 
principles designed to ensure that Internet services are provided in a 
fair and neutral manner. Provisions of H.R. 5252 reinforce these 
principles without imposing innovation stifling regulation. Plus, my 
colleague on the House Judiciary Committee, Mr. Smith, is offering an 
amendment making it clear that our Nation's anti-trust laws are in 
place to protect consumers as well. I support his amendment and 
encourage my colleagues to approve H.R. 5252 and reject calls for 
Internet regulation.
  Mr. OXLEY. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of H.R. 5252, the 
Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006.
  I've been a believer in the power of competition in 
telecommunications since I came to Congress 25 years ago. The move from 
government regulation to market competition has totally changed the 
telecommunications landscape, and the consumer has been the big winner. 
There are more products, services, and choices than ever before.
  I remember people looking at Congressman Rick Boucher and me like we 
were nuts when we first introduced a bill to allow telephone and cable 
companies to compete with each other. Since then, satellite TV and the 
Internet have joined the act and we have more channels than we know 
what to do with!
  Some saw the spectrum auctions as a heretical idea. But they helped 
give birth to the cell phone industry, and now there's a kiosk in every 
mall begging for your business. Along the way, those auctions brought 
in billions of dollars for the U.S. Treasury and our own budgeters.
  I was on the conference committee for the Telecommunications Reform 
Act of 1996, and the law has done a lot to promote private investment 
and consumer choice. But I'm not sure we ever fully broke the 
regulatory mindset at the bureaucratic level.
  Ten years later, we're at the point where we need to see more 
investment in the advanced telecommunications systems vital to our 
international competitiveness. We trail some of our hungriest 
competitors in broadband deployment. And by next year, China may have 
more broadband subscribers than the United States.
  There are still too many regulatory impediments holding back 
competition. H.R. 5252 does a good job of removing them, so we can 
unleash private capital on this national need.
  Historically, video entrants--primarily cable companies--have been 
required to negotiate contracts, called franchises, with local 
governments before offering video service. With some 33,000 
municipalities, this negotiating process is time consuming and costly, 
serving as a barrier to market access.
  H.R. 5252 streamlines this process by creating a single, national 
approval process. This will open the door for telephone companies to 
enter the video services market and build out extensive new fiber-optic 
networks to compete with the cable industry whose network is already 
well established. The bottom line is a national franchise will open the 
door for more choices, better services and lower bills.
  I am concerned about some of the potential amendments that, under the 
guise of ``fairness'', would just defeat the purpose of the bill.
  The first is mandatory build-out requirements, which are nothing less 
than the government telling a business how to run itself. Requiring a 
new entry in a competitive market to deploy broadband everywhere at 
once, even when it's not economical, guarantees that nothing will be 
built. Market demand will make the case for broadband expansion soon 
enough.
  Next, there seem to be new efforts to regulate the ``last frontier'', 
the Internet. I think the Internet has experienced explosive growth 
because for the most part, the government has kept its hands off by not 
taxing and regulating it to death.
  But in the name of something called ``net neutrality'', some would 
have the government effectively impose free carriage requirements

[[Page H3563]]

on the Internet and Internet backbone providers. Supporters claim that 
in order to ``keep the internet as we know it'' we must regulate the 
service providers. Regulating Internet Service Providers will stall 
investment, curbing the growth and innovation the Internet has fostered 
in the last decade.
  Again, this is something best left to the market to figure out. And 
at this point, it seems to be a solution in search of an actual 
problem.
  We are again at a pivotal point in telecommunications policy. At one 
time, telecom was one of the drivers of our economy and we need a full 
comeback. This bill will promote investment in the advanced networks 
that will keep the U.S. economy competitive in a fierce global 
marketplace. Let's again unleash the innovation of our telecom, cable, 
satellite, and Internet companies because when the rules are right, 
there are none in the world who are better.
  The CHAIRMAN. All time for general debate has expired.
  Pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read for amendment under 
the 5-minute rule.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 5252

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

       (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the 
     ``Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act 
     of 2006''.
       (b) Table of Contents.--

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

                  TITLE I--NATIONAL CABLE FRANCHISING

Sec. 101. National cable franchising.
Sec. 102. Definitions.
Sec. 103. Monitoring and reporting.

          TITLE II--ENFORCEMENT OF BROADBAND POLICY STATEMENT

Sec. 201. Enforcement of broadband policy statement.

                          TITLE III--VOIP/911

Sec. 301. Emergency services; interconnection.

               TITLE IV--MUNICIPAL PROVISION OF SERVICES

Sec. 401. Government authority to provide services.

                       TITLE V--BROADBAND SERVICE

Sec. 501. Stand-alone broadband service.
Sec. 502. Study of interference potential of broadband over power line 
              systems.

                      TITLE VI--SEAMLESS MOBILITY

Sec. 601. Development of seamless mobility.

                  TITLE I--NATIONAL CABLE FRANCHISING

     SEC. 101. NATIONAL CABLE FRANCHISING.

       (a) Amendment.--Part III of title VI of the Communications 
     Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 541 et seq.) is amended by adding at 
     the end the following new section:

     ``SEC. 630. NATIONAL CABLE FRANCHISING.

       ``(a) National Franchises.--
       ``(1) Election.--A person or group that is eligible under 
     subsection (d) may elect to obtain a national franchise under 
     this section as authority to provide cable service in a 
     franchise area in lieu of any other authority under Federal, 
     State, or local law to provide cable service in such 
     franchise area. A person or group may not provide cable 
     service under the authority of this section in a franchise 
     area unless such person or group has a franchise under this 
     section that is effective with respect to such franchise 
     area. A franchising authority may not require any person or 
     group that has a national franchise under this section in 
     effect with respect to a franchise area to obtain a franchise 
     under section 621 or any other law to provide cable service 
     in such franchise area.
       ``(2) Certification.--To obtain a national franchise under 
     this section as authority to provide cable service in a 
     franchise area, a person or group shall--
       ``(A) file with the Commission a certification for a 
     national franchise containing the information required by 
     paragraph (3) with respect to such franchise area, if such 
     person or group has not previously obtained a national 
     franchise; or
       ``(B) file with the Commission a subsequent certification 
     for additional franchise areas containing the information 
     required by paragraph (3) with respect to such additional 
     franchise areas, if such person or group has previously 
     obtained a national franchise.
       ``(3) Contents of certification.--Such certification shall 
     be in such form as the Commission shall require by regulation 
     and shall contain--
       ``(A) the name under which such person or group is offering 
     or intends to offer cable service;
       ``(B) the names and business addresses of the directors and 
     principal executive officers, or the persons performing 
     similar functions, of such person or group;
       ``(C) the location of such person or group's principal 
     business office;
       ``(D) the name, business address, electronic mail address, 
     and telephone and fax number of such person or group's local 
     agent;
       ``(E) a declaration by such person or group that such 
     person or group is eligible under subsection (d) to obtain a 
     national franchise under this section;
       ``(F) an identification of each franchise area in which 
     such person or group intends to offer cable service pursuant 
     to such certification, which franchise area shall be--
       ``(i) the entirety of a franchise area in which a cable 
     operator is, on the date of the filing of such certification, 
     authorized to provide cable service under section 621 or any 
     other law (including this section); or
       ``(ii) a contiguous geographic area that covers the 
     entirety of the jurisdiction of a unit of general local 
     government, except that--

       ``(I) if the geographic area within the jurisdiction of 
     such unit of general local government contains a franchise 
     area in which a cable operator is, on such date, authorized 
     to provide cable service under section 621 or any other law, 
     the contiguous geographic area identified in the 
     certification under this clause as a franchise area shall not 
     include the area contained in the franchise area of such 
     cable operator; and
       ``(II) if such contiguous geographic area includes areas 
     that are, respectively, within the jurisdiction of different 
     franchising authorities, the certification shall specify each 
     such area as a separate franchise area;

       ``(G) a declaration that such person or group transmitted, 
     or will transmit on the day of filing such declaration, a 
     copy of such certification to the franchising authority for 
     each franchise area for which such person or group is filing 
     a certification to offer cable service under this section;
       ``(H) a declaration by the person or group that the person 
     or group will comply with the rights-of-way requirements of 
     the franchising authority under subsection (f); and
       ``(I) a declaration by the person or group that--
       ``(i) the person or group will comply with all Commission 
     consumer protection and customer service rules under section 
     632(b) and subsection (g) of this section; and
       ``(ii) the person or group agrees that such standards may 
     be enforced by the Commission or by the franchising authority 
     in accordance with subsection (g) of this section.
       ``(4) Local notification; preservation of opportunity to 
     negotiate.--
       ``(A) Copy to franchising authority.--On the day of filing 
     any certification under paragraph (2)(A) or (B) for a 
     franchise area, the person or group shall transmit a copy of 
     such certification to the franchising authority for such 
     area.
       ``(B) Negotiated franchise agreements permitted.--Nothing 
     in this section shall prevent a person or group from 
     negotiating a franchise agreement or any other authority to 
     provide cable service in a franchise area under section 621 
     or any other law. Upon entry into any such negotiated 
     franchise agreement, such negotiated franchise agreement 
     shall apply in lieu of any national franchise held by that 
     person or group under this section for such franchise area.
       ``(5) Updating of certifications.--A person or group that 
     files a certification under this section shall update any 
     information contained in such certification that is no longer 
     accurate and correct.
       ``(6) Public availability of certifications.--The 
     Commission shall provide for the public availability on the 
     Commission's Internet website or other electronic facility of 
     all current certifications filed under this section.
       ``(b) Effectiveness; Duration.--
       ``(1) Effectiveness.--A national franchise under this 
     section shall be effective with respect to any franchise area 
     30 days after the date of the filing of a completed 
     certification under subsection (a)(2)(A) or (B) that applies 
     to such franchise area.
       ``(2) Duration.--
       ``(A) In general.--A franchise under this section that 
     applies to a franchise area shall be effective for that 
     franchise area for a term of 10 years.
       ``(B) Renewal.--A franchise under this section for a 
     franchise area shall be renewed automatically upon expiration 
     of the 10-year period described in subparagraph (A).
       ``(C) Public hearing.--At the request of a franchising 
     authority in a franchise area, a cable operator authorized 
     under this section to provide cable service in such franchise 
     area shall, within the last year of the 10-year period 
     applicable under subparagraph (A) to the cable operator's 
     franchise for such franchise area, participate in a public 
     hearing on the cable operator's performance in the franchise 
     area, including the cable operator's compliance with the 
     requirements of this title. The hearing shall afford the 
     public the opportunity to participate for the purpose of 
     identifying cable-related community needs and interests and 
     assessing the operator's performance. The cable operator 
     shall provide notice to its subscribers of the hearing at 
     least 30 days prior to the hearing.
       ``(D) Revocation.--A franchise under this section for a 
     franchise area may be revoked by the Commission--
       ``(i) for willful or repeated violation of any Federal or 
     State law, or any Commission regulation, relating to the 
     provision of cable service in such franchise area;
       ``(ii) for false statements or material omissions knowingly 
     made in any filing with the Commission relating to the 
     provision of cable service in such franchise area;
       ``(iii) for willful or repeated violation of the rights-of-
     way management laws or regulations of any franchising 
     authority in such franchise area relating to the provision of 
     cable service in such franchise area; or
       ``(iv) for willful or repeated violation of the 
     antidiscrimination requirement of subsection (h) with respect 
     to such franchise area.

[[Page H3564]]

       ``(E) Notice.--The Commission shall send a notice of such 
     revocation to each franchising authority with jurisdiction 
     over the franchise areas for which the cable operator's 
     franchise was revoked.
       ``(F) Reinstatement.--After a revocation under subparagraph 
     (D) of a franchise for a franchise area of any person or 
     group , the Commission may refuse to accept for filing a new 
     certification for authority of such person or group to 
     provide cable service under this section in such franchise 
     area until the Commission determines that the basis of such 
     revocation has been remedied.
       ``(G) Return to local franchising if cable competition 
     ceases.--
       ``(i) If only one cable operator is providing cable service 
     in a franchise area, and that cable operator obtained a 
     national franchise for such franchise area under subsection 
     (d)(2), the franchising authority for such franchise area may 
     file a petition with the Commission requesting that the 
     Commission terminate such national franchise for such 
     franchise area.
       ``(ii) The Commission shall provide public notice and 
     opportunity to comment on such petition. If it finds that the 
     requirements of clause (i) are satisfied, the Commission 
     shall issue an order granting such petition. Such order shall 
     take effect one year from the date of such grant, if no other 
     cable operator offers cable service in such area during that 
     one year. If another cable operator does offer cable service 
     in such franchise area during that one year, the Commission 
     shall rescind such order and dismiss such petition.
       ``(iii) A cable operator whose national franchise is 
     terminated for such franchise area under this subparagraph 
     may obtain new authority to provide cable service in such 
     franchise area under this section, section 621, or any other 
     law, if and when eligible.
       ``(c) Requirements of National Franchise.--A national 
     franchise shall contain the following requirements:
       ``(1) Franchise fee.--A cable operator authorized under 
     this section to provide cable service in a franchise area 
     shall pay to the franchising authority in such franchise area 
     a franchise fee of up to 5 percent (as determined by the 
     franchising authority) of such cable operator's gross 
     revenues from the provision of cable service under this 
     section in such franchise area. Such payment shall be 
     assessed and collected in a manner consistent with section 
     622 and the definition of gross revenues in this section.
       ``(2) PEG/I-net requirements.--A cable operator authorized 
     under this section to provide cable service in a franchise 
     area shall comply with the requirements of subsection (e).
       ``(3) Rights-of-way.--A cable operator authorized under 
     this section to provide cable service in a franchise area 
     shall comply with the rights-of-way requirements of the 
     franchising authority under subsection (f).
       ``(4) Consumer protection and customer service standards.--
     A cable operator authorized under this section to provide 
     cable service in a franchise area shall comply with the 
     consumer protection and customer service standards 
     established by the Commission under section 632(b).
       ``(5) Child pornography.--A cable operator authorized under 
     this section to provide cable service in a franchise area 
     shall comply with the regulations on child pornography 
     promulgated pursuant to subsection (i).
       ``(d) Eligibility for National Franchises.--The following 
     persons or groups are eligible to obtain a national franchise 
     under this section:
       ``(1) Commencement of service after enactment.--A person or 
     group that is not providing cable service in a franchise area 
     on the date of enactment of this section under section 621 or 
     any other law may obtain a national franchise under this 
     section to provide cable service in such franchise area.
       ``(2) Existing providers of cable service.--A person or 
     group that is providing cable service in a franchise area on 
     the date of enactment of this section under section 621 or 
     any other law may obtain a franchise under this section to 
     provide cable service in such franchise area if, on the date 
     that the national franchise becomes effective, another person 
     or group is providing cable service under this section, 
     section 621, or any other law in such franchise area.
       ``(e) Public, Educational, and Governmental Use.--
       ``(1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (3), a cable 
     operator with a national franchise for a franchise area under 
     this section shall provide channel capacity for public, 
     educational, and governmental use that is not less than the 
     channel capacity required of the cable operator with the most 
     subscribers in such franchise area on the effective date of 
     such national franchise. If there is no other cable operator 
     in such franchise area on the effective date of such national 
     franchise, or there is no other cable operator in such 
     franchise area on such date that is required to provide 
     channel capacity for public, educational, and governmental 
     use, the cable operator shall provide the amount of channel 
     capacity for such use as determined by Commission rule.
       ``(2) PEG and i-net financial support.--A cable operator 
     with a national franchise under this section for a franchise 
     area shall pay an amount equal to 1 percent of the cable 
     operator's gross revenues (as such term is defined in this 
     section) in the franchise area to the franchising authority 
     for the support of public, educational, and governmental use 
     and institutional networks (as such term is defined in 
     section 611(f)). Such payment shall be assessed and collected 
     in a manner consistent with section 622, including the 
     authority of the cable operator to designate that portion of 
     a subscriber's bill attributable to such payment. A cable 
     operator that provided cable service in a franchise area on 
     the date of enactment of this section and that obtains a 
     national franchise under this section shall continue to 
     provide any institutional network that it was required to 
     provide in such franchise area under section 621 or any other 
     law. Notwithstanding section 621(b)(3)(D), a franchising 
     authority may not require a cable operator franchised under 
     this section to construct a new institutional network.
       ``(3) Adjustment.--Every 10 years after the commencement of 
     a franchise under this section for a franchise area, a 
     franchising authority may require a cable operator authorized 
     under such franchise to increase the channel capacity 
     designated for public, educational, or governmental use, and 
     the channel capacity designated for such use on any 
     institutional networks required under paragraph (2). Such 
     increase shall not exceed the higher of--
       ``(A) one channel; or
       ``(B) 10 percent of the public, educational, or 
     governmental channel capacity required of that operator prior 
     to the increase.
       ``(4) Transmission and production of programming.--
       ``(A) A cable operator franchised under this section shall 
     ensure that all subscribers receive any public, educational, 
     or governmental programming carried by the cable operator 
     within the subscriber's franchise area.
       ``(B) The production of any programming provided under this 
     subsection shall be the responsibility of the franchising 
     authority.
       ``(C) A cable operator franchised under this section shall 
     be responsible for the transmission from the signal 
     origination point (or points) of the programming, or from the 
     point of interconnection with another cable operator under 
     subparagraph (D), to the cable operator's subscribers, of any 
     public, educational, or governmental programming produced by 
     or for the franchising authority and carried by the cable 
     operator pursuant to this section.
       ``(D) Unless two cable operators otherwise agree to the 
     terms for interconnection and cost sharing, such cable 
     operators shall comply with regulations prescribed by the 
     Commission providing for--
       ``(i) the interconnection between two cable operators in a 
     franchise area for transmission of public, educational, or 
     governmental programming, without material deterioration in 
     signal quality or functionality; and
       ``(ii) the reasonable allocation of the costs of such 
     interconnection between such cable operators.
       ``(E) A cable operator shall display the program 
     information for public, educational, or governmental 
     programming carried under this subsection in any print or 
     electronic program guide in the same manner in which it 
     displays program information for other video programming in 
     the franchise area. The cable operator shall not omit such 
     public, educational, or governmental programming from any 
     navigational device, guide, or menu containing other video 
     programming that is available to subscribers in the franchise 
     area.
       ``(f) Rights-of-Way.--
       ``(1) Authority to use.--Any franchise under this section 
     for a franchise area shall be construed to authorize the 
     construction of a cable system over public rights-of-way, and 
     through easements, which is within the area to be served by 
     the cable system and which have been dedicated for compatible 
     uses, except that in using such easements the cable operator 
     shall ensure that--
       ``(A) the safety, functioning, and appearance of the 
     property and the convenience and the safety of other persons 
     not be adversely affected by the installation or construction 
     of facilities necessary for a cable system;
       ``(B) the cost of the installation, construction, 
     operation, or removal of such facilities be borne by the 
     cable operator or subscriber, or a combination of both; and
       ``(C) the owner of the property be justly compensated by 
     the cable operator for any damages caused by the 
     installation, construction, operation, or removal of such 
     facilities by the cable operator.
       ``(2) Management of public rights-of-way.--Nothing in this 
     Act affects the authority of a State or local government 
     (including a franchising authority) over a person or group in 
     their capacity as a cable operator with a franchise under 
     this section to manage, on a reasonable, competitively 
     neutral, and non-discriminatory basis, the public rights-of-
     way, and easements that have been dedicated for compatible 
     uses. A State or local government (including a franchising 
     authority) may, on a reasonable, competitively neutral, and 
     non-discriminatory basis--
       ``(A) impose charges for such management; and
       ``(B) require compliance with such management, such 
     charges, and paragraphs (1)(A), (B), and (C).
       ``(g) Consumer Protection and Customer Service.--
       ``(1) National standards.--Notwithstanding section 632(d), 
     no State or local law (including any regulation) shall impose 
     on a cable operator franchised under this section any 
     consumer protection or customer service

[[Page H3565]]

     requirements other than consumer protection or customer 
     service requirements of general applicability.
       ``(2) Proceeding.--Within 120 days after the date of 
     enactment of this section, the Commission shall issue a 
     report and order that updates for cable operators franchised 
     under this section the national consumer protection and 
     customer service rules under section 632(b), taking into 
     consideration the national nature of a franchise under this 
     section and the role of State and local governments in 
     enforcing, but not creating, consumer protection and customer 
     service standards for cable operators franchised under this 
     section.
       ``(3) Requirements of new rules.--
       ``(A) Such rules shall, in addition to the requirements of 
     section 632(b), address, with specificity, no less than the 
     following consumer protection and customer service issues:
       ``(i) Billing, billing disputes, and discontinuation of 
     service, including when and how any late fees may be assessed 
     (but not the amount of such fees).
       ``(ii) Loss of service or service quality.
       ``(iii) Changes in channel lineups or other cable services 
     and features.
       ``(iv) Availability of parental control options.
       ``(B) Such rules shall require forfeiture penalties or 
     customer rebates, or both, as determined by the Commission, 
     that may be imposed for violations of such Commission rules 
     in a franchise area, and shall provide for increased 
     forfeiture penalties or customer rebates, or both, for 
     repeated violations of the standards in such rules.
       ``(C) The Commission's rules shall also establish 
     procedures by which any forfeiture penalty assessed by the 
     Commission under this subsection shall be paid by the cable 
     operator directly to the franchising authority.
       ``(D) The Commission shall report to the Congress no less 
     than once a year--
       ``(i) on complaints filed, and penalties imposed, under 
     this subsection; and
       ``(ii) on any new consumer protection or customer service 
     issues arising under this subsection.
       ``(E) The Commission's rules established under this 
     subsection shall be revised as needed.
       ``(4) Complaints.--Any person may file a complaint with 
     respect to a violation of the regulations prescribed under 
     section 632(b) in a franchise area by a cable operator 
     franchised under this section--
       ``(A) with the franchising authority in such area; or
       ``(B) with the Commission.
       ``(5) Local franchising orders requiring compliance.--In a 
     proceeding commenced with a franchising authority on such a 
     complaint, a franchising authority may issue an order 
     requiring compliance with any of such regulations prescribed 
     by the Commission, but a franchising authority may not create 
     any new standard or regulation, or expand upon or modify the 
     Commission's standards or regulations.
       ``(6) Access to records.--In such a proceeding, the 
     franchising authority may issue an order requiring the filing 
     of any contract, agreement, or arrangement between the 
     subscriber and the provider, or any other data, documents, or 
     records, directly related to the alleged violation.
       ``(7) Commission remedies; appeals.--Unless appealed to the 
     Commission, an order of a franchising authority under this 
     subsection shall be enforced by the Commission. Any such 
     appeal shall be resolved by the Commission within 30 days 
     after receipt of the appeal by the Commission.
       ``(8) Cost of franchising authority orders.--A franchising 
     authority may charge a provider of cable service under this 
     section a nominal fee to cover the costs of issuing such 
     orders.
       ``(h) Antidiscrimination.--
       ``(1) Prohibition.--A cable operator with a national 
     franchise under this section to provide cable service in a 
     franchise area shall not deny access to its cable service to 
     any group of potential residential cable service subscribers 
     in such franchise area because of the income of that group.
       ``(2) Enforcement.--
       ``(A) Complaint.--If a franchising authority in a franchise 
     area has reasonable cause to believe that a cable operator is 
     in violation of this subsection with respect to such 
     franchise area, the franchising authority may, after 
     complying with subparagraph (B), file a complaint with the 
     Commission alleging such violation.
       ``(B) Notice by franchising authority.--Before filing a 
     complaint with the Commission under subparagraph (A), a 
     franchising authority--
       ``(i) shall give notice of each alleged violation to the 
     cable operator;
       ``(ii) shall provide a period of not less than 30 days for 
     the cable operator to respond to such allegations; and
       ``(iii) during such period, may require the cable operator 
     to submit a written response stating the reasons why the 
     operator has not violated this subsection.
       ``(C) Biannual report.--A cable operator with a national 
     franchise under this section for a franchise area, not later 
     than 180 days after the effective date of such national 
     franchise, and biannually thereafter, shall submit a report 
     to the Commission and the franchising authority in the 
     franchise area--
       ``(i) identifying the geographic areas in the franchise 
     area where the cable operator offers cable service; and
       ``(ii) describing the cable operator's progress in 
     extending cable service to other areas in the franchise area.
       ``(D) Notice by commission.--Upon receipt of a complaint 
     under this paragraph alleging a violation of this subsection 
     by a cable operator, the Commission shall give notice of the 
     complaint to the cable operator.
       ``(E) Investigation.--In investigating a complaint under 
     this paragraph, the Commission may require a cable operator 
     to disclose to the Commission such information and documents 
     as the Commission deems necessary to determine whether the 
     cable operator is in compliance with this subsection. The 
     Commission shall maintain the confidentiality of any 
     information or document collected under this subparagraph.
       ``(F) Deadline for resolution of complaints.--Not more than 
     60 days after the Commission receives a complaint under this 
     paragraph, the Commission shall issue a determination with 
     respect to each violation alleged in the complaint.
       ``(G) Determination.--If the Commission determines (in 
     response to a complaint under this paragraph or on its own 
     initiative) that a cable operator with a franchise under this 
     section to provide cable service in a franchise area has 
     denied access to its cable service to a group of potential 
     residential cable service subscribers in such franchise area 
     because of the income of that group, the Commission shall 
     ensure that the cable operator extends access to that group 
     within a reasonable period of time.
       ``(H) Remedies.--
       ``(i) In general.--This subsection shall be enforced by the 
     Commission under titles IV and V.
       ``(ii) Maximum forfeiture penalty.--For purposes of section 
     503, the maximum forfeiture penalty applicable to a violation 
     of this subsection shall be $500,000 for each day of the 
     violation.
       ``(iii) Payment of penalties to franchising authority.--The 
     Commission shall order any cable operator subject to a 
     forfeiture penalty under this subsection to pay the penalty 
     directly to the franchising authority involved.
       ``(i) Child Pornography.--Not later than 180 days after the 
     date of enactment of this section, the Commission shall 
     promulgate regulations to require a cable operator with a 
     national franchise under this section to prevent the 
     distribution of child pornography (as such term is defined in 
     section 254(h)(7)(F)) over its network.
       ``(j) Leased Access.--The provisions of section 612(i) 
     regarding the carriage of programming from a qualified 
     minority programming source or from any qualified educational 
     programming source shall apply to a cable operator franchised 
     under this section to provide cable service in a franchise 
     area.
       ``(k) Applicability of Other Provisions.--The following 
     sections shall not apply in a franchise area to a person or 
     group franchised under this section in such franchise area, 
     or confer any authority to regulate or impose obligations on 
     such person or group: Sections 611(a), 611(b), 611(c), 
     613(a), 617, 621 (other than subsections (b)(3)(A), 
     (b)(3)(B), (b)(3)(C), and (c)), 624(b), 624(c), 624(h), 625, 
     626, 627, and 632(a).
       ``(l) Emergency Alerts.--Nothing in this Act shall be 
     construed to prohibit a State or local government from 
     accessing the emergency alert system of a cable operator with 
     a franchise under this section in the area served by the 
     State or local government to transmit local or regional 
     emergency alerts.
       ``(m) Reporting, Records, and Audits.--
       ``(1) Reporting.--A cable operator with a franchise under 
     this section to provide cable service in a franchise area 
     shall make such periodic reports to the Commission and the 
     franchising authority for such franchise area as the 
     Commission may require to verify compliance with the fee 
     obligations of subsections (c)(1) and (e)(2).
       ``(2) Availability of books and records.--Upon request 
     under paragraph (3) by a franchising authority for a 
     franchise area, and upon request by the Commission, a cable 
     operator with a national franchise for such franchise area 
     shall make available its books and records to periodic audit 
     by such franchising authority or the Commission, 
     respectively.
       ``(3) Franchising authority audit procedure.--A franchising 
     authority may, upon reasonable written request, but no more 
     than once in any 12-month period, review the business records 
     of such cable operator to the extent reasonably necessary to 
     ensure payment of the fees required by subsections (c)(1) and 
     (e)(2). Such review may include the methodology used by such 
     cable operator to assign portions of the revenue from cable 
     service that may be bundled or functionally integrated with 
     other services, capabilities, or applications. Such review 
     shall be conducted in accordance with procedures established 
     by the Commission.
       ``(4) Cost recovery.--
       ``(A) To the extent that the review under paragraph (3) 
     identifies an underpayment of an amount meeting the minimum 
     percentage specified in subparagraph (B) of the fee required 
     under subsections (c)(1) and (e)(2) for the period of review, 
     the cable operator shall reimburse the franchising authority 
     the reasonable costs of any such review conducted by an 
     independent third party, as determined by the Commission, 
     with respect to such fee. The costs of any contingency fee 
     arrangement between the franchising authority and the 
     independent reviewer shall not be subject to reimbursement.
       ``(B) The Commission shall determine by rule the minimum 
     percentage underpayment

[[Page H3566]]

     that requires cost reimbursement under subparagraph (A).
       ``(5) Limitation.--Any fee that is not reviewed by a 
     franchising authority within 3 years after it is paid or 
     remitted shall not be subject to later review by the 
     franchising authority under this subsection and shall be 
     deemed accepted in full payment by the franchising authority.
       ``(n) Access to Programming for Shared Facilities.--
       ``(1) Prohibition.--A cable programming vendor in which a 
     cable operator has an attributable interest shall not deny a 
     cable operator with a national franchise under this section 
     access to video programming solely because such cable 
     operator uses a headend for its cable system that is also 
     used, under a shared ownership or leasing agreement, as the 
     headend for another cable system.
       ``(2) Definition.--The term `cable programming vendor' 
     means a person engaged in the production, creation, or 
     wholesale distribution for sale of video programming which is 
     primarily intended for the direct receipt by cable operators 
     for their retransmission to cable subscribers.
       ``(o) Gross Revenues.--As used in this section:
       ``(1) In general.--Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), the 
     term `gross revenues' means all consideration of any kind or 
     nature, including cash, credits, property, and in-kind 
     contributions (services or goods) received by the cable 
     operator from the provision of cable service within the 
     franchise area.
       ``(2) Included items.--Subject to paragraph (3), the term 
     `gross revenues' shall include the following:
       ``(A) all charges and fees paid by subscribers for the 
     provision of cable service, including fees attributable to 
     cable service when sold individually or as part of a package 
     or bundle, or functionally integrated, with services other 
     than cable service;
       ``(B) any franchise fee imposed on the cable operator that 
     is passed on to subscribers;
       ``(C) compensation received by the cable operator for 
     promotion or exhibition of any products or services over the 
     cable service, such as on `home shopping' or similar 
     programming;
       ``(D) revenue received by the cable operator as 
     compensation for carriage of video programming or other 
     programming service on that operator's cable service;
       ``(E) all revenue derived from the cable operator's cable 
     service pursuant to compensation arrangements for 
     advertising; and
       ``(F) any advertising commissions paid to an affiliated 
     third party for cable services advertising.
       ``(3) Excluded items.--The term `gross revenues' shall not 
     include the following:
       ``(A) any revenue not actually received, even if billed, 
     such as bad debt net of any recoveries of bad debt;
       ``(B) refunds, rebates, credits, or discounts to 
     subscribers or a municipality to the extent not already 
     offset by subparagraph (A) and to the extent such refund, 
     rebate, credit, or discount is attributable to the cable 
     service;
       ``(C) subject to paragraph (4), any revenues received by 
     the cable operator or its affiliates from the provision of 
     services or capabilities other than cable service, including 
     telecommunications services, Internet access services, and 
     services, capabilities, and applications that may be sold as 
     part of a package or bundle, or functionally integrated, with 
     cable service;
       ``(D) any revenues received by the cable operator or its 
     affiliates for the provision of directory or Internet 
     advertising, including yellow pages, white pages, banner 
     advertisement, and electronic publishing;
       ``(E) any amounts attributable to the provision of cable 
     service to customers at no charge, including the provision of 
     such service to public institutions without charge;
       ``(F) any tax, fee, or assessment of general applicability 
     imposed on the customer or the transaction by a Federal, 
     State, or local government or any other governmental entity, 
     collected by the provider, and required to be remitted to the 
     taxing entity, including sales and use taxes and utility user 
     taxes;
       ``(G) any forgone revenue from the provision of cable 
     service at no charge to any person, except that any forgone 
     revenue exchanged for trades, barters, services, or other 
     items of value shall be included in gross revenue;
       ``(H) sales of capital assets or surplus equipment;
       ``(I) reimbursement by programmers of marketing costs 
     actually incurred by the cable operator for the introduction 
     of new programming; and
       ``(J) the sale of cable services for resale to the extent 
     the purchaser certifies in writing that it will resell the 
     service and pay a franchise fee with respect thereto.
       ``(4) Functionally integrated services.--In the case of a 
     cable service that is bundled or integrated functionally with 
     other services, capabilities, or applications, the portion of 
     the cable operator's revenue attributable to such other 
     services, capabilities, or applications shall be included in 
     gross revenue unless the cable operator can reasonably 
     identify the division or exclusion of such revenue from its 
     books and records that are kept in the regular course of 
     business.
       ``(5) Affiliate revenue.--Revenue of an affiliate shall be 
     included in the calculation of gross revenues to the extent 
     the treatment of such revenue as revenue of the affiliate has 
     the effect (whether intentional or unintentional) of evading 
     the payment of franchise fees which would otherwise be paid 
     for cable service.
       ``(6) Affect on other law.--Nothing in this section is 
     intended to limit a franchising authority's rights pursuant 
     to section 622(h).
       ``(p) Additional Definitions.--For purposes of this 
     section:
       ``(1) Cable operator.--The term `cable operator' has the 
     meaning provided in section 602(5) except that such term also 
     includes a person or group with a national franchise under 
     this section.
       ``(2) Franchise fee.--
       ``(A) The term `franchise fee' includes any fee or 
     assessment of any kind imposed by a franchising authority or 
     other governmental entity on a person or group providing 
     cable service in a franchise area under this section, or on a 
     subscriber of such person or group, or both, solely because 
     of their status as such.
       ``(B) The term `franchise fee' does not include--
       ``(i) any tax, fee, or assessment of general applicability 
     (including any such tax, fee, or assessment imposed on both 
     utilities and a person or group providing cable service in a 
     franchise area under this section (or the services of such 
     person or group) but not including a fee or assessment which 
     is unduly discriminatory against such person or group or the 
     subscribers of such person or group);
       ``(ii) any fee assessed under subsection (e)(2) for support 
     of public, educational, and governmental use and 
     institutional networks (as such term is defined in section 
     611(f));
       ``(iii) requirements or charges under subsection (f)(2) for 
     the management of public rights-of-way, including payments 
     for bonds, security funds, letters of credit, insurance, 
     indemnification, penalties, or liquidated damages; or
       ``(iv) any fee imposed under title 17, United States Code.
       ``(3) Internet access service.--The term `Internet access 
     service' means a service that enables users to access 
     content, information, electronic mail, or other services 
     offered over the Internet.
       ``(4) Unit of general local government.--The term `unit of 
     general local government' means--
       ``(A) a county, township, city, or political subdivision of 
     a county, township, or city;
       ``(B) the District of Columbia; or
       ``(C) the recognized governing body of an Indian tribe or 
     Alaskan Native village that carries out substantial 
     governmental duties and powers.''.
       (b) Implementing Regulations.--The Federal Communications 
     Commission shall prescribe regulations to implement the 
     amendment made by subsection (a) within 120 days after the 
     date of enactment of this Act.

     SEC. 102. DEFINITIONS.

        Section 602 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 
     522) is amended--
       (1) in paragraph (4), by inserting before the semicolon at 
     the end the following: ``, or its equivalent as determined by 
     the Commission'';
       (2) in paragraph (5)(A), by inserting ``(regardless of 
     whether such person or group provides such service separately 
     or combined with a telecommunications service or information 
     service)'' after ``over a cable system''; and
       (3) by striking paragraph (6) and inserting the following:
       ``(6) the term `cable service' means--
       ``(A)(i) the one-way transmission to subscribers of (I) 
     video programming, or (II) other programming service; and
       ``(ii) subscriber interaction, if any, which is required 
     for the selection or use of such video programming or other 
     programming service; or
       ``(B) the transmission to subscribers of video programming 
     or other programming service provided through wireline 
     facilities located at least in part in the public rights-of-
     way, without regard to delivery technology, including 
     Internet protocol technology, except to the extent that such 
     video programming or other programming service is provided as 
     part of--
       ``(i) a commercial mobile service (as such term is defined 
     in section 332(d)); or
       ``(ii) an Internet access service (as such term is defined 
     in section 630(p)).''.

     SEC. 103. MONITORING AND REPORTING.

       (a) Report on Cable Service Deployment.--The Federal 
     Communications Commission shall, commencing not later than 
     one year after the date of enactment of this Act, issue a 
     report annually on the deployment of cable service. In its 
     report, the Commission shall describe in detail--
       (1) with respect to deployment by new cable operators--
       (A) the progress of deployment of such service within the 
     telephone service area of cable operators, if the operator is 
     also an incumbent local exchange carrier, including a 
     comparison with the progress of deployment of broadband 
     services not defined as cable services within such telephone 
     service area;
       (B) the number of franchise areas in which such service is 
     being deployed and offered;
       (C) where such service is not being deployed and offered; 
     and
       (D) the number and locations of franchise areas in which 
     the cable operator is serving only a portion of the franchise 
     area, and the extent of such service within the franchise 
     area;
       (2) the number and locations of franchise areas in which a 
     cable operator with a franchise under section 621 of the 
     Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 541) on the date of

[[Page H3567]]

     enactment of this Act withdraws service from any portion of 
     the franchise area for which it previously offered service, 
     and the extent of such withdrawal of service within the 
     franchise area;
       (3) the rates generally charged for cable service;
       (4) the rates charged by overlapping, competing 
     multichannel video programming distributors and by competing 
     cable operators for comparable service or cable service;
       (5) the average household income of those franchise areas 
     or portions of franchise areas where cable services is being 
     offered, and the average household income of those franchise 
     areas, or portions of franchise areas, where cable service is 
     not being offered;
       (6) the proportion of rural households to urban households, 
     as defined by the Bureau of the Census, in those franchise 
     areas or portions of franchise areas where cable service is 
     being offered, and the proportion of rural households to 
     urban households in those franchise areas or portions of 
     franchise areas where cable service is not being offered, 
     including a State-by-State breakdown of such data and a 
     comparison with the overall ratio of rural and urban 
     households in each State; and
       (7) a comparison of the services and rates in areas served 
     by national franchisees under section 630 of the 
     Communications Act of 1934 (as added by section 101 of this 
     Act) and the services and rates in other areas.
       (b) Cable Operator Reports.--The Federal Communications 
     Commission is authorized--
       (1) to require cable operators to report to the Commission 
     all of the information that the Commission needs to compile 
     the report required by this section; and
       (2) to require cable operators to file the same information 
     with the relevant franchising authorities and State 
     commissions.

          TITLE II--ENFORCEMENT OF BROADBAND POLICY STATEMENT

     SEC. 201. ENFORCEMENT OF BROADBAND POLICY STATEMENT.

       Title VII of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 601 
     et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new 
     section:

     ``SEC. 715. ENFORCEMENT OF BROADBAND POLICY STATEMENT.

       ``(a) Authority.--The Commission shall have the authority 
     to enforce the Commission's broadband policy statement and 
     the principles incorporated therein.
       ``(b) Enforcement.--
       ``(1) In general.--This section shall be enforced by the 
     Commission under titles IV and V. A violation of the 
     Commission's broadband policy statement or the principles 
     incorporated therein shall be treated as a violation of this 
     Act.
       ``(2) Maximum forfeiture penalty.--For purposes of section 
     503, the maximum forfeiture penalty applicable to a violation 
     described in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be 
     $500,000 for each violation.
       ``(3) Adjudicatory authority.--The Commission shall have 
     exclusive authority to adjudicate any complaint alleging a 
     violation of the broadband policy statement and the 
     principles incorporated therein. The Commission shall 
     complete an adjudicatory proceeding under this subsection not 
     later than 90 days after receipt of the complaint. If, upon 
     completion of an adjudicatory proceeding pursuant to this 
     section, the Commission determines that such a violation has 
     occurred, the Commission shall have authority to adopt an 
     order to require the entity subject to the complaint to 
     comply with the broadband policy statement and the principles 
     incorporated therein. Such authority shall be in addition to 
     the authority specified in paragraph (1) to enforce this 
     section under titles IV and V. In addition, the Commission 
     shall have authority to adopt procedures for the adjudication 
     of complaints alleging a violation of the broadband policy 
     statement or principles incorporated therein.
       ``(4) Limitation.--Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the 
     Commission's authority to enforce the broadband policy 
     statement and the principles incorporated therein does not 
     include authorization for the Commission to adopt or 
     implement rules or regulations regarding enforcement of the 
     broadband policy statement and the principles incorporated 
     therein, with the sole exception of the authority to adopt 
     procedures for the adjudication of complaints, as provided in 
     paragraph (3).
       ``(c) Study.--Within 180 days after the date of enactment 
     of this section, the Commission shall conduct, and submit to 
     the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate 
     Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, a study 
     regarding whether the objectives of the broadband policy 
     statement and the principles incorporated therein are being 
     achieved.
       ``(d) Definition.--For purposes of this section, the term 
     `Commission's broadband policy statement' means the policy 
     statement adopted on August 5, 2005, and issued on September 
     23, 2005, In the Matters of Appropriate Framework for 
     Broadband Access to the Internet over Wireline Facilities, 
     and other Matters (FCC 05-151; CC Docket No. 02-33; CC Docket 
     No. 01-337; CC Docket Nos. 95-20, 98-10; GN Docket No. 00-
     185; CS Docket No. 02-52).''.

                          TITLE III--VOIP/911

     SEC. 301. EMERGENCY SERVICES; INTERCONNECTION.

       Title VII of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 601 
     et seq.) is further amended by adding after section 715 (as 
     added by section 201 of this Act) the following new sections:

     ``SEC. 716. EMERGENCY SERVICES.

       ``(a) 911 and E-911 Services.--
       ``(1) In general.--Each VOIP service provider has a duty to 
     ensure that 911 and E-911 services are provided to 
     subscribers of VOIP services.
       ``(2) Use of existing regulations.--A VOIP service provider 
     that complies with the Commission's regulations requiring 
     providers of VOIP service to supply 911 and E911 capabilities 
     to their customers (Report and Order in WC Docket Nos. 04-36 
     and 05-196) and that are in effect on the date of enactment 
     of this section shall be considered to be in compliance with 
     the requirements of this section, other than subsection (c), 
     until such regulations are modified or superseded by 
     subsequent regulations.
       ``(b) Non-Discriminatory Access to Capabilities.--
       ``(1) Access.--Each incumbent local exchange carrier (as 
     such term is defined in section 251(h)) or government entity 
     with ownership or control of the necessary E-911 
     infrastructure shall provide any requesting VOIP service 
     provider with nondiscriminatory access to such 
     infrastructure. Such carrier or entity shall provide access 
     to the infrastructure at just and reasonable, 
     nondiscriminatory rates, terms, and conditions. Such access 
     shall be consistent with industry standards established by 
     the National Emergency Number Association or other applicable 
     industry standards organizations.
       ``(2) Enforcement.--The Commission or a State commission 
     may enforce the requirements of this subsection and the 
     Commission's regulations thereunder. A VOIP service provider 
     may obtain access to such infrastructure pursuant to section 
     717 by asserting the rights described in such section.
       ``(c) New Customers.--A VOIP service provider shall make 
     911 service available to new customers within a reasonable 
     time in accordance with the following requirements:
       ``(1) Connection to selective router.--For all new 
     customers not within the geographic areas where a VOIP 
     service provider can immediately provide 911 service to the 
     geographically appropriate PSAP, a VOIP service provider, or 
     its third party vendor, shall have no more than 30 days from 
     the date the VOIP provider has acquired a customer to order 
     service providing connectivity to the selective router so 
     that 911 service, or E911 service where the PSAP is capable 
     of receiving and processing such information, can be provided 
     through the selective router.
       ``(2) Interim service.--For all new customers not within 
     the geographic areas where the VOIP service provider can 
     immediately provide 911 service to the geographically 
     appropriate PSAP, a VOIP service provider shall provide 911 
     service through--
       ``(A) an arrangement mutually agreed to by the VOIP service 
     provider and the PSAP or PSAP governing authority; or
       ``(B) an emergency response center with national call 
     routing capabilities.
     Such service shall be provided 24 hours a day from the date a 
     VOIP service provider has acquired a customer until the VOIP 
     service provider can provide 911 service to the 
     geographically appropriate PSAP.
       ``(3) Notice.--Before providing service to any new customer 
     not within the geographic areas where the VOIP service 
     provider can immediately provide 911 service to the 
     geographically appropriate PSAP, a VOIP service provider 
     shall provide such customer with clear notice that 911 
     service will be available only as described in paragraph (2).
       ``(4) Restriction on acquisition of new customers.--A VOIP 
     service provider may not acquire new customers within a 
     geographic area served by a selective router if, within 180 
     days of first acquiring a new customer in the area served by 
     the selective router, the VOIP service provider does not 
     provide 911 service, or E911 service where the PSAP is 
     capable of receiving and processing such information, to the 
     geographically appropriate PSAP for all existing customers 
     served by the selective router.
       ``(5) Enforcement: no first warnings.--Paragraph (5) of 
     section 503(b) shall not apply to the assessment of 
     forfeiture penalties for violations of this subsection or the 
     regulations thereunder.
       ``(d) State Authority.--Nothing in this Act or any 
     Commission regulation or order shall prevent the imposition 
     on or collection from a VOIP service provider, of any fee or 
     charge specifically designated or presented as dedicated by a 
     State, political subdivision thereof, or Indian tribe on an 
     equitable, and non-discriminatory basis for the support of 
     911 and E-911 services if no portion of the revenue derived 
     from such fee or charge is obligated or expended for any 
     purpose other than support of 911 and E-911 services or 
     enhancements of such services.
       ``(e) Feasibility.--In establishing requirements or 
     obligations under subsections (a) and (b), the Commission 
     shall ensure that such standards impose requirements or 
     obligations on VOIP service providers and entities with 
     ownership or control of necessary E-911 infrastructure that 
     the Commission determines are technologically and 
     operationally feasible. In determining the requirements and 
     obligations that are technologically and operationally 
     feasible, the Commission shall take into consideration 
     available industry technological and operational standards.
       ``(f) Progress Reports.--To the extent that the Commission 
     concludes that it is not

[[Page H3568]]

     technologically or operationally feasible for VOIP service 
     providers to comply with E-911 requirements or obligations, 
     then the Commission shall submit reports to the Committee on 
     Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the 
     Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the 
     Senate on the progress in attaining and deploying E-911 
     service. Such reports shall be submitted semiannually until 
     the Commission concludes that it is technologically and 
     operationally feasible for all VOIP service providers to 
     comply with E-911 requirements and obligations. Such reports 
     may include any recommendations the Commission considers 
     appropriate to encourage the migration of emergency services 
     to TCP/IP protocol or other advanced services.
       ``(g) Access to Information.--The Commission shall have the 
     authority to compile a list of PSAP contact information, 
     testing procedures, and classes and types of services 
     supported by PSAPs, or other information concerning the 
     necessary E-911 infrastructure, for the purpose of assisting 
     providers in complying with the requirements of this section.
       ``(h) Emergency Routing Number Administrator.--Within 30 
     days after the date of enactment of this section, the Federal 
     Communications Commission shall establish an emergency 
     routing number administrator to enable VOIP service providers 
     to acquire non-dialable pseudo-automatic number 
     identification numbers for 9-1-1 routing purposes on a 
     national scale. The Commission may adopt such rules and 
     practices as are necessary to guide such administrator in the 
     fair and expeditious assignment of these numbers.
       ``(i) Emergency Response Systems.--
       ``(1) Notice prior to installation or number activation of 
     voip service.--Prior to installation or number activation of 
     VOIP service for a customer, a VOIP service provider shall 
     provide clear and conspicuous notice to the customer that--
       ``(A) such customer should arrange with his or her 
     emergency response system provider, if any, to test such 
     system after installation;
       ``(B) such customer should notify his or her emergency 
     response system provider after VOIP service is installed; and
       ``(C) a battery backup is required for customer premises 
     equipment installed in connection with the VOIP service in 
     order for the signaling of such system to function in the 
     event of a power outage.
       ``(2) Definition.--In this subsection:
       ``(A) The term `emergency response system' means an alarm 
     or security system, or personal security or medical 
     monitoring system, that is connected to an emergency response 
     center by means of a telecommunications carrier or VOIP 
     service provider.
       ``(B) The term `emergency response center' means an entity 
     that monitors transmissions from an emergency response 
     system.
       ``(j) Migration to IP-Enabled Emergency Network.--
       ``(1) National report.--No more than 18 months after the 
     date of the enactment of this section, the National 911 
     Implementation and Coordination Office shall develop a report 
     to Congress on migrating to a national IP-enabled emergency 
     network capable of receiving and responding to all citizen 
     activated emergency communications.
       ``(2) Contents of report.--The report required by paragraph 
     (1) shall--
       ``(A) outline the potential benefits of such a migration;
       ``(B) identify barriers that must be overcome and funding 
     mechanisms to address those barriers;
       ``(C) include a proposed timetable, an outline of costs and 
     potential savings;
       ``(D) provide recommendations on specific legislative 
     language,
       ``(E) provide recommendations on any legislative changes, 
     including updating definitions, to facilitate a national IP-
     enabled emergency network; and
       ``(F) assess, collect, and analyze the experiences of the 
     PSAPs and related public safety authorities who are 
     conducting trial deployments of IP-enabled emergency networks 
     as of the date of enactment of this section.
       ``(3) Consultation.--In developing the report required by 
     paragraph (1), the Office shall consult with representatives 
     of the public safety community, technology and 
     telecommunications providers, and others it deems 
     appropriate.
       ``(k) Implementation.--
       ``(1) Deadline.--The Commission shall prescribe regulations 
     to implement this section within 120 days after the date of 
     enactment of this section.
       ``(2) Limitation.--Nothing in this section shall be 
     construed to permit the Commission to issue regulations that 
     require or impose a specific technology or technological 
     standard.
       ``(l) Definitions.--For purposes of this section:
       ``(1) VOIP service.--The term `VOIP service' means a 
     service that--
       ``(A) provides real-time 2-way voice communications 
     transmitted through customer premises equipment using TCP/IP 
     protocol, or a successor protocol (including when the voice 
     communication is converted to or from TCP/IP protocol by the 
     VOIP service provider and transmitted to the subscriber 
     without use of circuit switching), for a fee;
       ``(B) is offered to the public, or such classes of users as 
     to be effectively available to the public (whether part of a 
     bundle of services or separately); and
       ``(C) has the capability so that the service can originate 
     traffic to, and terminate traffic from, the public switched 
     telephone network.
       ``(2) VOIP service provider.--The term `VOIP service 
     provider' means any person who provides or offers to provide 
     a VOIP service.
       ``(3) Necessary e-911 infrastructure.--The term `necessary 
     E-911 infrastructure' means the selective routers, selective 
     router databases, automatic location information databases, 
     master street address guides, trunk lines between selective 
     routers and PSAPs, trunk lines between automatic location 
     information databases and PSAPs, and other 911 and E-911 
     equipment, facilities, databases, interfaces, and related 
     capabilities specified by the Commission.
       ``(4) Non-dialable pseudo-automatic number identification 
     number.--The term `non-dialable pseudo-automatic number 
     identification number' means a number, consisting of the same 
     number of digits as numbers used for automatic number 
     identification, that is not a North American Numbering Plan 
     telephone directory number and that may be used in place of 
     an automatic number identification number to convey special 
     meaning. The special meaning assigned to the non-dialable 
     pseudo-automatic number identification number is determined 
     by nationally standard agreements, or by individual 
     agreements, as necessary, between the system originating the 
     call, intermediate systems handling and routing the call, and 
     the destination system.

     ``SEC. 717. RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF VOIP SERVICE PROVIDERS.

       ``(a) In General.--
       ``(1) Facilities-based voip service providers.--A 
     facilities-based VOIP service provider shall have the same 
     rights, duties, and obligations as a requesting 
     telecommunications carrier under sections 251 and 252, if the 
     provider elects to assert such rights.
       ``(2) Voip service providers.--A VOIP service provider that 
     is not a facilities-based VOIP service provider shall have 
     only the same rights, duties, and obligations as a requesting 
     telecommunications carrier under sections 251(b), 251(e), and 
     252, if the provider elects to assert such rights.
       ``(3) Clarifying treatment of voip service.--A 
     telecommunications carrier may use interconnection, services, 
     and network elements obtained pursuant to sections 251 and 
     252 from an incumbent local exchange carrier (as such term is 
     defined in section 251(h)) to exchange VOIP service traffic 
     with such incumbent local exchange carrier regardless of the 
     provider originating such VOIP service traffic, including an 
     affiliate of such telecommunications carrier.
       ``(b) Disabled Access.--A VOIP service provider or a 
     manufacturer of VOIP service equipment shall have the same 
     rights, duties, and obligations as a telecommunications 
     carrier or telecommunications equipment manufacturer, 
     respectively, under sections 225, 255, and 710 of the Act. 
     Within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the 
     Commission, in consultation with the Architectural and 
     Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, shall prescribe 
     such regulations as are necessary to implement this section. 
     In implementing this subsection, the Commission shall 
     consider whether a VOIP service provider or manufacturer of 
     VOIP service equipment primarily markets such service or 
     equipment as a substitute for telecommunications service, 
     telecommunications equipment, customer premises equipment, or 
     telecommunications relay services.
       ``(c) Definitions.--For purposes of this section:
       ``(1) Facilities-based voip service provider.--The term 
     `facilities-based VOIP service provider' means an entity that 
     provides VOIP service over a physical facility that 
     terminates at the end user's location and which such entity 
     or an affiliate owns or over which such entity or affiliate 
     has exclusive use. An entity or affiliate shall be considered 
     a facilities-based VOIP service provider only in those 
     geographic areas where such terminating physical facilities 
     are located.
       ``(2) Voip service provider; voip service.--The terms `VOIP 
     service provider' and `VOIP service' have the meanings given 
     such terms by section 716(j).''.

               TITLE IV--MUNICIPAL PROVISION OF SERVICES

     SEC. 401. GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE SERVICES.

       (a) In General.--Neither the Communications Act of 1934 nor 
     any State statute, regulation, or other State legal 
     requirement may prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting 
     any public provider of telecommunications service, 
     information service, or cable service (as such terms are 
     defined in sections 3 and 602 of such Act) from providing 
     such services to any person or entity.
       (b) Competition Neutrality.--Any State or political 
     subdivision thereof, or any agency, authority, or 
     instrumentality of a State or political subdivision thereof, 
     that is, owns, controls, or is otherwise affiliated with a 
     public provider of telecommunications service, information 
     service, or cable service shall not grant any preference or 
     advantage to any such provider. Such entity shall apply its 
     ordinances, rules, and policies, including those relating to 
     the use of public rights-of-way, permitting, performance 
     bonding, and reporting without discrimination in favor of any 
     such provider as compared to other providers of such 
     services.

[[Page H3569]]

       (c) Compliance With Other Laws not Affected.--Nothing in 
     this section shall exempt a public provider from any law or 
     regulation that applies to providers of telecommunications 
     service, information service, or cable service.
       (d) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Federal Communications Commission 
     shall submit to the Congress a report on the status of the 
     provision of telecommunications service, information service, 
     and cable service by States and political subdivisions 
     thereof.
       (e) Definition of Public Provider.--For purposes of this 
     section, the term ``public provider'' means a State or 
     political subdivision thereof, or any agency, authority, or 
     instrumentality of a State or political subdivision thereof, 
     that provides telecommunications service, information 
     service, or cable service, or any entity that is owned, 
     controlled, or is otherwise affiliated with such State or 
     political subdivision thereof, or agency, authority, or 
     instrumentality of a State or political subdivision thereof.

                       TITLE V--BROADBAND SERVICE

     SEC. 501. STAND-ALONE BROADBAND SERVICE.

       Title VII of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 601 
     et seq.) is further amended by adding after section 717 (as 
     added by section 301 of this Act) the following new section:

     ``SEC. 718. STAND-ALONE BROADBAND SERVICE.

       ``(a) Prohibition.--A broadband service provider shall not 
     require a subscriber, as a condition on the purchase of any 
     broadband service the provider offers, to purchase any cable 
     service, telecommunications service, or VOIP service offered 
     by the provider.
       ``(b) Definitions.--In this section:
       ``(1) The term `broadband service' means a two-way 
     transmission service that connects to the Internet and 
     transmits information at an average rate of at least 200 
     kilobits per second in at least one direction.
       ``(2) The term `broadband service provider' means a person 
     or entity that controls, operates, or resells and controls 
     any facility used to provide broadband service to the public, 
     by whatever technology and whether provided for a fee, in 
     exchange for an explicit benefit, or for free.
       ``(3) The term `VOIP service' has the meaning given such 
     term by section 716(j). ''.

     SEC. 502. STUDY OF INTERFERENCE POTENTIAL OF BROADBAND OVER 
                   POWER LINE SYSTEMS.

       Within 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the 
     Federal Communications Commission shall conduct, and 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 study of the interference 
     potential of broadband over power line systems.

                      TITLE VI--SEAMLESS MOBILITY

     SEC. 601. DEVELOPMENT OF SEAMLESS MOBILITY.

       (a) Streamlined Review.--
       (1) The Commission shall further the development of 
     seamless mobility.
       (2) Within 120 days after the date of enactment of this 
     Act, the Commission shall implement a process for streamlined 
     review and authorization of multi-mode devices that permit 
     communication across multiple Internet protocol-enabled 
     broadband platforms, facilities, and networks.
       (b) Study.--The Commission shall undertake an inquiry to 
     identify barriers to the achievement of seamless mobility. 
     Within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the 
     Commission shall report to the Congress on its findings and 
     its recommendations for steps to eliminate those barriers.
       (c) Definitions.--For purposes of this section, the term 
     ``seamless mobility'' means the ability of a communications 
     device to select between and utilize multiple Internet 
     protocol-enabled technology platforms, facilities, and 
     networks in a real-time manner to provide a unified service.

  The CHAIRMAN. No amendment to the bill is in order except those 
printed in House Report 109-491. Each amendment may be offered only in 
the order printed in the report, by a Member designated in the report, 
shall be considered read, shall be debatable for the time specified in 
the report, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an 
opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject 
to a demand for division of the question.


             Amendment No. 1 Offered by Mr. Barton of Texas

  The CHAIRMAN. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 1 printed 
in House Report 109-491.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk 
made in order under the rule.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Amendment No. 1 offered by Mr. Barton of Texas:
       Page 5, line 4, strike ``intends'' and insert ``seeks 
     authority''.
       Page 5, lines 13 and 23, and page 6, line 4, strike 
     ``contiguous''.
       Page 5, beginning on line 17, strike ``within the 
     jurisdiction of such unit of general local government 
     contains'' and insert ``overlaps with''.
       Page 6, lines 1 and 2, strike ``area contained in the 
     franchise area of such cable operator'' and insert 
     ``overlapping area''.
       Page 6, line 15, after ``certification'' insert ``for 
     authority''.
       Page 6, line 20, strike ``under'' and insert ``in 
     accordance with''.
       Page 7, line 1, strike ``and subsection (g) of this 
     section'' and insert ``(including the rules adopted under 
     section 632(b) pursuant to subsection (g) of this section)''.
       Page 8, line 4, strike ``that files'' and insert ``with''.
       Page 9, line 19, after the period insert the following: 
     ``The Commission shall by rule specify the methods by which a 
     franchising authority shall notify a cable operator of the 
     hearing for which its participation is required under this 
     subparagraph.''.
       Page 12, line 24, strike ``definition of gross revenues'' 
     and insert ``definitions of gross revenues and franchise 
     fee''.
       Page 15, line 25, after ``to provide'' insert ``on the day 
     before its national franchise became effective''.
       Page 16, beginning on line 20, strike subparagraph (A) and 
     insert the following:
       ``(A) A cable operator franchised under this section shall 
     ensure that any public, educational, or governmental 
     programming carried by the cable operator under this section 
     within a franchise area is available to all of its 
     subscribers in such franchise area.
       Page 17, line 16, after ``cable operators shall'' insert 
     ``, if at least one of the operators is providing cable 
     service in the franchise area pursuant to a franchise under 
     this section,''.
       Page 19, line 16, strike ``Act'' and insert ``section''.
       Page 22, line 7, strike ``Congress'' and insert ``Committee 
     on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and 
     the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the 
     Senate''.
       Page 27, beginning on line 24, strike ``The following 
     sections'' and insert ``The provisions of this title that 
     apply to a cable operator shall apply in a franchise area to 
     a person or group with a national franchise under this 
     section to provide cable service in such franchise area, 
     except that the following sections''.
       Page 28, line 3, before the colon insert ``in such 
     franchise area''.
       Page 28, line 7, strike ``Act'' and insert ``section''.
       Page 29, line 22, strike ``subsections (c)(1) and (e)(2)'' 
     and insert ``subsection (c)(1) or (e)(2)''.
       Page 30, line 22, after ``cable operator'' insert ``with a 
     national franchise''.
       Page 38, line 5, strike ``and''; on page 39, line 2, strike 
     the period at the end of the line and insert a semicolon; and 
     after such line insert the following:
       (4) in paragraph (7)(D), by inserting after ``section 653 
     of this title'' the following; ``except in a franchise area 
     in which such system is used to provide cable service under a 
     national franchise pursuant to section 630'';
       (5) in paragraph (9)--
       (A) by inserting ``(A)'' after ``means''; and
       (B) by inserting before the semicolon at the end the 
     following: ``; and (B) a national franchise that is effective 
     under section 630 on the basis of a certification with the 
     Commission''; and
       (6) in paragraph (10), by inserting before the semicolon at 
     the end the following: ``, but does not include the 
     Commission with respect to a national franchise under section 
     630''.
       Page 39, line 8, before the period insert the following: 
     ``pursuant to the amendments made by this title''.
       Page 41, after line 20, insert the following new section:

     SEC. 104. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.

       Nothing in this Act or the amendments made by this Act 
     shall affect the application or interpretation of section 224 
     of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 224).
       Page 53, line 24, after ``for a fee'' insert ``or without a 
     fee''.
       Page 54, beginning on line 11, strike paragraph (3) and 
     insert the following:
       ``(3) Necessary e-911 infrastructure.--The term `necessary 
     E-911 infrastructure' means the originating trucks to the 
     selective routers, selective routers, databases (including 
     automatic location information databases and master street 
     address guides), trunks, or other related facilities 
     necessary for the delivery and completion of 911 and E-911 
     calls, or other 911 and E-911 equipment, facilities, 
     databases, interfaces, and related capabilities specified by 
     the Commission.
       Page 57, line 18, and page 60, line 13, strike ``716(j)'' 
     and insert ``716(l)''.

  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to House Resolution 850, the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Barton) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I have continued to listen to the constructive comments 
from Members on both sides of the aisle as well as the comments of the 
cities and the affected stakeholders in this issue as the bill has 
moved from committee to discussion under the Rules Committee, and now 
to the floor

[[Page H3570]]

of the House of Representatives. We have tried to incorporate many of 
those constructive comments into the manager's amendment that is now 
before the House.
  The amendment would do the following: It would clarify what 
constitutes a franchise area. This was a concern of Mr. Dingell in the 
full committee markup.
  It would clarify that a person or group seeking authority to provide 
service under a national franchise must agree to comply with all 
requirements the FCC Commission would promulgate pursuant to the 
consumer protection and customer services provisions in the bill.
  Further, it clarifies that pursuant to a colloquy that I had with Mr. 
Boucher at the full committee markup, the manager's amendment would 
clarify that anyone with a national franchise shall be subject to all 
the cable operator provisions of title 6 of the Communications Act, 
except for those ones specifically in the pending bill.
  It would also clarify that nothing in the legislation that affects 
existing pole attachment law. This was another concern of Mr. Boucher 
and others at full committee.
  Mr. Chairman, I would urge my colleagues to support the amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Massachusetts is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume. 
I might add that I am not in opposition to the manager's amendment 
except to the extent to which the manager's amendment does not include 
language on nondiscrimination. Language which would ensure that all 
parts of a community receive the lower cable rates, not just the good 
parts of town where the telephone companies are going to deploy.
  There is no provision in here that deals in a meaningful way with net 
neutrality to ensure that the Internet as we know it is preserved, 
protected for the future, that entrepreneurs know that they can have 
access to it without having to pay a discriminatory entry fee, that the 
telephone companies cannot tip these entrepreneurs upside down and 
shake money out of their pockets. That is the problem that I have with 
the manager's amendment. It is not that I object to what is in it. It 
is really what is not in it, what should have been included, what would 
have led to this bill being characterized as a bill which was balanced.
  By the way, the bill which we had agreed upon on a handshake deal, 
Democrats and Republicans, was a balanced bill. It did include 
protections for the Internet. It did include protections for rate 
payers. But all of that, obviously, was objected to by the Bell 
companies.
  Let me just make this point once again. The Bell companies had 
nothing to do with the creation of the Internet. The Bell companies had 
nothing to do with the development of the World Wide Web. The Bell 
companies had nothing to do with the browser in its development. In 
fact, AT was asked if they wanted to build the Internet, the packet 
switch network in 1966. They turned the contract down when the 
government went to them. And so a company named BB, Bolt, Betranick 
and Newman got the contract. It was a very small company, not AT
  They have had nothing to do with the development of the Internet, but 
now at this late date, they want to come in and to create these 
bottleneck control points that allow them to extract Internet taxes, 
Internet fees from companies and individuals who have been using the 
Internet for a generation.
  It is this absence of nondiscriminatory language in the manager's 
amendment and in the bill to which I object, and I think as time goes 
on and, obviously, the majority has been unwilling to have this debate 
in the full light of day. We will be finishing this some time around 
midnight. And the key amendments, of course, were not even put in order 
for us to debate, with the exception of net neutrality which we will 
have 10 minutes to the proponents of net neutrality to make their case. 
You can barely explain the concept in 10 minutes, much less have a full 
debate on what the implications of it are. But that is all part of the 
plan by the telephone companies and the Republican majority not to have 
a full debate on it.
  But the consequences for our country are going to be dramatic in the 
long run. It has taken a long time to get to this point where America 
has been the leader in the Internet. And tonight monopolies have 
arrived, finally, belatedly, as they have come to understand this 
technology. But a little bit of history is important to understand.
  They never purchased their first foot of fiber optic until the 
government broke up AT in 1984. They never deployed their first 
broadband technology until 1997 after we passed the Telecommunications 
Act. It has always taken the government to ensure that AT, these 
telephone companies, do, in fact, innovate, such as the word can be 
used, when you are describing a telephone company.
  The real storyline over the last 20 years has been hundreds of 
thousands of smaller companies using the Internet, innovating on the 
Internet, creating jobs and revolutionizing not only our own country's 
ability to communicate and create jobs, but the rest of the world's as 
well.
  So I do not object to the manager's amendment for what is in it but 
rather for what is not in it. And, unfortunately, the same thing can be 
said for amendments which are not going to be debated here tonight 
because of the Republican recalcitrance, their unwillingness to have a 
full blown debate on perhaps the central growth issue that we will have 
before the Congress on this session.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I have no further requests for 
time. I urge a yes vote on the Barton manager's amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Barton).
  The amendment was agreed to.


          Amendment No. 2 Offered by Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas

  The CHAIRMAN. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 2 printed 
in House Report 109-491.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the 
desk.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Amendment No. 2 offered by Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas:
       Page 15, line 16, before the period insert ``, except that 
     such amount shall be equal to 0.5 percent of such revenues in 
     the case of a cable operator that is a small business concern 
     owned and controlled by socially and economically 
     disadvantaged individuals or a small business concern owned 
     and controlled by women (as such terms are defined in section 
     8(d)(3) of the Small Business Act)''.

  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to House Resolution 850, the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Texas.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I thank the distinguished chairman. My amendment had 
very well founded and grounded intentions, and that is in this massive 
effort, the hard work of this committee, the fine leadership of Mr. 
Dingell and Mr. Markey, fine leadership of Mr. Barton and Mr. Rush, all 
focus on greater opportunities. And so this amendment was to provide 
greater opportunity for, in fact, the small businesses, minority-owned 
businesses, women-owned businesses, businesses in rural areas to 
access, if you will, the broadband, the DSL, but opportunities to be a 
franchisee, if you will, and be able to have small entities that would 
be part of this massive reformation of this system.
  So this was an effort to draw upon the funding for a particular 
programmatic provision in the legislation and to allow the small 
companies to pay less fees so they could be competitive enough to 
engage in what I think is a very, very important business.
  I hope that as we make our way through this process of legislation 
and as we make our way to the Senate, we

[[Page H3571]]

will be reminded of language specifically that could ensure the energy 
of small businesses to be created. Someone gave me a terminology, I 
hope I have it correct, but the productivity of technology or the 
expansion of technology amongst many, many different groups and 
specifically the women-owned disadvantaged and small businesses. 
However, I am also aware of the fact that the peg programming supports 
stations like Access Houston and covers programming for issues dealing 
with women and minorities. So I am particularly sensitive to that 
issue.
  Even with that in mind I do not want to eliminate, if you will, 
eliminate the opportunity for small businesses with this massive 
reformation of this broadband and DSL system as we move forward with 
this legislation.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to 
the amendment although I am not opposed to the amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. I want to commend the gentlewoman from Houston 
for her leadership on this issue. I am somewhat unclear what her 
intentions are in terms of moving towards a vote. I will pledge to her 
to continue to work with her, if she were to withdraw the amendment, to 
reach a mutually acceptable resolution as we go to conference with the 
other body, but I am going to follow her yield or her wishes on the 
pending amendment.
  If she calls it for a vote, I will vote yes on the amendment. If she 
wishes to withdraw it, I will work with her as we move forward in the 
normal channels of the legislative process.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, how much time do I have 
remaining?
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentlewoman has 2\1/2\ minutes remaining.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield 30 seconds to the 
distinguished gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Rush).
  Mr. RUSH. I thank the gentlewoman. Mr. Chairman, her amendment is a 
very worthwhile amendment. It goes a long way toward getting to the 
essence of a problem that I have determined is one of the barriers to 
economic parity within this Nation.
  Mr. Chairman, we are sick and tired in my community of just being 
viewed as consumers of technology. We also want to be providers of 
technology. And this amendment, the Jackson-Lee amendment, would go a 
long way in making us providers of that amendment.

                              {time}  1930

  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I am delighted to yield 30 
seconds to the distinguished gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Wynn).
  Mr. WYNN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  I wanted to compliment her on her amendment because it focuses on a 
very important area and that is the diversity of technology providers, 
focusing on women-owned business, minority businesses and small 
businesses that want to compete as providers of technology, and the 
thrust of this bill is providing more competition. She recognizes it is 
providing an opportunity to help these small businesses compete.
  There has been a lot of talk about build-out in neglected 
communities. One aspect of the bill that has not been considered is the 
fact that there are a lot of competitors who may go into other 
communities, underserved communities, who may be enthusiastic about the 
opportunities she is trying to provide.
  So I wanted to indicate that she is on the right track with her 
amendment.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  I thank the distinguished gentleman from Maryland for his comments.
  I want to inquire of the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Markey) 
and thank him for his leadership. We know the leadership you have 
given. We understand the dilemma I have here because I support 
programmatic funding that PEG provides as well. However, I think it is 
important that we have at least a language statement, if you will, 
about the importance of small, minority, women-owned businesses to be 
engaged in this superhighway and this new DSL and broadband.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from Massachusetts 
(Mr. Markey).
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman for raising this 
very important issue, and really, since the beginning of my career on 
the Telecommunications Subcommittee, working with Mickey Leland from 
your district, adding in language that ensured a larger percentage of 
minority participation in legislation, it is without question a high 
goal.
  What I think we all want to be sure of here is that in communities it 
does not take resources away from municipalities that might have gone 
to those very same communities, but I think we can work together in 
order to accomplish that.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the remaining 
time.
  Let me thank Mr. Markey. I know of his history. Let me thank the 
chairman, Mr. Rush and Mr. Wynn. I am passionate, as many of us are, 
about the embracing of small, minority, women-owned businesses and 
medium-owned businesses, and I like the terminology ``provider of 
technology.''
  We want to make sure that we have extensive build-out. We want to 
make sure that we have the representation of our community, but I want 
to see some producers. I accept the kind hand of the chairman and the 
ranking member of the subcommittee I believe of energy and commerce and 
Mr. Wynn and Mr. Rush.
  With that in order to ensure a program going forward, I would like to 
be able to work on this language further as it makes its way through 
the Senate and the conference.
  Mr. Chairman, I respectfully ask to withdraw this amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the amendment is withdrawn.
  There was no objection.


                  Amendment No. 3 Offered by Mr. Wynn

  The CHAIRMAN. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 3 printed 
in House Report 109-491.
  Mr. WYNN. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Amendment No. 3 offered by Mr. Wynn:
       Page 21, strike line 17 and all that follows through page 
     23, line 22, and insert the following:
       ``(B) The Commission's revised consumer protection rules 
     shall provide for forfeiture penalties, or customer rebates, 
     refunds or credits, or both, and shall establish forfeiture, 
     rebate, refund, and credit guidelines with respect to 
     violations of such rules. Such guidelines shall--
       ``(i) provide for increased forfeiture penalties for 
     repeated violations of the standards in such rules; and
       ``(ii) establish procedures by which any forfeiture penalty 
     assessed by the Commission under this subsection shall be 
     paid by the cable operator directly to the franchising 
     authority affected by the violation.
       ``(4) Complaints.--
       ``(A) In general.--Any person may file a complaint with 
     respect to an alleged violation of the Commission's revised 
     consumer protection rules in a franchise area by a cable 
     operator franchised under this section--
       ``(i) with the franchising authority in such area; or
       ``(ii) with the Commission.
       ``(B) Local franchising authority procedure.--On its own 
     motion or at the request of any person, a franchising 
     authority for a franchise area may--
       ``(i) initiate its own complaint proceeding with respect to 
     such an alleged violation; or
       ``(ii) file a complaint with the Commission regarding such 
     an alleged violation.
       ``(C) Timing.--The Commission or the franchising authority 
     conducting a proceeding under this paragraph shall render a 
     decision on any complaint filed under this paragraph within 
     90 days of its filing.
       ``(5) Local franchising orders.--
       ``(A) Requiring compliance.--In a proceeding commenced by a 
     franchising authority, a franchising authority may issue an 
     order requiring compliance with the Commission's revised 
     consumer protection rules, but a franchising authority may 
     not create any new standard or regulation, or expand upon or 
     modify the Commission's revised consumer protection rules.
       ``(B) Access to records.--In such a proceeding, the 
     franchising authority may issue an order requiring the filing 
     of any data, documents, or records (including any contract, 
     agreement, or arrangement between the subscriber and the 
     cable operator) that are directly related to the alleged 
     violation.

[[Page H3572]]

       ``(C) Cost of franchising authority orders.--A franchising 
     authority may charge a cable operator franchised under this 
     section a nominal fee to cover the costs of issuing orders 
     under this paragraph.
       ``(6) Commission remedies; appeals.--
       ``(A) Remedies.--An order of a franchising authority under 
     this subsection shall be enforced by the Commission under 
     this Act if--
       ``(i) the order is not appealed to the Commission;
       ``(ii) the Commission does not agree to grant review during 
     the 30-day period described in subparagraph (B); or
       ``(iii) the order is sustained on appeal by the Commission.
       ``(B) Appeals.--Any party may file a notice of appeal of an 
     order of a franchising authority under this subsection with 
     the Commission, and shall transmit a copy of such notice to 
     the other parties to the franchising authority proceeding. 
     Such appeal shall be deemed denied at the end of the 30-day 
     period beginning on the date of the filing unless the 
     Commission agrees within such period to grant review of the 
     appeal.
       ``(C) Timing.--After the filing of a notice of appeal under 
     subparagraph (B), if such notice is not denied by operation 
     of such subparagraph, the Commission shall render a decision 
     within 90 days of such filing.
       ``(7) Annual report.--
       ``(A) In general.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
     enactment of this section, and annually thereafter, the 
     Commission shall submit a report to the Committee on Energy 
     and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the 
     Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the 
     Senate on the implementation of this subsection, including 
     the following:
       ``(i) The number of complaints filed with franchising 
     authorities under clause (4)(A)(i).
       ``(ii) Any trends concerning complaints, such as increases 
     in the number of particular types of complaints or in new 
     types of complaints.
       ``(iii) The timeliness of the response of such franchising 
     authorities and the results of the complaints filed with such 
     franchising authorities, if not appealed to the Commission.
       ``(iv) The number of complaints filed with the Commission 
     under clause (4)(A)(ii).
       ``(v) The number of appeals filed with the Commission under 
     paragraph (6)(B) and the number of such appeals which the 
     Commission agreed to hear.
       ``(vi) The timeliness of the Commission's responses to such 
     complaints and appeals.
       ``(vii) The results of such complaints and appeals filed 
     with the Commission.
       ``(B) Submission of information by franchising 
     authorities.--The Commission may request franchising 
     authorities to submit information about the complaints filed 
     with the franchising authorities under subparagraph 
     (4)(A)(i), including the number of such complaints and the 
     timeliness of the response and the results of such 
     complaints.
       ``(8) Definition.--For purposes of this subsection, the 
     term `Commission's revised consumer protection rules' means 
     the national consumer protection and customer service rules 
     under section 632(b) as revised by the Commission pursuant to 
     paragraph (2) of this subsection.

  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to House Resolution 850, the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Wynn) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  Mr. DOYLE. Mr. Chairman, I do not oppose the amendment, but I ask 
unanimous consent to claim the time in opposition.
  The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania?
  There was no objection.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Maryland.
  Mr. WYNN. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  One of the issues that came up as we began to develop this bill was 
consumer protection and the role of the local franchising authority in 
protecting the interests of local consumers.
  The bill says that we will have a national franchise, and it also 
provides that under the national franchise the FCC will promulgate 
specific standards for consumer protection, dealing with issues such as 
billing disputes, discontinuation of service, loss of service, service 
quality, changes in channel line-up, other service features, the 
availability of parental controls.
  The amendment that I have today basically says that, number one, an 
individual that has a complaint may file a complaint with the FCC or 
with the local franchising authority. It says that the FCC or the local 
franchising authority must render a decision in 90 days of the filing 
of a complaint. That is to address the concern that the complaint 
process, the consumer protection process, is too time consuming and 
imposes burdens on the franchisee.
  Second, the amendment provides that the local franchising authority, 
the cities, the counties, the States, may initiate on their own a 
complaint proceeding and file that complaint with the FCC regarding a 
violation of the rules promulgated by the FCC. They may issue an order 
requiring that the franchisee comply with the FCC's consumer protection 
rules. This order will stand and may be enforced by the FCC unless it 
is successfully appealed.
  This basically adds to the consumer protections already in the bill 
and enables both the individual and the local community to bring an 
action to enforce the rules that are set forth by the FCC to protect 
the consumer.
  In addition, the amendment provides for an annual report, because one 
of the things that we wanted to see was what was going on out there 
once we had this new field of competition and new providers of video 
services. So we will have a study that will come back to our committee 
and our companion committee in the Senate telling us about the number 
of complaints the FCC has received, the trend in these complaints, the 
timeliness of the response to these complaints. We believe this type of 
information will be very useful in determining whether we need stronger 
rules and regulations on consumer protection.
  In sum, this is a very simple and straightforward amendment that 
protects the consumers and involves the local communities, and I urge 
its adoption.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. WYNN. I yield to the gentleman from Maryland.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding. This is a good amendment. I am very supportive and urge a 
``yes'' vote on the Wynn amendment.
  Mr. WYNN. Mr. Chairman, I thank my chairman.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. DOYLE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I want to thank my good friend from Maryland for offering a good 
amendment that is quite similar to the provisions of the Doyle-Dingell 
amendment that was ruled out of order. No sour grapes. It is a good 
amendment, worthy of support, but it only goes part of the way.
  I want to make sure my friends and colleagues understand that 
settling for the Wynn amendment is like a football team declaring 
victory right after kickoff.
  The Doyle-Dingell amendment would have been the equivalent of winning 
the Super Bowl, and I say that humbly, coming from Pittsburgh.
  The Wynn amendment gives local governments the right to enforce 
consumer complaints and outlines an FCC backstop, just like the Doyle-
Dingell amendment did.
  Where this amendment stops is on the enforcement of the rest of the 
bill. If you agree with Mr. Wynn that the principle of local 
enforcement and an FCC appeal is a good one, and you should, you should 
also agree with that same principle for issues like public access and 
school channels, INETs, public hearings, as well as consumer protection 
like the Dingell-Doyle amendment would have.
  While we are on the subject of enforcement, I want to make sure my 
friends are aware that the House will not debate an amendment to fix 
the COPE Act's rights-of-way boondoggle. For my friends who have gotten 
calls and letters from mayors in their districts, resolutions from city 
councils, this amendment, while good, does not address their larger 
concerns about their roads, their streets, and their other public 
property.
  If local enforcement is such a good idea, and it is, then why should 
local governments not be allowed to enforce their own laws about their 
own streets? The COPE Act sends any dispute about streets and sidewalks 
to the FCC in Washington, D.C. That is a fundamental change. It is so 
far from how the law works today, and our body needed to debate that 
point.
  America's cities and towns and consumers will benefit from the Wynn 
amendment, and I thank my friend from Maryland for offering it, but it 
is a 5-yard gain when America needs 80 yards to score.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WYNN. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

[[Page H3573]]

  Let me begin by thanking the gentleman for his kind words with 
respect to my amendment, and I also want to thank him for his 
leadership, along with that of our ranking member on other issues of 
great concern.
  I would only point out that he has acknowledged that having the FCC 
promulgate and allow local enforcement of this rule is a good idea. I 
thank you for that comment, and that is what this amendment attempts to 
do.
  Are there other things that might be desirable? I would certainly 
concur with him that there are, but I would certainly appreciate 
support for the amendment because, as he has pointed out, it addresses 
at least part of the issue that local communities have expressed 
concern about.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. DOYLE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I would just conclude by saying that it is better to have someone in 
the local jurisdiction who understands the problems of local government 
make these decisions than a bureaucrat down in Washington, D.C. If you 
want to have every municipality, every mayor, every city council have 
to hire a Washington attorney to go to the FCC to represent them when 
there is a dispute about a street opening, then we have not done a good 
enough job today on this bill.
  The Wynn amendment is a good idea. It is a good principle. It goes 
halfway. It is a shame we could not have gone all the way and taken 
care of all the problems in this bill.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Wynn).
  The amendment was agreed to.


     Amendment No. 4 Offered by Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas

  The CHAIRMAN. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 4 printed 
in House Report 109-491.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment 
at the desk.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Amendment No. 4 offered by Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of 
     Texas:
       Page 27, line 5, strike ``$500,000'' and insert 
     ``$750,000''.

  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to House Resolution 850, the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson) and a Member opposed each will 
control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Texas.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such 
time as I may consume.
  Let me thank the chairman of the committee, also a Texan. I have an 
amendment before us today that is really unambiguous and 
straightforward in its intent.
  The amendment increases the maximum forfeiture penalty in the 
antidiscrimination section from $500,000 to $750,000 if the FCC 
determines that a cable operator has denied access to its services to a 
group of potential services because of that group's income.
  It is my respectful view that an increase of 50 percent to this 
bill's current penalty amount is a small price for a corporation that 
discriminates in the delivery of video or broadband services against 
communities that are crying out for increased competition and 
affordable cable prices.
  Many of the constituents that I represent are heavy cable users and 
heavy telephone users. The gas prices are very high. Tickets to 
entertainment are very high, and so cable is generally their 
entertainment and the telephone keeps them in touch with companies. So 
it is a large use many times of the lower-income communities in my 
congressional district and throughout America that should not be 
relegated to second-class citizens with regard to their ability to 
enjoy the fruits of cable competition that this bill touts.
  I am not thrilled that the Federal Communications Commission will be 
delving into discrimination matters that could impact an entire class 
of individuals. However, it is my belief that if the FCC is to be 
charged with enforcing antidiscrimination laws and levying 
correspondent fines, the agency, one, should be sensitive as possible 
to complaints filed by a local franchising authority that believes a 
cable operator with a national franchise has violated the 
antidiscrimination section of this bill; and, two, respond forcefully 
with a meaningful forfeiture penalty that preserves the integrity of 
the ultimate public interest goal of universal service, particularly to 
individuals that stand to benefit significantly from increased 
competition.
  Mr. Chairman, as I close, I would like to reiterate that a 50 percent 
increase in this bill's current penalty amount is a small price for the 
battle between the millionaires and billionaires, and so I do not know 
why I did not put $1 million here; but whether the action is motivated 
intentionally or the direct result of shortsightedness, cable providers 
should not be left off the hook for failing to bring competition to 
communities that need it the most.
  I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, for purposes of debate only, I 
rise in opposition to the amendment; but I am not in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  First, let me say about the gentlewoman from Dallas, I support her 
amendment. I think it is a good amendment. I think it adds to the bill, 
increasing the penalty by 50 percent from $500,000 to $750,000. It does 
increase the penalty for discrimination; and for that reason, I will be 
happy to support the amendment at the appropriate time.

                              {time}  1945

  Mr. Chairman, I would like to enter into a colloquy with a member of 
the committee, Mr. Murphy of Pennsylvania.
  Mr. MURPHY. I thank the chairman for this. I have worked with you in 
the committee to move this bill forward. I know it has a number of 
things that continue to help local franchising authorities to collect 
the 5 percent of revenues and also allows some other aspects in there, 
but I want to get to a colloquy about these two specific issues.
  Many localities in my district are concerned about their continued 
management of rights-of-way. In Pennsylvania, such management has been 
said to include not only the physical, but also the fiscal management 
of those rights-of-way. Currently, when a cable wire carries multiple 
services, a Pennsylvania municipality can charge rent based on some 
formula for the use of rights-of-way.
  Do you see the bill having an adverse effect on a locality's income 
by shielding operator revenue in this manner?
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Congressman Murphy, current law allows local 
authorities to assess a franchise fee of up to 5 percent of a cable 
operator's gross revenue for the use of the public right-of-way for 
cable service. The Act before us would allow the localities to assess 
the exact same fee on holders of a national franchise.
  In other words, localities may continue to collect the same rent for 
the use of the rights-of-way for cable service. The Act before us also 
preserves the locality's physical management of their right-of-way. 
Section 630(f) explicitly states that nothing in the Act affects the 
authority of the localities to manage their rights-of-way on a 
competitively neutral, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory basis.
  Mr. MURPHY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. One other question.
  In addition to retaining rights-of-way management authority, isn't it 
true that municipalities would still have the authority to negotiate 
franchises with cable operators under this bill?
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Would you repeat the question?
  Mr. MURPHY. Yes. Is it true that municipalities would still have the 
authority to negotiate franchises with cable operators under this bill? 
In other words, they still have the authority to negotiate local 
franchise agreements.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. For a specific period of time, the answer to 
that is yes.
  Mr. MURPHY. Thank you, and I appreciate your responses and clarifying 
these issues, Mr. Chairman.

[[Page H3574]]

  Mr. DOYLE. Mr. Chairman, would the chairman yield for a question?
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. I would always yield to my friend from 
Pittsburgh, a member of the committee, and the new manager of the 
Democrat baseball team, who is so overworking his team that they are 
complaining to me about how hard they are having to work, yes.
  Mr. DOYLE. Mr. Chairman, when you have a talent deficit, you have to 
work harder.
  Mr. Chairman, just a question. Under the bill, if a local government 
had an ordinance that said you couldn't open a street during rush hour 
in a major artery, and the cable or phone company saw that as not 
reasonable and decided not to comply with that ordinance, where would 
the appeal process be? Currently, under law now, that appeal process 
takes place in local courts. Would the bill require local governments 
to now go to the FCC for any dispute resolution on rights of ways?
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Reclaiming my time, nothing in the pending bill 
will change current law with regard to how the cities control their 
local rights-of-way, the physical access to that right-of-way. They 
would have access through the local court system, and I would assume, 
if they wished to, they could also go to the Federal Court system or 
the FCC. But they can certainly continue to use the remedies available 
under current law.
  Mr. DOYLE. If the chairman will continue to yield. So, Mr. Chairman, 
you are saying under the COPE bill, that any disputes with regards to 
rights-of-way do not have to go to the FCC for resolution?
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. They have the option under the pending bill, if 
the gentleman were so kind to vote for it on final passage, and I know 
he is thinking about that, we would expand the potential remedies. They 
would have every remedy under existing law, plus they could also go to 
the Federal courts and to the FCC.
  Mr. DOYLE. So if the gentleman will continue to yield.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. So far you have not tricked me, so I will 
continue to yield.
  Mr. DOYLE. You are saying that any right-of-way dispute, any right-
of-way dispute could be adjudicated at the local level and not have to 
go to the FCC.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. They have the option. They have the option. They 
have an expanded list of remedies that they currently don't have.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. I yield back the balance of my 
time.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                  Amendment No. 5 Offered by Mr. Rush

  The CHAIRMAN. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 5 printed 
in House Report 109-491.
  Mr. RUSH. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Amendment No. 5 offered by Mr. Rush:
       Page 30, after line 15, insert the following new paragraph:
       ``(6) Fee dispute resolution.--
       ``(A) Complaint.--A franchising authority or a cable 
     operator may file a complaint at the Commission to resolve a 
     dispute between such authority and operator with respect to 
     the amount of any fee required under subsection (c)(1) or 
     (e)(2) if--
       ``(i) the franchising authority or the cable operator 
     provides the other entity written notice of such dispute; and
       ``(ii) the franchising authority and the cable operator 
     have not resolved the dispute within 90 calendar days after 
     receipt of such notice.
       ``(B) Meetings.--Within 30 calendar days after receipt of 
     notice of a dispute provided pursuant to subparagraph (A)(i), 
     representatives of the franchising authority and the cable 
     operator, with authority to resolve the dispute, shall meet 
     to attempt to resolve the dispute.
       ``(C) Limitation.--A complaint under subparagraph (A) shall 
     be filed not later than 3 years after the end of the period 
     to which the disputed amount relates, unless such time is 
     extended by written agreement between the franchising 
     authority and cable operator.
       ``(D) Resolution.--The Commission shall issue an order 
     resolving any complaint filed under subparagraph (A) within 
     90 days of filing.

  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to House Resolution 850, the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Rush) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Illinois.
  Mr. RUSH. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, my amendment establishes a dispute resolution process 
for monetary disputes between local franchise authorities and cable 
operators. If localities and video operators have disputes over 
franchise fees or other fees, this amendment will allow them to 
negotiate a resolution in a timely process.
  The amendment is simple. It sets forth a deadline for the initiation 
and resolution of a complaint process. First, the amendment calls for 
the parties to meet and settle their differences before issuing a 
complaint at the FCC. It simply states that a franchise authority or 
cable operator must provide written notice to each other if there is a 
dispute regarding franchise fees or PEG/I-Net support. Both parties 
must meet within 30 days of notification. If the local franchise 
authority and the cable operator have not resolved the dispute within 
90 days, then both parties can petition the FCC to resolve the 
complaint. The FCC then has 90 days to resolve any fee disputes.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to 
support this amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, for purposes of debate, I rise to 
claim the time in opposition, but I am not in opposition.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I do support the Rush amendment. I 
think it is an addition to the base bill, and it continues to show the 
excellent leadership that Mr. Rush is providing on this issue, and I 
would urge my colleagues at the appropriate time to support the 
amendment.
  At this point in time, I would like to enter into a colloquy with the 
gentleman from Washington, Congressman Reichert.
  Mr. REICHERT. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate your leadership on this 
legislation and I would like to call attention to an issue of extreme 
importance to America's public safety providers: The inability of 
Americans to use 911 on their Voice Over Internet Protocol phones. As a 
former cop, this certainly ranks high on the list of my concerns.
  The Federal Communications Commission attempted to address this issue 
by requiring Voice Over IP companies to provide enhanced 911 before 
they could sell their services. I am largely in favor of this bill; 
however, it does reverse the FCC ruling. It allows Voice Over IP 
companies to continue to sell telephone service without having to 
properly route 911 calls for as long as 6 months after entering a new 
market. Six months is too long to wait, which is why many first 
responders have not embraced this bill.
  There have already been tragedies and near tragedies that have 
occurred when Voice Over IP consumers have tried to call 911 in an 
emergency. To call 911 and receive the service is a necessity 
regardless of the type of phone service a caller is using. Customers 
expect this capability.
  The ability to provide every American full access to 911 is of great 
concern to me. Our first duty is to protect American citizens. I urge 
you to address this issue before the legislation is finalized in 
conference.
  Mr. Chairman, thank you for allowing me this opportunity voice my 
concerns.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. I thank the gentleman from Washington for 
raising this issue. We agree that as a matter of both public policy and 
public safety, American citizens should have access to basic 911 
service.
  I understand your perspective on this concern, as a former law 
enforcement officer who had to respond to 911 calls himself for many 
years. I will work in conference to address your concerns.
  I can add that Mr. Gordon of Tennessee and Mr. Pickering of 
Mississippi, just to name two members of the committee, share your 
concerns and are working on this issue.
  Mr. REICHERT. I thank the Chairman and look forward to working with 
you.

[[Page H3575]]

  Mr. BARTON of Texas. I have no other requests for time, urge a 
``yes'' vote on the Rush amendment, and I yield back the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. RUSH. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Rush).
  The amendment was agreed to.


             Amendment No. 6 Offered by Mr. Smith of Texas

  The CHAIRMAN. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 6 printed 
in House Report 109-491.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk 
made in order under the rule.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Amendment No. 6 offered by Mr. Smith of Texas:
       Page 44, after line 12, insert the following (and make such 
     technical and conforming changes as may be appropriate):
       ``(d)(1) Rule of construction.--Nothing in this section 
     shall be construed to modify, impair, or supersede the 
     applicability of the antitrust laws or the jurisdiction of 
     the district courts of the United States to hear claims 
     arising under the antitrust laws.
       ``(2) Definition of antitrust laws.--The term `antitrust 
     laws' has the meaning given it in subsection (a) of the first 
     section of the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 12(a)), except that 
     such term includes section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission 
     Act (15 U.S.C. 45) to the extent that such section 5 applies 
     to unfair methods of competition.''

  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to House Resolution 850, the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Smith) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  The Internet has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams, in large part, 
because the government has not tried to regulate its growth. I 
sympathize with the concerns of those who want to regulate the 
Internet, but we do not want to destroy the wonderful tool the Internet 
has become in order to save it. Frankly, I do not think we have the 
ability to perceive how the Internet will grow or to direct that 
growth.
  I am more comfortable leaving these matters to the antitrust courts 
and the FCC to decide on a case-by-case basis in the context of 
specific factual situations, and that is what this amendment would do. 
It is a simple antitrust savings clause. It makes clear that the 
language in the bill that gives the FCC exclusive jurisdiction of 
network neutrality complaints does not displace the antitrust laws or 
the jurisdiction of the courts to hear antitrust cases in this area. 
These cases would be heard under existing antitrust standards.
  Look at what the Internet was 10 years ago and look at what it is 
now. It would not be anything like what it is today if we had tried to 
regulate it then. The courts and the FCC are sometimes slow, but they 
are much better equipped to work through the complicated fact 
situations that these issues present. We can always come back and 
legislate in the future if they fail in their task.
  This amendment makes sure that broadband service providers are 
subject to antitrust lawsuits. In my experience, most people would 
consider that to be a pretty heavy burden. If those broadband service 
providers lose such a suit, they are subject to the whole range of 
antitrust remedies, including treble damages, injunctions, and 
attorneys' fees. The people who are for the various provisions designed 
to ensure network neutrality are the same people who usually push these 
kinds of antitrust remedies.
  Some will argue you should skip over this amendment and vote for the 
Markey amendment. It is true that the Markey amendment includes an 
antitrust savings clause, and I appreciate Mr. Markey's desire to keep 
the Judiciary Committee involved in this area. The problem with his 
amendment is that it is a package deal. Not only do you get an 
antitrust savings clause, you also get to impose his vision of how he 
and the government would regulate the Internet. I do not think, Mr. 
Chairman, anyone is qualified to dictate how the government should 
control the Internet. The Internet has done pretty well on its own 
without any interference from any of us.
  So the choice is this: Do we let the Internet grow on its own, as it 
has for the last 10 years; or do we tie its future to government 
regulation? To me, that is an easy choice, and that is why I offer this 
amendment.
  I urge my colleagues to support this amendment and oppose the Markey 
amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the Smith 
amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I wanted to clarify some things 
with the author of the amendment. Does your amendment deal specifically 
with the complaint adjudication process with regards to antitrust laws 
and the jurisdiction of the courts to hear such cases?
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. If my friend will yield, the answer is yes, that 
is correct.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. With that understanding, I am going to change 
from opposition to support and encourage you for offering the 
amendment.

                              {time}  2000

  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I rise to claim the time in opposition to 
the amendment of the gentleman from Texas on the Judiciary Committee, 
Mr. Smith. I am opposed to the amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Texas has claimed the time in 
opposition.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I will be happy to yield to the 
distinguished ranking member of the Judiciary Committee. I believe I 
probably still have 4 minutes; is that correct?
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman has 4\1/2\ minutes remaining.


                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Ms. ZOE LOFGREN of California. Mr. Chairman, parliamentary inquiry.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentlewoman may state her inquiry.
  Ms. ZOE LOFGREN of California. Isn't it necessary to claim the time 
in opposition to actually be opposed, and the chairman of the committee 
is not opposed to the amendment.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I was opposed at the beginning of 
the debate.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will suspend.
  The gentleman stated he was opposed, and the Chair took the gentleman 
at his word when allocating the time.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I respect Mr. Conyers. He is a 
good man. He is in serious opposition. I have 4\1/2\ minutes remaining. 
I would be happy to yield those 4\1/2\ minutes to my good friend, Mr. 
Conyers.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Michigan is recognized for 4\1/2\ 
minutes.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the chairman, Mr. Barton, 
because I am sure this could have been cleared up and it was an 
inadvertent mistake and I thank him for his generosity in correcting 
this matter.
  I would like to share some of this time in opposition with the 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Zoe Lofgren), but I rise against the 
Smith amendment because what we have here is a problem of an amendment 
that does not really promote the goals of net neutrality as we 
understand them.
  It is a horse, a beautiful horse, but it is a Trojan horse. The 
language is disguised as meaningful net neutrality protection, but it 
is actually an empty shell.
  The current law already allows for an antitrust remedy for violations 
of anticompetitive conduct; but when it comes to net neutrality, there 
are no rules, no guidelines telling the gatekeepers of the Internet 
what kind of conduct is allowed and what kind is not allowed.
  The telephone and cable companies have made it clear they intend to 
use their market power to charge companies who want to distribute their 
content over the Internet, thereby determining what a consumer can 
access.
  The Sensenbrenner-Conyers net neutrality amendment which we hoped to 
have made in order would have provided clear guidelines. I have five 
specifics that would make it very clear as opposed to what the Smith 
amendment does not do, and I include them for the Record.
  H.R. 5417 reasserts an antitrust remedy for anticompetitive conduct 
in which the

[[Page H3576]]

broadband network provider: (1) fails to provide network services on 
reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms; (2) refuses to interconnect 
with the facilities of other network providers on a reasonable and 
nondiscriminatory basis; (3) blocks, impairs or discriminates against a 
user's ability to receive or offer lawful content; (4) prohibits a user 
from attaching a device to the network that does not damage or degrade 
the network; or (5) fails to disclose to users, in plain terms, the 
conditions of the broadband service.
  I will reserve our time on this side.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Texas controls the time.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, if I do, I will be happy to yield 
to the gentlewoman from California. I want there to be a full debate on 
this.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Texas controls the time.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. How much time do I still have?
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Texas has 2\1/2\ minutes remaining.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. I would like to yield Ms. Lofgren 2\1/2\ minutes 
if she so wishes.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentlewoman from California is recognized for 2\1/
2\ minutes.
  Ms. ZOE LOFGREN of California. Mr. Chairman, I would just like to 
point out that the Smith amendment does absolutely nothing. The 
amendment is to the Communications Act, not to the Clayton or Sherman 
antitrust acts; and whether or not we past this amendment, the current 
antitrust laws will continue to operate as before.
  The savings clause neither creates new net neutrality protections nor 
takes them away. It is superfluous, it is nothing, and it is meant to 
encourage Members who actually are for net neutrality into thinking 
they can somehow get away with being for net neutrality but doing 
nothing.
  The Trinko case contained a similar antitrust savings clause. The 
Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the Trinko case basically held there 
were no antitrust remedies for anticompetitive conduct in areas 
regulated by the Telecommunications Act.
  The whole issue is how the antitrust laws apply. I would point out 
that our committee, the Committee on the Judiciary, reported out by a 
vote of 20-13 a bill introduced by Chairman Sensenbrenner and the 
ranking member, Mr. Conyers, that actually did provide antitrust 
remedies for these Internet provisions. Inexplicably, the real bill, 
the real amendment that the chairman of the committee and the ranking 
member crafted and that won a majority of support, bipartisan I would 
add, on the committee to be reported out, was not made in order for us 
to discuss today. Instead, this phony amendment was made in order.
  I would like to say something else about this rhetoric about 
regulation. Antitrust law is not regulation. It sets the standard for 
what monopolies cannot do. It is not a regulatory approach. It is a set 
of laws that keep monopolies from squeezing the little guys, which is 
what is going to happen if we do not get real net neutrality in this 
bill.
  The Markey amendment was put in order. We can vote for that, and I 
hope it passes. If it does not, we will end up with the dualopolies or 
the monopolies turning the Internet into a kind of cable television 
outfit.
  When the public finds out what we are doing to their Internet, the 
dome is going to collapse with the uproar they create. For Members who 
have been here a long time and remember the vote that they took that 
allowed cable TV rates to go through the roof, that uproar is going to 
be nothing compared to what you hear if this measure goes forward.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. Chairman, let me say again that I sympathize with the concerns of 
those who would oppose this amendment. I want a vibrant Internet just 
like they do. Our disagreement is over how best to achieve that. I say 
let entrepreneurs develop it freely. They say let the government 
dictate it. It is an honest difference of opinion, but I think we have 
a 10-year track record and the entrepreneurs have got us to where we 
are today.
  My amendment deals only with antitrust, so I urge my colleagues to 
reject government regulation of the Internet. Vote for the Smith 
amendment and against the Markey amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Smith).
  The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings 
on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Texas will be postponed.


                 Amendment No. 7 Offered by Mr. Markey

  The CHAIRMAN. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 7 printed 
in House Report 109-491.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Amendment No. 7 offered by Mr. Markey:
       Strike section 201 of the bill and insert the following:

     SECTION 201. NETWORK NEUTRALITY.

       (a) Amendment.--Title VII of the Communications Act of 1934 
     (47 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the 
     following new section:

     ``SEC. 715. NETWORK NEUTRALITY.

       ``(a) Policy.--It is the policy of the United States--
       ``(1) to maintain and enhance the vibrant and competitive 
     free market that presently exists for the Internet and 
     Internet services, upon which Internet commerce relies;
       ``(2) to preserve and promote the open and interconnected 
     nature of the Internet and consumer empowerment and choice;
       ``(3) to foster innovation, investment, and competition 
     among network providers, as well as application, content, and 
     service providers;
       ``(4) to ensure vigorous and prompt enforcement of this 
     section's requirements to safeguard innovation, consumer 
     protection, and marketplace certainty; and
       ``(5) to preserve the security and reliability of the 
     Internet and the services that enable consumers to access 
     content, applications, and services over the Internet.
       ``(b) In General.--Each broadband network provider has the 
     duty--
       ``(1) not to block, impair, degrade, discriminate against, 
     or interfere with the ability of any person to use a 
     broadband connection to access, use, send, receive, or offer 
     lawful content, applications, or services over the Internet;
       ``(2) to operate its broadband network in a 
     nondiscriminatory manner so that any person can offer or 
     provide content, applications, and services through, or over, 
     such broadband network with equivalent or better capability 
     than the provider extends to itself or affiliated parties, 
     and without the imposition of a charge for such 
     nondiscriminatory network operation;
       ``(3) if the provider prioritizes or offers enhanced 
     quality of service to data of a particular type, to 
     prioritize or offer enhanced quality of service to all data 
     of that type (regardless of the origin of such data) without 
     imposing a surcharge or other consideration for such 
     prioritization or enhanced quality of service;
       ``(4) to enable a user to attach and use any device to the 
     operator's network that does not physically damage, make 
     unauthorized use of, or materially degrade other users' 
     utilization of, the network; and
       ``(5) to clearly and conspicuously disclose to users, in 
     plain language, accurate information about the speed, nature, 
     and limitations of their broadband connection.
       ``(c) Preserved Rights and Exceptions.--Nothing in this 
     section shall prevent a broadband network provider from 
     taking reasonable and nondiscriminatory measures to--
       ``(1) manage the functioning of its network to protect the 
     security of such network and broadband network services, 
     provided that such management does not depend upon the 
     affiliation with the broadband network provider of the 
     content, applications, or services on the network;
       ``(2) offer varied service plans to users at defined levels 
     of bandwidth and different prices;
       ``(3) offer consumer protection services (including 
     services for the prevention of unsolicited commercial 
     electronic messages, parental controls, or other similar 
     capabilities), or offer cable service, so long as a user may 
     refuse or disable such services;
       ``(4) give priority to emergency communications and 
     telemedicine services; or
       ``(5) prevent any violation of Federal or State law, or 
     comply with any court-ordered law enforcement directive.
       ``(d) Expedited Complaint Process.--Within 180 days after 
     the date of enactment of this section, the Commission shall 
     prescribe regulations providing for the expedited review of 
     any complaints alleging a violation of this section. Such 
     regulations shall include a requirement that the Commission 
     issue a final order regarding any request for a ruling 
     contained in a complaint not later than 30 days after the 
     date of submission of such complaint.
       ``(e) Definitions.--As used in this section:
       ``(1) Broadband network provider.--The term `broadband 
     network provider' means a person or entity that owns, 
     controls, operates, or resells and controls any facility used

[[Page H3577]]

     to provide broadband network service to the public, by 
     whatever technology and whether provided for a fee, in 
     exchange for an explicit benefit, or for free.
       ``(2) Broadband network service.--The term `broadband 
     network service' means a two-way transmission service that 
     connects to the Internet and transmits information at an 
     average rate of at least 200 kilobits per second in at least 
     one direction.
       ``(3) User.--The term `user' means any person who takes and 
     uses broadband network service, whether provided for a fee, 
     in exchange for an explicit benefit, or for free.''.
       (b) Savings Provision.--Nothing in this section shall be 
     construed to modify, impair, or supersede the applicability 
     of the antitrust laws, as such term is defined in section 
     602(e)(4) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
       In the heading of title II of the bill, strike 
     ``ENFORCEMENT OF BROADBAND POLICY STATEMENT'' and insert 
     ``NETWORK NEUTRALITY''.
       Conform the table of contents accordingly.

  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to House Resolution 850, the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Markey) and a Member opposed each will control 10 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Massachusetts.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Boucher).
  (Mr. BOUCHER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BOUCHER. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Massachusetts 
for yielding this time to me.
  The Internet is a platform for innovation unequaled in American 
history. It has enabled the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs 
and has driven the growth and the technology industry, which in turn 
has driven the growth of the American economy.
  But innovation on the Internet is now at risk. The openness and 
accessibility that have defined the Internet experience are now 
threatened. Broadband providers are planning a two-lane Internet with a 
fast lane for their content and for the content of those who pay, and a 
slow lane for everyone else. Start-ups cannot afford the fast lane 
fees, and in the slow lane they cannot succeed. Innovation is at risk.
  The Markey amendment which I am pleased to cosponsor will keep the 
Internet open. It will keep the toll booths from being erected. It is 
essential to the promotion of the American economy. This is the most 
important debate that we are having on this bill. There are those who 
will say that we have the time to wait; we should simply see how this 
works out. Make a determination 5 or 8 or 10 years down the road about 
how the two-lane Internet is faring. And if innovation is threatened, 
if problems arise, then we can always come back and make corrections.
  My message tonight is that we will have one opportunity to act, and 
it is tonight. History shows us that once a business model goes into 
effect and revenues are being derived from that business, jobs depend 
on that business, stock valuations depend on that business, and it is 
virtually impossible for Congress under those circumstances to take 
that business model away. And so tonight is the night.
  The Markey amendment is the amendment. It will preserve the openness 
and accessibility of the Internet. It will keep it a platform for 
innovation for the 21st century, and I urge its adoption.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strongest possible 
opposition to the Markey amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 10 minutes.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Michigan (Mr. Upton), the distinguished subcommittee chairman.
  Mr. UPTON. Mr. Chairman, I live by an adage: if it ain't broke, don't 
fix it. No Internet service provider ought to be able to block access 
to your favorite Web sites or Internet applications, and I have to say 
that there are protections in this bill which preserve those rights. 
There is no evidence of any problem. And if they surface, we have some 
protections in here.
  Let me read what they are. This bill, Barton-Rush bill, ensures that 
consumers are entitled to: one, access the lawful Internet content of 
their choice; two, run applications and services of their choice, 
subject to the needs of law enforcement; three, connect their choice of 
legal devices that do no harm to the network; and, four, competition 
among network providers, application and service providers, and content 
providers.
  We give the FCC the explicit authority to enforce those principles, 
in fact, a fine for up to half a million dollars for every violation. 
We have a 90-day time clock to make sure that they are adjudicated 
properly and in a timely fashion.
  The Internet has a great history of developing free of taxation and 
regulation. We want to keep it that way, and that is why we should vote 
``no'' on this amendment.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Washington (Mr. Inslee).
  (Mr. INSLEE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. INSLEE. Mr. Chairman, the Internet, the World Wide Web truly are 
the most magnificent intellectual achievements since the invention of 
the printing press. And tonight the U.S. Congress, if it does not do 
its job, will severely let down that marvelous achievement of the human 
intellect because today, at least until last August, engrained in the 
DNA of the Internet was a principle of nondiscrimination and freedom 
among all sources of information on the Internet.
  Unless we pass the Markey amendment and preserve net neutrality, that 
basic DNA is going to be subject to mutation, to discrimination.
  We have a simple proposition in the Markey amendment, and that is 
just as all men are created equal, all bits are created equal and we 
must treat all bits of information fairly, accurately, and without 
discrimination.
  If this amendment does not pass, we will for the first time, for the 
first time allow the infection of discrimination to discriminate 
amongst bits of information. I note this because the opponents of this 
amendment, the Markey amendment, are saying we have to get these 
entities that use these services to pay. No doubt. And under the 
marketing ability, you will be able to charge for the distribution of 
bits. But what we should not allow is to discriminate amongst those who 
in fact enter the on-ramp of the Internet information superhighway.

                              {time}  2015

  We will continue to allow people to charge depending on how many bits 
you send through the pipe. But what we should never allow, and until 
last August, we have not allowed, is the discrimination about who is 
sending those bits across this information super highway.
  Preserve the basic DNA of the Internet. Pass the Markey amendment and 
preserve freedom of access of information.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the 
distinguished member of the subcommittee and full committee, the 
gentlewoman from Nashville, Tennessee, Congresswoman Blackburn.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the Markey 
amendment.
  This afternoon I went to the computer and I pulled up Google and then 
I pulled up Yahoo and in my search engines I put ``network 
neutrality.'' Interesting what I found.
  Well, I found article after article that I certainly believe has 
their facts wrong, because network neutrality is a term that people 
can't agree on. Everybody has got a different definition.
  Now, while that bothered me, Mr. Chairman, I believe that it is 
important that we do a couple of things. One of those is I don't think 
the government ought to tell Google and Yahoo how to rank or present 
their information. That is not a road that we want to go down. But that 
is what the Markey amendment would do. It would force companies that 
build and maintain the networks where the data flows to present and 
categorize data in packets according to a government standard. Once we 
have done that, Mr. Chairman, the next thing is going to be having a 
Secretary of Internet access. I don't believe that is somewhere we want 
to go.
  The COPE bill says that individuals should be able to connect any 
device to the Internet and access legal content.
  Mr. MARKEY. I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentlewoman from California 
(Ms. Eshoo).

[[Page H3578]]

  Ms. ESHOO. Mr. Chairman, I thank our distinguished ranking member of 
the Telecommunications Committee in the House. And everyone knows that 
when he speaks about anything that is related to telecommunications, he 
knows of what he speaks. And that is why this amendment that bears his 
name, and I am proud to have my name as a part of this amendment as 
well, why it is so important.
  Now, for people that are listening in to us this evening, what is 
this debate about? What does the term ``net neutrality'' mean? I think 
the better way to describe this is what does the Internet look like 
today? How does it function? What does it represent? What are the 
opportunities? Who takes advantage of these opportunities? Is anyone 
discriminated against when they go to use the Internet? Whether it is a 
small Web company, whether it is an individual user, whether it is a 
university, a library, a school, seniors in the senior center, those 
that are at home, those of us in Congress, our staff, it is not 
discriminatory. It is open. Everyone has equal access to it.
  So what is this debate about? The telephone companies, and let's face 
it, if they really were in charge of the future, they would have 
allowed cell phones, and they didn't. I mean, these people are really 
part of the past, I am sorry to say. So what this is is a profound 
change to the Internet.
  What will the change be? The telephone companies have come to the 
Congress and said, change the rules. Rewrite the rules. We want to be 
able to offer our own tier, our own speed and charge for it. I think 
that this is flawed, deeply flawed. And I think if we move in this 
direction, we will be moving away from the future. This debate is 
really all about the future, the future of the Internet and what we 
want it to look like.
  Our Republican friends have done some real heavy lifting here. Some 
Democrats too, but I will tell you something. I take my hat off to the 
Republicans. They have done everything for the telephone companies, 
everything, at a cost to what is one of the greatest sources of pride 
of America, a free and open Internet that is accessible to everyone. It 
has worked. We are the envy of the world as a result of it. We should 
not tamper with it. Vote for net neutrality.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the 
distinguished gentleman of the full committee hailing from the great 
Alamo City, birthplace of Texas democracy, Mr. Gonzalez.
  Mr. GONZALEZ. Mr. Chairman, first of all, the advocates for this 
amendment claim this amendment is about consumers, the little guy. 
Countless of bloggers have written all Members of Congress in fear if 
this amendment does not pass, they will no longer be free to express 
their opinions on the Internet and have their voices heard. Let me tell 
you as directly as I can to all the bloggers out there, to all of e-
mailers out there, to all the households out there, to the average 
American, this Markey amendment is not about you. It is not about the 
consumer.
  So what is it? I will tell you what it is. First, it is a guarantee 
that the consumer will be the only one to finance the building, the 
maintenance and the improvement of the Internet highway. That is what 
the Markey amendment will do.
  It imposes and establishes, secondly, a massive Federal regulation by 
mandating and dictating conditions on how the Internet will evolve 
without any consideration for technological advances and emerging 
business practices and models.
  The Markey amendment does this. It picks sides. It creates inferior 
and superior stakeholders in the Internet.
  And lastly, this is the Markey amendment, in my own opinion. It is 
driven by a hostility against one particular business entity that is 
involved and is a stakeholder in the Internet.
  It is unfair when this body takes sides and does not allow the 
marketplace and innovation, imagination, creativity, technological and 
business practices to flourish in our society. We do a disservice. Vote 
``no'' on Markey.
  Mr. MARKEY. I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the ranking member of the full 
commerce committee, the gentleman from the State of Michigan, Mr. 
Dingell.
  (Mr. DINGELL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chairman, and my colleagues, this is a good 
amendment. If you want to improve the bill, and I suspect the Bells 
don't want you to, and they may not even permit you to. But the hard 
fact of the matter is this preserves network neutrality.
  The bill, as it now constitutes, says that the FCC shall do certain 
things. But it denies them specifically the authority to write rules 
under which uniform treatment will be afforded to all persons. It 
imposes, or permits the imposition of huge fines. But the fines will 
never be imposed.
  What network neutrality does, it sees that everybody is treated alike 
with regard to use of the Internet. That has been a principle which has 
been applied to the Internet and Internet use since it was first 
originated.
  This legislation permits the Bells to begin to disregard that, to 
pick and choose whom they will serve, to determine the conditions under 
which they will afford service, and to create a situation where there 
will be no rights and no capacity for the user of the Internet or the 
companies which provide Internet service to see to it that they can 
protect their rights.
  The Markey amendment, which is before us, gives us some assurance 
that the FCC will be able to do some of the things that it should do to 
see to it that we preserve the Internet as we have known it, to protect 
the users, to protect the companies which provide this service, to 
protect the libraries, the schools, the individuals and the 
universities.
  I urge adoption of the amendment.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the pride of 
New Providence, New Jersey, a member of the full committee, Mr. 
Ferguson.
  Mr. FERGUSON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong opposition to the Markey 
amendment. This amendment is essentially a solution in search of a 
problem. When we considered this bill in both the subcommittee and in 
the full committee, we asked experts to identify one example of a 
problem that this amendment would solve. They couldn't point to one 
example where a Bell-operated company or a cable company had blocked 
access to their networks or infringed on so-called Internet freedom.
  Further, when we asked these experts to define net neutrality, these 
same experts couldn't even agree on a definition for this term or even 
provide a description that was less than confusing.
  I am concerned that this amendment will give the FCC the authority to 
impose old network common carriage requirements on new networks.
  Since the advent of the Internet, Congress's hands off policy has 
allowed the World Wide Web to prosper by having the market pick winners 
and losers, rather than the government.
  The Markey amendment takes us in the opposite direction. It forsakes 
the free market in favor of government price controls. This amendment 
would chill investment in broadband network and deployment of new 
broadband services, and, at the end of the day, very simply, it would 
reduce choice for our constituents. The Internet has prospered very 
well without this type of heavy-handed interference.
  This amendment is not about network neutrality, it is about network 
neutering, and this amendment should be defeated.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to another member 
of the Energy and Commerce Committee, the pride of the entire State of 
Nebraska, Mr. Lee Terry.
  Mr. TERRY. Mr. Chairman, the interesting irony about this is that the 
bill, as written, does not regulate or tamper or mess with anything on 
the Internet. The amendment that we are discussing here is the 
regulation of the Internet. And I agree with the Speaker beforehand. 
There is not an issue today on prioritization along the network or 
through the pipelines.
  I look at it like, this amendment, if it was brought up 100 years 
ago, would have froze the Pony Express into that permanent state. But 
yet, we all know that later on developed first class mail, airplane, 
FedEx, UPS and a variety of different ways to deliver to the consumer. 
I say, let's wait until there is a discriminatory process that is put 
in place, that is anti-consumer and trying

[[Page H3579]]

to guess that something that, we don't know what, may happen in the 
future. Let's not regulate the Internet today. Let's defeat this 
amendment.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to another member 
of the distinguished Energy and Commerce Committee who hails from 
Houston, Texas (Mr. Gene Green).
  Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I hope I am also the pride of 
the whole State of Texas.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. He is the pride of the entire State of Texas.
  Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I will include my full 
statement in the Record, and I will paraphrase it.
  The Internet is made of numerous interconnected, privately owned 
networks. It has become the amazing resource it is today without the 
law on network Internet neutrality.
  The FCC, in 2005, released four network neutrality principles and 
they are in this language. H.R. 5252 enacts these network principles 
into the law, sending a strong anti- or nondiscrimination message to 
the telecommunications industry.
  As we listen to the debate, the supporters of the Markey amendment 
will use these four principles in their rhetoric, but their amendment 
adds a much different network neutrality principle. The Markey 
amendment bans residential Internet providers from charging large 
Internet content providers for maintenance or upgrades based on how 
much bandwidth they are using.
  The Markey amendment means higher praises for the consumers, those of 
us who pay monthly, while large Internet content providers get a free 
ride over the portion of the Internet that is the most need for 
investment.
  Supporters claim the Internet companies pay for their network. The 
problem is, with television and video, it requires more bandwidth. They 
have got to make that investment. Are we going to put it on our 
constituents individually, or are the people who are making the money 
going to pay for it?
  The Internet is made of numerous interconnected privately-owned 
networks, and it became the amazing resource it is today without any 
law on Internet network neutrality.
  In 2005, the Federal Communications Commission released four network 
neutrality principles:
  (1) consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of 
their choice;
  (2) consumers are entitled to run applications and services of their 
choice;
  (3) consumers are entitled to connect their choice of safe, legal 
devices; and
  (4) consumers are entitled to competition among network, application, 
service, and content providers.
  Some people say we need to pass the Markey amendment to prevent 
blocking of websites or anticompetitive behavior. This is not the case.
  The (COPE) Act, H.R. 5252, enacts these net neutrality principles 
into law, sending a strong non-discrimination message to the 
telecommunications industry.
  As we listen to the debate, the supporters of the Markey amendment 
will use these four FCC principles for their rhetoric, but their 
amendment adds a much different network neutrality principle.
  The Markey amendment bans residential Internet providers from 
charging large Internet content providers for maintenance or upgrades 
based on how much bandwidth they are using.
  The Markey amendment means higher prices for consumers while large 
Internet content providers get a free ride over the portion of the 
Internet that is in most need of investment.
  Supporters claim that if Internet companies pay their way on the 
network we will hurt entrepreneurs.
  Any website that takes up a lot of bandwidth already has always paid 
more to Internet backbone providers if they are putting a lot of 
content on the Internet and generating a lot of traffic.
  Now many of these companies are complaining about paying local 
Internet network owners for the use of their networks.
  The issue for the future is when websites offer high-bandwidth 
services like high-definition movies, television, and video games from 
websites, all over the Internet.
  These applications require guaranteed high quality service, something 
that's not usually available on the Internet today.
  To upgrade the ``last mile'' of broadband to accommodate these new 
services while keeping consumer prices low, telephone and cable 
companies may need to offer premium service to large Internet content 
companies.
  The Markey amendment bans this commercial arrangement and sends the 
whole bill to the consumers.
  Congress should ensure that no Internet service is blocked or 
degraded by cable or telephone companies, and the COPE Act does just 
that.
  This point is so important we should repeat it: the underlying text 
of the COPE Act puts network neutrality into law for the first time. No 
anticompetitive discrimination is allowed.
  The Markey amendment goes much further, and regulates the price of 
Internet traffic between large network operators and large Internet 
content providers.
  A good definition of wisdom is not how much you know, but if you know 
what you don't know.
  Most of us do not fully understand how the Internet works on a 
detailed basis or the financial arrangements that build our networks.
  The Internet has thrived without Congressional intervention on prices 
and commercial arrangements, and it will do so in the future. If it 
ain't broke, don't fix it.

                              {time}  2030

  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. MARKEY. I yield myself the balance of the time.
  This debate is a travesty. We are allowed 10 minutes to explain this 
fundamental change in the whole history of the Internet. It is pretty 
much a joke.
  If two consumers go into a car dealership and one wants to buy a 
Ferrari and another decides to buy a Ford Taurus, that is their choice. 
The Ferrari is expensive and has all sorts of bells and whistles. But 
once those two customers drive the Ferrari and the Taurus off the lot, 
the car dealership shouldn't be allowed to tell them where they can and 
cannot drive. We don't have certain roads or destinations just for 
Ferraris or just for Taurus drivers, and the auto dealership certainly 
shouldn't be permitted to put up new toll booths to extract fees on 
those highways. That limits freedom. That is what the Republicans and 
the Bell companies are doing tonight.
  If you like the way the Internet is today, vote for the Markey 
amendment. If you don't want new broadband taxes, fees imposed upon the 
Internet, vote for the Markey amendment. If you agree with the National 
Religious Broadcasters, with the Gun Owners Association, Common Cause, 
the Christian Coalition, and the ACLU, you vote for the Markey 
amendment tonight. Because if you don't, there is going to be a 
fundamental change in the whole history of the Internet. You can't put 
together a coalition like that unless something fundamental is 
happening in America. It goes to voices, all of these organizations who 
feel it is going to be limited, and choices, the choices that consumers 
are going to have and the choices that entrepreneurs are going to have 
in getting onto this information highway without having to pay special 
fee or tax to the telephone companies or cable companies. Vote ``aye'' 
for the Markey amendment. Preserve network neutrality, preserve the 
Internet as we know it today. There is nothing wrong with it, and you 
won't hear a word from the Republicans or from the telephone companies 
making a case that there is anything wrong.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. I yield myself the balance of the time.
  (Mr. BARTON of Texas asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  MR. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I listened with a great degree of 
respect to the gentleman from Massachusetts as he rose in defense of 
his amendment. And I agree that, if a consumer goes into that 
dealership and you could find a dealership that was selling a Ferrari 
alongside with a Ford Taurus, that the consumer has the right to choose 
which vehicle to purchase and he has the right to take that vehicle out 
on the highway and he has the right, subject to the laws of the State, 
to drive it as fast as he or she wishes. That is what the underlying 
base bill does.
  We are debating a term of ``net neutrality'' that didn't exist 9 
months ago. We are debating a term that, as Mr. Ferguson pointed out in 
his remarks, there wasn't even agreement among the experts exactly what 
it was when we had a hearing on this before the full committee. But we 
understand, just as Mr. Markey supports, we understand that, whatever 
net neutrality is, we want to preserve the open access nature of the 
Internet, number one.

[[Page H3580]]

  Number two, we also want to bring the United States out of the 
undeveloped nations, so to speak, in terms of broadband deployment.
  Now, the underlying purpose of this bill is to get the private 
entrepreneurs of this country to put the billions and billions and 
billions of dollars that are necessary to get the broadband deployment 
into the homes hopefully of every American home in this country, and 
then use that to unleash the creative entrepreneurship of our creative 
community to develop new services and new ways of providing those 
services so that all Americans can have access to some of these new 
services that are promised if we actually make this bill a reality.
  What Mr. Markey's amendment really does, if we were to adopt it, is 
say you can't charge for any of that; you can't differentially price 
between the Taurus and the Ferrari, you have to charge everybody the 
same. And, if you do that, you are not going to get the deployment.
  Now, the base bill says we are not sure what net neutrality is, but 
we agree it should be preserved, and we want the FCC to preserve it. 
And, we explicitly give the FCC the authority to punish a transgression 
once it is identified on a case-by-case basis and to do it within 90 
days.
  Now, if you really want to unleash the creative energy, if you really 
want this to be a jobs bill, if you really want the United States to go 
from twelfth in broadband deployment into hopefully number one, vote 
against Mr. Markey and for the underlying bill. That is real net 
neutrality.
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Chairman, I salute my colleagues, Congressmen 
Dingell, Markey, Inslee, and Boucher, and Congresswoman Eshoo for their 
leadership on this issue of vital importance to the future. I also want 
to recognize the leadership of Congressman John Conyers and 
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren for their work on Net Neutrality in the 
Judiciary Committee.


                                History

  When Lewis and Clark made their historic journey of discovery two 
centuries ago, information could only travel as fast as a horse could 
run or a boat could sail. Now information travels in an instant. And 
just as railroads and highways did in the past, broadband has 
dramatically increased the productivity and efficiency of our economy 
and will continue to do so in the future. It has created jobs today, 
and will create even more jobs tomorrow.


                           INNOVATION AGENDA

  Last fall, House Democrats introduced our Innovation Agenda: A 
Commitment to Competitiveness to Keep America Number One. In that 
Agenda, we have called for affordable broadband access for every 
American within 5 years.


                                INTERNET

  The reason we want to bring broadband to everyone is because that key 
infrastructure brings the Internet to everyone. In turn, the Internet 
brings us the world--a world of information, communications, and 
commerce. The Internet brings us the future.
  Since its inception, the Internet has been characterized by its 
openness--its freedom. That freedom has enabled innovation to flourish.
  Magnificent disrupters like Jerry Yang of Yahoo! and Larry Page and 
Sergey Brin from Google built businesses based on big ideas, bringing 
spectacular new innovations and services to billions of users.


                             NET NEUTRALITY

  About a year ago, the FCC and the Courts changed the way the Internet 
is regulated.
  Due to that change, there could be the equivalent of new taxes on 
electronic commerce.
  Telecommunications and cable companies are now able to create toll 
lanes on the information superhighway, essentially permitting new, 
discriminatory fees--a new broadband bottleneck tax--on Web-based 
businesses to reach consumers.
  This strikes at the heart of the free and equal nature of the 
Internet and would fundamentally change the way the Internet currently 
works.
  America's small businesses and entrepreneurs could be left in the 
slow lane with inferior Internet service, unable to compete with the 
big corporations that can pay Internet providers toll charges to be in 
the fast lane. Bloggers, our citizen journalists, could be silenced by 
skyrocketing costs to post and share video and audio clips.
  The Markey amendment will prevent those toll lanes. The Markey 
amendment will allow the innovative tradition of the Internet to 
continue by enacting protections that ensure all consumers are able to 
access any content they wish with the same broadband speed and 
performance. The Markey amendment will preserve the equality, openness, 
and innovation of the Internet that has defined it since its first 
days.


                               CONCLUSION

  I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of the future, to vote in favor 
of Net Neutrality by supporting the Markey amendment.
  Mrs. CAPPS. Mr. Chairman. I rise in strong support of the Markey 
amendment to maintain network neutrality on the Internet.
  This is probably one of the most important issues this Congress will 
face this year.
  At issue is whether we maintain the current system of 
nondiscrimination on the network or whether we allow this engine for 
innovation and progress to be controlled by a few large corporations.
  As we all know, the Internet has a history of openess and freedom. To 
be sure, all this freedom has its questionable effects--an enormous 
amount of chaos, loud and intemperate voices opining on everything 
under the sun, and an unparalled proliferator of unfounded rumors.
  I'm sure we all remember the infamous--and mythical--Congressman 
Schnell who was introducing legislation to tax the Internet? Only the 
Internet could start and rapidly transmit--and keep going for years--
such an easily knocked down rumor.
  But it is precisely this unbridled freedom on the Internet that has 
also brought us innovation on an almost unimaginable scale over the 
last decade or so. The explosive growth of everything from web-based 
businesses to politically-based sites to newsgathering sources has been 
nothing short of amazing. And much of that growth is attributable to 
the ease with which anyone can access the world wide platform of the 
Internet.
  We simply have to protect that level of freedom and openess on the 
Internet.
  And yet, the head of AT is loudly calling for changes that could 
seriously undermine the Internet and perhaps marginalize its innovative 
qualities in the future.
  I am extremely concerned about what the Internet might look like 
under a regime where one--or more likely, all--of the big broadband 
networks decides what data bits can move at what speeds across the 
network.
  The large phone and cable companies will tell us all that they have 
no desire to reduce the freedom of the Internet. They will tell us such 
a move would be bad for business if nothing else. And they are telling 
us that there is no problem to be solved, that all this talk about 
network neutrality is just theoretical.
  But how can we believe any of this when AT's CEO refers to the 
paths for Internet access as ``his pipes'' and he vows to make some 
users pay for access to these pipes? That sounds very clear to me and I 
find some agreement with one Internet expert who referred to this as 
the ``Tony Soprano business model.''
  The danger is twofold. First, it means that small players on the 
Internet will find it harder to use the world wide reach of the 
Internet to bring their new ideas to market.
  The danger is not to Google, but to the next potential Google. That 
new idea that might upend Google or MySpace won't get very far if it 
can't match the reach of those behemoths. The inability to pay phone 
and cable company fees for the ``fast lane'' will keep new ideas out of 
the market.
  Second, the lack of net neutrality allows for the distinct 
possibility that the phone and cable companies could block or slow the 
sites and services of their competitors. I don't see in the phone and 
cable companies the kind of wide open competition that is present today 
on the Internet. And given that lack of competition in the phone and 
cable industries, I question the commitment to competition of its 
players and what that means for consumers under the provisions of this 
bill.
  This legislation is supposed to be about creating more competition, 
giving consumers more choices and lower prices. But without this 
amendment to ensure that network neutrality remains the fundamental 
principle governing the Internet, this bill will result in fewer 
choices and higher prices.
  I urge the House to adopt this amendment and ensure the Internet 
remains a platform for innovation and choice.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my 
time and ask for a ``no'' vote on the Markey amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Markey).
  The question was taken; and the Chairman announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings 
on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Massachusetts will be 
postponed.

[[Page H3581]]

                Amendment No. 8 Offered by Mr. Gutknecht

  The CHAIRMAN. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 8 printed 
in House Report 109-491.
  Mr. GUTKNECHT. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Amendment No. 8 offered by Mr. Gutknecht:
       At the end of title III of the bill, add the following new 
     section:

     SEC. 302. COMPENSATION AND CONTRIBUTION.

       (a) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this Act (including 
     the amendments made by this Act) shall be construed to 
     exempt a VOIP service provider from requirements imposed by 
     the Federal Communications Commission or a State commission 
     on all VOIP service providers to--
       (1) pay appropriate compensation for the transmission of a 
     VOIP service over the facilities and equipment of another 
     provider; or
       (2) contribute on an equitable and non-discriminatory basis 
     to the preservation and advancement of universal service.
       (b) Definitions.--As used in this section--
       (1) the terms ``VOIP service provider'' and ``VOIP 
     service'' have the meanings given such terms in section 
     716(h) of the Communications Act of 1934, as added by section 
     301 of this Act; and
       (2) the term ``State commission'' has the meaning given 
     such term in section 3 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 
     U.S.C. 153).

  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to House Resolution 850, the gentleman from 
Minnesota (Mr. Gutknecht) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Minnesota.
  Mr. GUTKNECHT. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 1\1/2\ minutes.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise on behalf of the Bipartisan Congressional Rural 
Caucus. The amendment we offer tonight is real simple: It preserves the 
right of the FCC to require VoIP providers to contribute to the 
universal service fund and pay appropriate intercarrier compensation 
fees.
  Today, VoIP providers do not contribute to the USF, which is the 
mechanism that helps build and maintain the communications network that 
we all rely on, especially in rural America. All other voice providers 
contribute. Regardless of where you live, we all depend on a vibrant, 
strong communications network.
  So why are we doing this on this bill? Title 3 of the COPE Act is a 
VoIP title. The language grants VoIP providers all the benefits of 
being telecommunications carriers, such as the right to interconnect 
with networks and access to right-of-way. It also gives VoIP providers 
some of the same responsibilities, such as providing the E-911 service, 
complying with regulations for the disabled, number portability, et 
cetera. However, H.R. 5252 does not classify VoIP providers as 
telecommunications carriers, and therefore they do not have all the 
same social responsibilities such as USF contributions and intercarrier 
payments. Our amendment would not mandate that VoIP providers 
contribute to USF or pay intercarrier compensation fees, nor would it 
require the FCC to force them to do these things; it merely preserves 
the FCC's authority to do so. We need to assure the FCC that it is not 
congressional intent to exempt VoIP providers from the duties required 
under other communications networks.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge passage of this amendment and the underlying 
bill.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the 
Gutknecht amendment.
  The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I am not going to object 
strenuously to this amendment. I do want to make a couple of points. I 
think the universal service fund needs, at a minimum, to be 
significantly reformed. I do not think, as we hopefully deploy more 
technologies and more innovative ways of using those technologies, that 
we should saddle these new emerging technologies with attacks that, 
while well-intentioned, was originated in the 1920s and is in need of 
serious reform. So I do oppose the amendment, respectfully, but I 
understand those that support it, and am very respectful of the 
gentleman who offered it, because he has worked with us diligently on 
it.
  I would like to enter into a colloquy with the gentlewoman from 
Tennessee at this point in time.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I rise to engage Chairman Barton in a 
colloquy.
  I would like to pose a question concerning the interplay of the 
National franchise and the anti-redlining provisions of the bill, 
particularly as they apply to some of the rural telephone companies 
that are interested in providing the video competition afforded under 
the bill.
  The committee report language concerning redlining that appears on 
page 23 provides, and I quote, ``A national franchisee is in violation 
of the provision if it is offering service to parts of a franchised 
area identified in its certificate but not to another part of the 
franchised area because of the income of the area.''
  Pursuant to that language, Mr. Chairman, would a telephone company 
that is not providing video service to a part of a franchise area be in 
compliance with the Act if the reason for not providing video service 
is that the provider lacks the facilities to make service available in 
the area? In other words, if the existing footprint of the phone 
company does not encompass that portion of the cable franchised area, 
then the provider's decision is not a case of redlining, because the 
lack of service is not based on the income of the group but rather the 
lack the facilities by which to provide the service.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman from Texas.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. I wish to acknowledge the important role that 
you have played in the process of developing this legislation. I also 
would like to commend you on your support for rural America, and would 
add that, if this bill becomes law, small rural telephone companies are 
going to benefit and enter the video business in communities like your 
community in your congressional district of McMinnville, Tennessee.
  In response to the specific inquiry, you are correct, under the 
legislation if the telephone company identifies a portion of a cable 
franchise area that it intends to serve with video, there is no build-
out obligation nor would there be a redlining violation as long as the 
telephone company did not refuse to serve a group of potential 
residential subscribers in that area because of the income of that 
group.
  Mrs. BLACKBURN. I thank Chairman Barton for his answer, which is 
important to hundreds of small phone companies. I congratulate you on 
the bill and look forward to its enactment into law.
  Mr. BARTON. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. GUTKNECHT. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to my cochair of the 
Telecommunications Task Force of the Rural Caucus, Mr. Stupak of 
Michigan.
  Mr. STUPAK. Mr. Chairman, I rise to offer this amendment on behalf of 
the Congressional Rural Caucus with my friend, Mr. Gutknecht from 
Minnesota. This amendment makes a good bill better. Our amendment is 
not controversial, it simply is a savings clause. It preserves the 
ability of the FCC to extend universal service fund and intercarrier 
compensation obligation to Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP 
providers.
  The problem is that the underlying bill extends many new rights to 
VoIP providers, but extends only some of the responsibility. This 
leaves out the responsibility to contribute to the universal service 
system and pay appropriate compensation for use of the network.
  These two funding mechanisms have ensured that we enjoy the 
ubiquitous phone coverage we have today, and USF funds provide 
affordable broadband access for low income schools, libraries, and 
rural health facilities.
  During our hearings, Jeffrey Citron of the Vonage Holdings Company 
stated, and I quote: ``As a businessman, I don't get nor do I expect a 
free ride on anyone's network.'' Kyle McSlarrow, president and CEO of 
the National Cable and Telephone Association stated, ``The cable 
industry strongly supports the goals and purposes of universal service 
fund. Thus, cable operators that offer VoIP services already pay 
millions of dollars into the current system, and we support making that 
obligation to everyone.''
  Mr. GUTKNECHT. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to our colleague from 
Nebraska (Mr. Osborne).

[[Page H3582]]

                              {time}  2045

  Mr. OSBORNE. Mr. Chairman, people in my district, which is largely 
rural, want and need broadband services just as much as people in urban 
areas; yet according to a recent report, almost half of rural Nebraska 
communities only have one broadband Internet provider and some have 
none.
  Without the help of the Universal Service Fund, the average Nebraskan 
living in a rural area would pay an additional $235 each year for 
telecommunications services, and this is true across the country in 
rural areas.
  The Gutknecht-Stupak amendment would preserve FCC authority to 
require VoIP providers to contribute to the Universal Service Fund and 
pay appropriate fees, just like every other service provider. This 
commonsense amendment is the result of numerous hearings, briefings and 
meetings hosted by the Rural Caucus over the last year and a half.
  Mr. Chairman, I appreciate their leadership and efforts on this 
issue. I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.
  Mr. GUTKNECHT. Mr. Chairman, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Boyd), a very active member of the Rural Caucus.
  Mr. BOYD. Mr. Chairman, I thank Mr. Gutknecht and Mr. Stupak for 
their work on behalf of this amendment. I want to tell you that the 
Universal Service Fund is designed to ensure telecommunications 
services to all Americans, no matter where they live, what kind of 
rural area.
  This amendment preserves the authority for the FCC to require the 
VoIP providers to pay into the USF. I strongly support and encourage 
the adoption of the amendment.
  Mr. GUTKNECHT. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Nebraska (Mr. Terry).
  Mr. TERRY. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the sponsors of this 
amendment for bringing this forward today, because it is relevant. I 
agree with the chairman of our committee that the universal service is 
built on a 1920s or 1930s model, and it is outdated and in need of 
reform.
  I also believe that universal service is as relevant today as it was 
back then, and maybe even more so. In modernizing universal service so 
that all people in America can enjoy the services of telephony and its 
advanced services, broadband, we need to fix universal service.
  And one of the areas that we need to fix is that as different 
technology or VoIP emerges, then companies use this digital process to 
avoid paying into the universal service, therefore strangling it. This 
is just one piece of the universal service puzzle. I support these 
efforts to fix this little piece today and also look forward to working 
on the total reform of universal service and modernizing it.
  The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Gutknecht).
  The amendment was agreed to.


          Sequential Votes Postponed in Committee of the Whole

  The CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, proceedings will 
now resume on those amendments on which further proceedings were 
postponed, in the following order:
  Amendment No. 6 by Mr. Smith of Texas.
  Amendment No. 7 by Mr. Markey of Massachusetts.
  The Chair will reduce to 5 minutes the time for the second electronic 
vote in this series.


             Amendment No. 6 offered by Mr. Smith of Texas

  The CHAIRMAN. The pending business is the demand for a recorded vote 
on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Smith) on 
which further proceedings were postponed and on which the ayes 
prevailed by voice vote.
  The Clerk will redesignate the amendment.
  The Clerk redesignated the amendment.


                             Recorded Vote

  The CHAIRMAN. A recorded vote has been demanded.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 353, 
noes 68, not voting 11, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 238]

                               AYES--353

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Aderholt
     Akin
     Alexander
     Allen
     Baca
     Bachus
     Baird
     Baker
     Baldwin
     Barrett (SC)
     Barrow
     Bartlett (MD)
     Barton (TX)
     Bass
     Bean
     Beauprez
     Becerra
     Berkley
     Berman
     Berry
     Biggert
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (GA)
     Bishop (NY)
     Bishop (UT)
     Blackburn
     Blunt
     Boehlert
     Boehner
     Bonilla
     Bonner
     Boozman
     Boren
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boustany
     Boyd
     Bradley (NH)
     Brady (PA)
     Brady (TX)
     Brown (OH)
     Brown (SC)
     Brown, Corrine
     Brown-Waite, Ginny
     Burgess
     Burton (IN)
     Butterfield
     Buyer
     Calvert
     Camp (MI)
     Campbell (CA)
     Cannon
     Cantor
     Capito
     Cardin
     Cardoza
     Carnahan
     Carson
     Carter
     Case
     Castle
     Chabot
     Chandler
     Chocola
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Clyburn
     Coble
     Cole (OK)
     Conaway
     Cooper
     Costa
     Costello
     Cramer
     Crenshaw
     Crowley
     Cubin
     Cuellar
     Culberson
     Cummings
     Davis (AL)
     Davis (CA)
     Davis (KY)
     Davis (TN)
     Davis, Jo Ann
     Davis, Tom
     Deal (GA)
     DeFazio
     Delahunt
     DeLauro
     Dent
     Diaz-Balart, L.
     Diaz-Balart, M.
     Dicks
     Doggett
     Doolittle
     Drake
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Edwards
     Ehlers
     Emerson
     Engel
     English (PA)
     Etheridge
     Everett
     Fattah
     Feeney
     Ferguson
     Fitzpatrick (PA)
     Flake
     Foley
     Forbes
     Ford
     Fortenberry
     Fossella
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gallegly
     Garrett (NJ)
     Gerlach
     Gilchrest
     Gillmor
     Gingrey
     Gohmert
     Gonzalez
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Gordon
     Granger
     Graves
     Green (WI)
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Gutierrez
     Gutknecht
     Hall
     Harris
     Hart
     Hastings (FL)
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayes
     Hayworth
     Hefley
     Hensarling
     Herger
     Herseth
     Higgins
     Hinojosa
     Hobson
     Hoekstra
     Holden
     Hooley
     Hostettler
     Hoyer
     Hulshof
     Hunter
     Hyde
     Inglis (SC)
     Israel
     Issa
     Istook
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Jenkins
     Jindal
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson (IL)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones (NC)
     Jones (OH)
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Keller
     Kelly
     Kennedy (MN)
     Kind
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kirk
     Kline
     Knollenberg
     Kolbe
     Kuhl (NY)
     LaHood
     Langevin
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Leach
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (GA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Linder
     LoBiondo
     Lucas
     Lungren, Daniel E.
     Lynch
     Mack
     Maloney
     Marchant
     Marshall
     Matheson
     McCarthy
     McCaul (TX)
     McCollum (MN)
     McCotter
     McCrery
     McHenry
     McIntyre
     McKeon
     McMorris
     Meehan
     Meek (FL)
     Meeks (NY)
     Melancon
     Mica
     Michaud
     Miller (FL)
     Miller (MI)
     Miller (NC)
     Miller, Gary
     Mollohan
     Moore (KS)
     Moran (KS)
     Moran (VA)
     Murphy
     Murtha
     Musgrave
     Myrick
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neugebauer
     Ney
     Northup
     Norwood
     Nunes
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Ortiz
     Osborne
     Otter
     Oxley
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Paul
     Pearce
     Pence
     Peterson (MN)
     Petri
     Pickering
     Pitts
     Platts
     Poe
     Pombo
     Pomeroy
     Porter
     Price (GA)
     Price (NC)
     Pryce (OH)
     Putnam
     Radanovich
     Rahall
     Ramstad
     Regula
     Rehberg
     Reichert
     Renzi
     Reynolds
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rogers (MI)
     Rohrabacher
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Ross
     Rothman
     Royce
     Ruppersberger
     Rush
     Ryan (WI)
     Ryun (KS)
     Sabo
     Salazar
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Sanders
     Saxton
     Schiff
     Schmidt
     Schwartz (PA)
     Schwarz (MI)
     Scott (GA)
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shaw
     Shays
     Sherman
     Sherwood
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simmons
     Simpson
     Skelton
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Smith (WA)
     Snyder
     Sodrel
     Souder
     Spratt
     Stearns
     Stupak
     Sullivan
     Sweeney
     Tancredo
     Tanner
     Taylor (MS)
     Taylor (NC)
     Terry
     Thomas
     Thornberry
     Tiahrt
     Tiberi
     Towns
     Turner
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Upton
     Van Hollen
     Visclosky
     Walden (OR)
     Walsh
     Wamp
     Waters
     Watt
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Weldon (FL)
     Weldon (PA)
     Weller
     Westmoreland
     Whitfield
     Wicker
     Wilson (NM)
     Wilson (SC)
     Wolf
     Wynn
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

                                NOES--68

     Andrews
     Blumenauer
     Capps
     Capuano
     Conyers
     Davis (IL)
     DeGette
     Dingell
     Doyle
     Emanuel
     Eshoo
     Farr
     Filner
     Frank (MA)
     Grijalva
     Harman
     Hinchey
     Holt
     Honda
     Inslee
     Jackson (IL)
     Jefferson
     Kennedy (RI)
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick (MI)
     Kucinich
     Lantos
     Lee
     Levin
     Lipinski
     Lofgren, Zoe
     Lowey
     Markey
     Matsui
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McKinney
     McNulty
     Millender-McDonald
     Miller, George
     Moore (WI)
     Neal (MA)
     Olver
     Owens
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Rangel
     Roybal-Allard
     Ryan (OH)
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Schakowsky
     Scott (VA)
     Sensenbrenner
     Serrano
     Slaughter
     Solis
     Stark
     Strickland
     Tauscher
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Tierney
     Velazquez
     Wasserman Schultz
     Watson
     Wexler
     Woolsey
     Wu

[[Page H3583]]



                             NOT VOTING--11

     Bono
     Davis (FL)
     DeLay
     Evans
     Gibbons
     Kingston
     Manzullo
     McHugh
     Nussle
     Peterson (PA)
     Reyes


                      Announcement by the Chairman

  The CHAIRMAN (during the vote). Members are advised that two minutes 
remain in this vote.

                              {time}  2114

  Ms. LINDA T. SANCHEZ of California changed her vote from ``aye'' to 
``no.''
  Messrs. LYNCH, GILCHREST, LANGEVIN, GUTIERREZ, HASTINGS of Florida, 
CLEAVER, CARDIN, BUTTERFIELD, HOYER, MEEHAN, SABO, LEWIS of Georgia and 
Mrs. MALONEY and Mrs. WILSON of New Mexico changed their vote from 
``no'' to ``aye.''
  So the amendment was agreed to.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

                              {time}  2115


                 Amendment No. 7 Offered by Mr. Markey

  The CHAIRMAN. The pending business is the demand for a recorded vote 
on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. 
Markey) on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the 
noes prevailed by voice vote.
  The Clerk will redesignate the amendment.
  The Clerk redesignated the amendment.


                             Recorded Vote

  The CHAIRMAN. A recorded vote has been demanded.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The CHAIRMAN. This will be a 5-minute vote.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 152, 
noes 269, not voting 11, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 239]

                               AYES--152

     Abercrombie
     Allen
     Andrews
     Baird
     Baldwin
     Bean
     Becerra
     Berkley
     Berman
     Bishop (NY)
     Blumenauer
     Boucher
     Brown (OH)
     Burton (IN)
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardin
     Carson
     Case
     Chandler
     Conyers
     Cooper
     Costello
     Davis (CA)
     Davis, Tom
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delahunt
     DeLauro
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Doyle
     Emanuel
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Farr
     Filner
     Fitzpatrick (PA)
     Ford
     Frank (MA)
     Gordon
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Harman
     Herseth
     Higgins
     Hinchey
     Holt
     Honda
     Hooley
     Hoyer
     Inslee
     Israel
     Jackson (IL)
     Jones (NC)
     Jones (OH)
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Kennedy (RI)
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick (MI)
     Kind
     Kucinich
     Langevin
     Lantos
     Larson (CT)
     Leach
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     Lipinski
     Lofgren, Zoe
     Lowey
     Lynch
     Maloney
     Markey
     Marshall
     Matheson
     Matsui
     McCarthy
     McCollum (MN)
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McKinney
     McNulty
     Meehan
     Miller (NC)
     Miller, George
     Moore (WI)
     Moran (VA)
     Murtha
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal (MA)
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Olver
     Owens
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Peterson (MN)
     Pomeroy
     Price (NC)
     Rangel
     Regula
     Reichert
     Ross
     Rothman
     Roybal-Allard
     Ryan (OH)
     Sabo
     Salazar
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanders
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Scott (VA)
     Sensenbrenner
     Serrano
     Shays
     Sherman
     Slaughter
     Smith (WA)
     Snyder
     Solis
     Stark
     Strickland
     Stupak
     Tauscher
     Taylor (MS)
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Tierney
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Van Hollen
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Wasserman Schultz
     Waters
     Watson
     Watt
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Wexler
     Wilson (NM)
     Wolf
     Woolsey
     Wu

                               NOES--269

     Ackerman
     Aderholt
     Akin
     Alexander
     Baca
     Bachus
     Baker
     Barrett (SC)
     Barrow
     Bartlett (MD)
     Barton (TX)
     Bass
     Beauprez
     Berry
     Biggert
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (GA)
     Bishop (UT)
     Blackburn
     Blunt
     Boehlert
     Boehner
     Bonilla
     Bonner
     Boozman
     Boren
     Boswell
     Boustany
     Boyd
     Bradley (NH)
     Brady (PA)
     Brady (TX)
     Brown (SC)
     Brown, Corrine
     Brown-Waite, Ginny
     Burgess
     Butterfield
     Buyer
     Calvert
     Camp (MI)
     Campbell (CA)
     Cannon
     Cantor
     Capito
     Cardoza
     Carnahan
     Carter
     Castle
     Chabot
     Chocola
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Clyburn
     Coble
     Cole (OK)
     Conaway
     Costa
     Cramer
     Crenshaw
     Crowley
     Cubin
     Cuellar
     Culberson
     Cummings
     Davis (AL)
     Davis (IL)
     Davis (KY)
     Davis (TN)
     Davis, Jo Ann
     Deal (GA)
     Dent
     Diaz-Balart, L.
     Diaz-Balart, M.
     Doolittle
     Drake
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Edwards
     Ehlers
     Emerson
     English (PA)
     Etheridge
     Everett
     Fattah
     Feeney
     Ferguson
     Flake
     Foley
     Forbes
     Fortenberry
     Fossella
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gallegly
     Garrett (NJ)
     Gerlach
     Gilchrest
     Gillmor
     Gingrey
     Gohmert
     Gonzalez
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Granger
     Graves
     Green (WI)
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Gutknecht
     Hall
     Harris
     Hart
     Hastings (FL)
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayes
     Hayworth
     Hefley
     Hensarling
     Herger
     Hinojosa
     Hobson
     Hoekstra
     Holden
     Hostettler
     Hulshof
     Hunter
     Hyde
     Inglis (SC)
     Issa
     Istook
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Jefferson
     Jenkins
     Jindal
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson (IL)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Johnson, Sam
     Keller
     Kelly
     Kennedy (MN)
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kirk
     Kline
     Knollenberg
     Kolbe
     Kuhl (NY)
     LaHood
     Larsen (WA)
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Linder
     LoBiondo
     Lucas
     Lungren, Daniel E.
     Mack
     Marchant
     McCaul (TX)
     McCotter
     McCrery
     McHenry
     McIntyre
     McKeon
     McMorris
     Meek (FL)
     Meeks (NY)
     Melancon
     Mica
     Michaud
     Millender-McDonald
     Miller (FL)
     Miller (MI)
     Miller, Gary
     Mollohan
     Moore (KS)
     Moran (KS)
     Murphy
     Musgrave
     Myrick
     Neugebauer
     Ney
     Northup
     Norwood
     Nunes
     Ortiz
     Osborne
     Otter
     Oxley
     Pastor
     Paul
     Pearce
     Pence
     Petri
     Pickering
     Pitts
     Platts
     Poe
     Pombo
     Porter
     Price (GA)
     Pryce (OH)
     Putnam
     Radanovich
     Rahall
     Ramstad
     Rehberg
     Renzi
     Reynolds
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rogers (MI)
     Rohrabacher
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Royce
     Ruppersberger
     Rush
     Ryan (WI)
     Ryun (KS)
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Saxton
     Schmidt
     Schwartz (PA)
     Schwarz (MI)
     Scott (GA)
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shaw
     Sherwood
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simmons
     Simpson
     Skelton
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Sodrel
     Souder
     Spratt
     Stearns
     Sullivan
     Sweeney
     Tancredo
     Tanner
     Taylor (NC)
     Terry
     Thomas
     Thornberry
     Tiahrt
     Tiberi
     Towns
     Turner
     Upton
     Walden (OR)
     Walsh
     Wamp
     Weldon (FL)
     Weldon (PA)
     Weller
     Westmoreland
     Whitfield
     Wicker
     Wilson (SC)
     Wynn
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

                             NOT VOTING--11

     Bono
     Davis (FL)
     DeLay
     Evans
     Gibbons
     Kingston
     Manzullo
     McHugh
     Nussle
     Peterson (PA)
     Reyes


                      Announcement by the Chairman

  The CHAIRMAN (during the vote). Members are advised there are 2 
minutes remaining in this vote.

                              {time}  2122

  So the amendment was rejected.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  The CHAIRMAN. There being no further amendments, the Committee rises.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. 
Aderholt) having assumed the chair, Mr. Price, Chairman of the 
Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, reported that 
that Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 5252) to 
promote the deployment of broadband networks and services, pursuant to 
House Resolution 850, he reported the bill back to the House with 
sundry amendments adopted by the Committee of the Whole.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the rule, the previous question is 
ordered.
  Is a separate vote demanded on any amendment? If not, the Chair will 
put them en gros.
  The amendments were agreed to.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the engrossment and third 
reading of the bill.
  The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was 
read the third time.


                Motion to Recommit Offered by Ms. Solis

  Ms. SOLIS. Mr. Speaker, I offer a motion to recommit.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is the gentlewoman opposed to the bill?
  Ms. SOLIS. Yes.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will report the motion to 
recommit.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Ms. Solis moves to recommit H.R. 5252 to the Committee 
     Energy and Commerce with instructions to report the same 
     forthwith to the House with the following amendments:
       Page 13, after line 20, insert the following:
       ``(6) Public benefits for use of public rights-of-way.--A 
     cable operator authorized under this section to provide cable 
     service in a local franchise area is authorized pursuant to 
     subsection (f)(1) to use public rights-of-way in the area if 
     the operator complies with subsection (f)(3).''.
       Page 20, after line 7, insert the following:
       ``(3) Service area requirements.--
       ``(A) Cable operator elects franchise areas to serve.--A 
     cable operator that obtains a national franchise shall not be 
     required under this section to offer cable service in any 
     franchise area.

[[Page H3584]]

       ``(B) No service area requirement for 5 years.--A cable 
     operator that obtains a national franchise shall not be 
     required under this subsection to offer service in any 
     portion of a franchise area for 5 years after the effective 
     date of the operator's national franchise under this section.
       ``(C) Market-based incremental expansion.--Beginning on the 
     date that is 5 years after the effective date of a cable 
     operator's national franchise under this section for a 
     franchise area and every 3 years thereafter, if in the 
     portion of the franchise area where the cable operator is 
     offering cable service to at least 15 percent of the 
     households subscribe to such service, the franchising 
     authority in the franchise area may require the cable 
     operator to increase by 20 percent the households in the 
     franchise area to which the cable operator offers cable 
     service by the beginning of the next 3-year interval, until 
     the cable operator is capable of providing cable service to 
     all households in the franchise area.
       ``(D) High-cost, rural areas.--The Commission may--
       ``(i) limit the application of the provisions of this 
     subsection to a cable operator if the operator demonstrates 
     that compliance with such provisions will result in financial 
     distress to the cable operator;
       ``(ii) permit a cable operator to offer cable service using 
     alternative technologies to rural or high-cost areas within 
     the franchise area if the service offered is comparable in 
     rates, features, functionalities, and programming to the 
     cable service offered by the cable operator in other parts of 
     the franchise area; and
       ``(iii) grant exemptions--

       ``(I) to avoid requiring a cable operator that is an 
     incumbent local exchange carrier (as such term is defined in 
     section 251(h)) on the date of enactment of this section from 
     offering cable service in areas that are outside the area in 
     which the operator provides local exchange service;
       ``(II) to avoid requiring the extension of service to 
     portions of the franchise area that are sparsely populated 
     and geographically remote from the areas within which the 
     cable operator is offering cable service; and
       ``(III) to any cable operator that the Commission 
     determines is a small cable operator.

       Page 23, beginning on line 23, strike subsection (h) and 
     insert the following:
       ``(h) Antidiscrimination.--
       ``(1) Prohibition.--A cable operator with a national 
     franchise under this section shall not deny or offer inferior 
     access to its cable service to any group of potential or 
     current residential cable service subscribers in a manner 
     that has the purpose or effect of discriminating against that 
     group on the basis of income or in a manner contrary to the 
     first purpose set forth in section 1 of this Act.
       ``(2) Enforcement.--
       ``(A) Complaint.--On request of an affected potential 
     residential subscriber, if a franchising authority in a 
     franchise area has reasonable cause to believe that a cable 
     operator is in violation of this subsection with respect to 
     such franchise area, the franchising authority may initiate a 
     proceeding to enforce the requirements of paragraph (1) 
     within its jurisdiction.
       ``(B) Notice by franchising authority.--To initiate a 
     proceeding under subparagraph (A), a franchising authority--
       ``(i) shall give notice of each alleged violation to the 
     cable operator;
       ``(ii) shall provide a period of not less than 30 days 
     after such notice for the cable operator to respond to each 
     such allegation; and
       ``(iii) during such period, may require the cable operator 
     to submit a written response stating the reasons why the 
     operator has not violated this subsection.
       ``(C) Decision.--Within 180 days after a franchising 
     authority initiates a proceeding by providing the first 
     notice for such proceeding under subparagraph (B)(i), the 
     franchising authority shall issue a written final decision 
     setting forth its findings and the reasons for its decision.
       ``(D) Appeal to the commission.--A final decision issued by 
     a franchising authority under subparagraph (C) may be 
     appealed to the Commission within 30 days after the date of 
     issuance.
       ``(E) Motion to enforce.--If a final decision issued by a 
     franchising authority under subparagraph (C) is not appealed 
     to the Commission within 30 days after the date of issuance, 
     the franchising authority may, within 180 days after the date 
     of issuance, file a motion to enforce its decision with the 
     Commission. Upon the filing of such a motion and after notice 
     to the cable operator, the Commission shall impose remedies 
     on the cable operator pursuant to subparagraphs (I) and (J).
       ``(F) Notice by commission.--Upon receipt of an appeal 
     under subparagraph (D), the Commission shall give notice of 
     the appeal to the complainant and the franchising authority 
     that initiated the proceeding under subparagraph (A).
       ``(G) Investigation.--In a proceeding under subparagraph 
     (A), the franchising authority may require a cable operator 
     to disclose to the authority such information and documents 
     as necessary to determine whether the cable operator is in 
     compliance with this subsection. In investigating an appeal 
     under this paragraph, the Commission may require a cable 
     operator to disclose to the Commission such information and 
     documents as necessary to determine whether the cable 
     operator is in compliance with this subsection and shall 
     allow the franchising authority that initiated the proceeding 
     under subparagraph (A) to review and comment on such 
     information and documents. The Commission and the franchising 
     authority shall maintain the confidentiality of any 
     proprietary information or document collected under this 
     subparagraph.
       ``(H) Deadline for resolution of appeal.--Not more than 120 
     days after the Commission receives an appeal under this 
     paragraph, the Commission shall issue a determination with 
     respect to each violation alleged in the decision of the 
     franchising authority.
       ``(I) Determination.--In response to a motion to enforce a 
     franchising authority's decision that a cable operator has 
     violated paragraph (1) with respect to a group, or if the 
     Commission determines in response to an appeal that a cable 
     operator has violated paragraph (1) with respect to a group, 
     the Commission shall ensure that the cable operator extends 
     access to that group.
       ``(J) Remedies.--
       ``(i) In general.--This subsection shall be enforced by the 
     Commission under titles IV and V.
       ``(ii) Maximum forfeiture penalty.--For purposes of section 
     503, the maximum forfeiture penalty applicable to a violation 
     of this subsection shall be $500,000 for each day of the 
     violation.
       ``(iii) Payment of penalties to franchising authority.--The 
     Commission shall order any cable operator subject to a 
     forfeiture penalty under this subsection to pay the penalty 
     directly to the franchising authority involved.

  Ms. SOLIS (during the reading). Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent 
that the motion be considered as read and printed in the Record.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from California?
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from 
California is recognized for 5 minutes in support of her motion.
  Ms. SOLIS. Mr. Speaker, this bill has good intentions. We all support 
more cable competition. Greater competition will inevitably help to 
create jobs and lower consumer costs for all of us, but I urge caution 
if competition for the attractive parts of the towns come literally at 
the expense of everywhere else.
  What I am trying to say here is that when we talk about competition, 
and that is a word that is used very loosely, when we talk about 
competition, oftentimes we forget about what literally happens to the 
small towns, to the rural areas and to the low-income, underserved 
areas. That is what we are talking about tonight.
  As the world's leading economy, the U.S. must ensure the universal 
deployment of broadband networks. That means every community is not 
left behind. Just like the President says leave no child behind, leave 
no community like mine behind.
  Unfortunately, redlining, if you understand the terminology, the 
practice of companies cherry-picking which communities they will serve, 
continues, and in my opinion is a threat to our country and to our 
Nation because you should not be allowed to come into areas where you 
know you are going to make a profit and exclude those other areas that 
are in need of having support and sufficient infrastructure support.
  We have not done this, in my opinion, in H.R. 5252 which contains a 
provision that says that they will prevent redlining. It is weak and 
may prove ineffective, in my opinion.
  Over 30 civil rights organizations and consumer groups agree with 
this assessment. Our mayors, our cities, even in my hometown in Los 
Angeles the mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, has come out and said this is 
not the right thing to do.
  We are giving away so much that we should further discuss and debate 
this issue more thoroughly, and that has not been given to us.
  Our communities have felt the sting of being jumped over and left out 
when it comes to enhanced telecom and other services.

                              {time}  2130

  This motion to recommit gives us one opportunity to ensure that 
broadband is deployed to every single community, whether it is rural, 
low-income, or an underserved minority community.
  The motion to recommit is simple. It establishes a phased-in, market-
based buildout of services so that eventually cable operators become 
capable of serving all households in a franchise area.

[[Page H3585]]

  What I am talking about is that we know of instances in the State of 
Michigan, where our ranking member, Mr. Dingell, has a community, 
Inkster, which was excluded from buildout. They purposely went out 
around his area in Michigan and served the outer surrounding community. 
That community had a higher income. But when they looked at the little 
portion, the donut hole, they were low income and minority. That is 
what happened. There was no services provided there.
  My motion, Members, is simple. It establishes a phased-in, market-
based buildout service so that eventually cable operators become 
capable of serving all households. That is what this bill should be 
doing and it doesn't. It extends the prohibition on discrimination 
based on income to include discrimination based on race, color, 
religion, and national origin. It also prohibits a cable operator from 
offering unequal service, upgrades, and repairs to any group of 
potential or current consumers.
  The motion, in my opinion, addresses numerous flaws in the bill that 
were outlined today by Ranking Member Dingell, Mr. Markey, and others 
today. It will correct the bill to ensure more competitive broadband 
alternatives in every neighborhood so all citizens can reap these 
benefits. I think that is what we are elected to do, to provide 
coverage for all our consumers.
  As the world's leading economy, the U.S. must ensure that universal 
deployment of competitive broadband networks, whether they live in east 
Los Angeles or the San Gabriel Valley or the Bronx, every American, 
every American should have the benefit of the latest digital and video 
technologies. Instead, the COPE Act, or the Cop-Out Act, in my opinion, 
I call it, repeals or weakens the bipartisan and time-honored laws that 
have helped to ensure that those who provide video services do not 
discriminate among neighborhoods based on income, race, geography or 
other factors.
  I would like to conclude by urging my colleagues to support the 
motion to recommit.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the motion 
to recommit.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this motion 
for two principal reasons: The anti-redlining provisions of the motion 
are unnecessary because the underlying bill has language that has been 
carefully crafted with the leadership of such distinguished members of 
the full committee as Mr. Rush, Mr. Wynn, Mr. Towns, Mr. Gonzalez, and 
others. We worked on it for a number of months. We have perfected it, 
we have changed it, and so I think the bill more than adequately 
addresses that part of the motion to recommit.
  On the second part of the motion to recommit, which deals with the 
concept called buildout, under existing law when you only have one 
franchise, only have one franchise, I think it is acceptable public 
policy to require there be a buildout provision because you have a 
monopoly. But the premise of this bill is to go from a monopoly 
situation to a market situation where you could have as many as four or 
five competitors in the same market. If that is the case, what Adam 
Smith, in that great book called The Wealth of Nations, called the 
hidden hand of the market is going to more than adequately take the 
place of a monopolistic model buildout requirement.
  If you are a new entrant into the market and you have a national 
franchise and you go into Chicago or New York or Los Angeles, or a 
small community, like Ennis, Texas, or Arlington, Texas, you are not 
going to want to just serve a little bit, you are going to want to get 
market penetration. You are going to want to take away customers from 
an existing cable provider, so you are going to want to reach out to as 
many people as is possible and there is not going to be a need for a 
buildout provision.
  I would also point out that these new entrants are going to be, in 
most cases, telephone companies that already have close to 100 percent 
of market penetration through their phone lines, or wireless providers 
that are coming into the market with their towers that, again, will 
have wide penetration. So there is really not a need for a buildout 
provision.
  So I urge a ``no'' vote on the motion to recommit.
  To close out debate, I am going to yield the balance of my time to my 
distinguished sponsor, colleague of the full committee, the 
distinguished gentleman from Chicago (Mr. Rush).
  Mr. RUSH. I want to thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I have heard it all. I have heard every argument against 
the bill, and I have heard all in this motion to recommit. But I must 
rise to oppose this motion to recommit. And I don't do it lightly, but 
I must do it.
  I must do it because, Mr. Speaker, what I have heard from the 
opponents of this bill is so confusing, it is creating a confused state 
in this Chamber. But I would ask all of my colleagues to not get 
confused about this bill. This is a good bill. This is a great bill. 
This bill will do a lot and go a long way to making sure that the cost 
of cable television throughout America, particularly in underserved 
areas, that we will have competition and the cost of cable will be 
reduced.
  Mr. Speaker, the opponents of this particular resolution, they are 
trying to confuse us. They are trying to confuse us. They want us to 
eat the wrapper and throw the candy bar away. They want us to walk 
outside when it is bright and the sun is shining with our umbrella over 
our head, and when there is mist from the rain and the storm, we will 
walk out with nothing covering our heads. They are trying to confuse 
us.
  Mr. Speaker, I know that this bill will drive the cost of cable down 
for my community in my district and districts like mine across the 
country. More than that, this bill, Mr. Speaker, will allow for 
diversity and ownership diversity in programming. This bill will allow 
minorities to get into the cable industry and into the 
telecommunication industry.
  I urge my colleagues, don't fall for the confusion. Be clear. Vote 
against this motion to recommit.
  Ms. WATSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the Motion to 
Recommit that I am offering, together with Ms. Solis, on H.R. 5252, the 
COPE Act of 2006. This motion will send this bill back to the Energy & 
Commerce committee to fix two of the most glaring weaknesses of this 
bill--the lack build-out provisions necessary to make sure all 
neighborhoods and communities get service--and the lack of strong anti-
discrimination language necessary to prevent redlining.
  Our motion will instruct the committee to include language, first to 
prohibit discrimination based on basis of the race, color, religion, 
national origin, sex, or income--the same common sense non-
discrimination language that has formed the basis of so much 
legislation here in Congress--and second, to include so-called ``build-
out'' provisions, which require the companies building large broadband 
networks to make sure that they are expanding their networks on a fair 
basis to all communities.
  The COPE Act--as currently written--allows service providers to cozy-
up to some neighborhoods while snubbing others. Without build-out 
provisions that require service providers to reach all households, many 
Americans will lack quality service--or be deprived of service 
entirely--simply because they live in the wrong neighborhood. This 
means that, under the COPE Act, consumers won't choose their Internet 
provider--Internet providers will choose their customers.
  Furthermore, the COPE Act excludes the anti-discrimination language 
necessary to ensure equal treatment to all people, no matter what their 
race, ethnicity or economic situation. Americans will have no legal 
recourse if they receive inferior or no access to vital telecom 
services. This anti-discrimination language is necessary to protects 
all Americans from redlining, particularly those who have historically 
been denied access to services others take for granted.
  In short, the COPE Act as written will leave many people behind as we 
enter a new technological age. It permits and even encourages redlining 
by failing to require that telecom companies serve all Americans 
without discrimination. In the words of Doctor Faye Williams, Chair of 
the National Congress of Black Women, ``Had [this] kind of thinking 
prevailed during the civil rights movement--the `don't outlaw 
discrimination because the situation will take care of itself' claim--
we may have never had a Civil Rights Act or Voting Rights Act.''
  Mr. Speaker, ladies and gentlemen, my dear colleagues--we can fix 
this bill. I urge you to vote for the Solis/Watson Motion to recommit, 
so we can send this bill back to committee, fix

[[Page H3586]]

these glaring weaknesses, and give Americans a telecom bill that brings 
the entire country--not just certain neighborhoods and people--in the 
broadband age.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the previous question is 
ordered on the motion to recommit.
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion to recommit.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the noes appeared to have it.
  Ms. SOLIS. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XX, the Chair 
will reduce to 5 minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote on 
the question of passage.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 165, 
nays 256, not voting 11, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 240]

                               YEAS--165

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Allen
     Andrews
     Baird
     Baldwin
     Barrow
     Becerra
     Berkley
     Berman
     Bishop (NY)
     Blumenauer
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (OH)
     Brown, Corrine
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardin
     Carnahan
     Carson
     Case
     Chandler
     Cleaver
     Clyburn
     Conyers
     Cooper
     Costello
     Crowley
     Davis (AL)
     Davis (CA)
     Davis (IL)
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delahunt
     DeLauro
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Doyle
     Emanuel
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Etheridge
     Farr
     Fattah
     Filner
     Ford
     Frank (MA)
     Gordon
     Green, Al
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Harman
     Hastings (FL)
     Higgins
     Hinchey
     Hinojosa
     Holden
     Holt
     Honda
     Hooley
     Hoyer
     Israel
     Jackson (IL)
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Jefferson
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones (NC)
     Jones (OH)
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Kennedy (RI)
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick (MI)
     Kind
     Kucinich
     Langevin
     Lantos
     Larson (CT)
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     Lofgren, Zoe
     Lowey
     Lynch
     Maloney
     Markey
     Marshall
     Matsui
     McCarthy
     McCollum (MN)
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McIntyre
     McKinney
     McNulty
     Meehan
     Michaud
     Millender-McDonald
     Miller (NC)
     Miller, George
     Mollohan
     Moore (KS)
     Moore (WI)
     Moran (VA)
     Murtha
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal (MA)
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Olver
     Ortiz
     Owens
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Price (NC)
     Rahall
     Rangel
     Rothman
     Roybal-Allard
     Ruppersberger
     Ryan (OH)
     Sabo
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Sanders
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Schwartz (PA)
     Scott (VA)
     Serrano
     Sherman
     Skelton
     Slaughter
     Snyder
     Solis
     Spratt
     Stark
     Strickland
     Stupak
     Tanner
     Tauscher
     Taylor (MS)
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Tierney
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Van Hollen
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Wasserman Schultz
     Waters
     Watson
     Watt
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Wexler
     Wilson (NM)
     Woolsey
     Wu

                               NAYS--256

     Aderholt
     Akin
     Alexander
     Baca
     Bachus
     Baker
     Barrett (SC)
     Bartlett (MD)
     Barton (TX)
     Bass
     Bean
     Beauprez
     Berry
     Biggert
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (GA)
     Bishop (UT)
     Blackburn
     Blunt
     Boehlert
     Boehner
     Bonilla
     Bonner
     Boozman
     Boren
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boustany
     Boyd
     Bradley (NH)
     Brady (TX)
     Brown (SC)
     Brown-Waite, Ginny
     Burgess
     Burton (IN)
     Butterfield
     Buyer
     Calvert
     Camp (MI)
     Campbell (CA)
     Cannon
     Cantor
     Capito
     Cardoza
     Carter
     Castle
     Chabot
     Chocola
     Clay
     Coble
     Cole (OK)
     Conaway
     Costa
     Cramer
     Crenshaw
     Cubin
     Cuellar
     Culberson
     Cummings
     Davis (KY)
     Davis (TN)
     Davis, Jo Ann
     Davis, Tom
     Deal (GA)
     Dent
     Diaz-Balart, L.
     Diaz-Balart, M.
     Doolittle
     Drake
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Edwards
     Ehlers
     Emerson
     English (PA)
     Everett
     Feeney
     Ferguson
     Fitzpatrick (PA)
     Flake
     Foley
     Forbes
     Fortenberry
     Fossella
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gallegly
     Garrett (NJ)
     Gerlach
     Gilchrest
     Gillmor
     Gingrey
     Gohmert
     Gonzalez
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Granger
     Graves
     Green (WI)
     Green, Gene
     Gutknecht
     Hall
     Harris
     Hart
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayes
     Hayworth
     Hefley
     Hensarling
     Herger
     Herseth
     Hobson
     Hoekstra
     Hostettler
     Hulshof
     Hunter
     Hyde
     Inglis (SC)
     Inslee
     Issa
     Istook
     Jenkins
     Jindal
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson (IL)
     Johnson, Sam
     Keller
     Kelly
     Kennedy (MN)
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kirk
     Kline
     Knollenberg
     Kolbe
     Kuhl (NY)
     LaHood
     Larsen (WA)
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Leach
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Linder
     Lipinski
     LoBiondo
     Lucas
     Lungren, Daniel E.
     Mack
     Marchant
     Matheson
     McCaul (TX)
     McCotter
     McCrery
     McHenry
     McKeon
     McMorris
     Meek (FL)
     Meeks (NY)
     Melancon
     Mica
     Miller (FL)
     Miller (MI)
     Miller, Gary
     Moran (KS)
     Murphy
     Musgrave
     Myrick
     Neugebauer
     Ney
     Northup
     Norwood
     Nunes
     Osborne
     Otter
     Oxley
     Paul
     Pearce
     Pence
     Peterson (MN)
     Petri
     Pickering
     Pitts
     Platts
     Poe
     Pombo
     Pomeroy
     Porter
     Price (GA)
     Pryce (OH)
     Putnam
     Radanovich
     Ramstad
     Regula
     Rehberg
     Reichert
     Renzi
     Reynolds
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rogers (MI)
     Rohrabacher
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Ross
     Royce
     Rush
     Ryan (WI)
     Ryun (KS)
     Salazar
     Saxton
     Schmidt
     Schwarz (MI)
     Scott (GA)
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shaw
     Shays
     Sherwood
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simmons
     Simpson
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Smith (WA)
     Sodrel
     Souder
     Stearns
     Sullivan
     Sweeney
     Tancredo
     Taylor (NC)
     Terry
     Thomas
     Thornberry
     Tiahrt
     Tiberi
     Towns
     Turner
     Upton
     Walden (OR)
     Walsh
     Wamp
     Weldon (FL)
     Weldon (PA)
     Weller
     Westmoreland
     Whitfield
     Wicker
     Wilson (SC)
     Wolf
     Wynn
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

                             NOT VOTING--11

     Bono
     Davis (FL)
     DeLay
     Evans
     Gibbons
     Kingston
     Manzullo
     McHugh
     Nussle
     Peterson (PA)
     Reyes

                              {time}  2156

  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas changed her vote from ``nay'' to 
``yea.''
  So the motion to recommit was rejected.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the passage of the bill.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. This will be a 5-minute vote.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 321, 
nays 101, not voting 11, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 241]

                               YEAS--321

     Ackerman
     Aderholt
     Akin
     Alexander
     Andrews
     Baca
     Bachus
     Baker
     Barrett (SC)
     Barrow
     Bartlett (MD)
     Barton (TX)
     Bass
     Bean
     Beauprez
     Berkley
     Berry
     Biggert
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (GA)
     Bishop (NY)
     Bishop (UT)
     Blackburn
     Blunt
     Boehlert
     Boehner
     Bonilla
     Bonner
     Boozman
     Boren
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boustany
     Boyd
     Bradley (NH)
     Brady (TX)
     Brown (SC)
     Brown, Corrine
     Brown-Waite, Ginny
     Burgess
     Burton (IN)
     Butterfield
     Buyer
     Calvert
     Camp (MI)
     Campbell (CA)
     Cannon
     Cantor
     Capito
     Cardin
     Cardoza
     Carnahan
     Carson
     Carter
     Castle
     Chabot
     Chandler
     Chocola
     Clay
     Clyburn
     Coble
     Cole (OK)
     Conaway
     Cooper
     Costa
     Cramer
     Crenshaw
     Crowley
     Cubin
     Cuellar
     Culberson
     Cummings
     Davis (AL)
     Davis (IL)
     Davis (KY)
     Davis (TN)
     Davis, Jo Ann
     Davis, Tom
     Deal (GA)
     DeLauro
     Dent
     Diaz-Balart, L.
     Diaz-Balart, M.
     Dicks
     Doolittle
     Drake
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Edwards
     Ehlers
     Emerson
     Engel
     English (PA)
     Etheridge
     Everett
     Feeney
     Ferguson
     Fitzpatrick (PA)
     Flake
     Foley
     Forbes
     Ford
     Fortenberry
     Fossella
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gallegly
     Garrett (NJ)
     Gerlach
     Gilchrest
     Gillmor
     Gingrey
     Gohmert
     Gonzalez
     Goodlatte
     Gordon
     Granger
     Graves
     Green (WI)
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Gutierrez
     Gutknecht
     Hall
     Harman
     Harris
     Hart
     Hastert
     Hastings (FL)
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayes
     Hayworth
     Hefley
     Hensarling
     Herger
     Herseth
     Higgins
     Hinojosa
     Hobson
     Hooley
     Hostettler
     Hoyer
     Hulshof
     Hunter
     Hyde
     Inglis (SC)
     Inslee
     Israel
     Issa
     Istook
     Jackson (IL)
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Jefferson
     Jenkins
     Jindal
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson (IL)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones (NC)
     Jones (OH)
     Keller
     Kelly
     Kennedy (MN)
     Kennedy (RI)
     Kind
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kirk
     Kline
     Knollenberg
     Kolbe
     Kuhl (NY)
     LaHood
     Langevin
     Larson (CT)
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Leach
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Linder
     Lipinski
     LoBiondo
     Lucas
     Lungren, Daniel E.
     Lynch
     Mack
     Marchant
     Marshall
     Matheson
     McCarthy
     McCaul (TX)
     McCrery
     McHenry
     McIntyre
     McKeon
     McMorris
     Meek (FL)
     Meeks (NY)
     Melancon
     Mica
     Michaud
     Miller (FL)
     Miller, Gary
     Mollohan
     Moore (KS)
     Moran (KS)
     Moran (VA)
     Murphy
     Musgrave
     Myrick
     Neal (MA)
     Neugebauer
     Ney
     Northup
     Norwood
     Nunes
     Ortiz
     Osborne
     Otter
     Owens
     Oxley
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Pearce
     Pence
     Petri
     Pickering
     Pitts
     Platts
     Poe
     Pombo
     Pomeroy
     Porter
     Price (GA)
     Pryce (OH)
     Putnam
     Radanovich
     Rahall
     Ramstad

[[Page H3587]]


     Rangel
     Regula
     Rehberg
     Reichert
     Renzi
     Reynolds
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rogers (MI)
     Rohrabacher
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Ross
     Rothman
     Royce
     Ruppersberger
     Rush
     Ryan (WI)
     Ryun (KS)
     Salazar
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Saxton
     Schmidt
     Schwartz (PA)
     Schwarz (MI)
     Scott (GA)
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shaw
     Shays
     Sherwood
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simmons
     Simpson
     Skelton
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Smith (WA)
     Sodrel
     Souder
     Spratt
     Stearns
     Strickland
     Stupak
     Sullivan
     Sweeney
     Tanner
     Taylor (NC)
     Terry
     Thomas
     Thompson (MS)
     Thornberry
     Tiahrt
     Tiberi
     Towns
     Turner
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Upton
     Van Hollen
     Visclosky
     Walden (OR)
     Walsh
     Wamp
     Wasserman Schultz
     Watt
     Weldon (FL)
     Weldon (PA)
     Weller
     Westmoreland
     Wexler
     Whitfield
     Wicker
     Wilson (SC)
     Wolf
     Wynn
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

                               NAYS--101

     Abercrombie
     Allen
     Baird
     Baldwin
     Becerra
     Berman
     Blumenauer
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (OH)
     Capps
     Capuano
     Case
     Cleaver
     Conyers
     Costello
     Davis (CA)
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delahunt
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Doyle
     Emanuel
     Eshoo
     Farr
     Fattah
     Filner
     Frank (MA)
     Goode
     Grijalva
     Hinchey
     Hoekstra
     Holden
     Holt
     Honda
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick (MI)
     Kucinich
     Lantos
     Larsen (WA)
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     Lofgren, Zoe
     Lowey
     Maloney
     Markey
     Matsui
     McCollum (MN)
     McCotter
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McKinney
     McNulty
     Meehan
     Millender-McDonald
     Miller (MI)
     Miller (NC)
     Miller, George
     Moore (WI)
     Murtha
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Olver
     Paul
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Peterson (MN)
     Price (NC)
     Roybal-Allard
     Ryan (OH)
     Sabo
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanders
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Scott (VA)
     Sensenbrenner
     Serrano
     Sherman
     Slaughter
     Snyder
     Solis
     Stark
     Tancredo
     Tauscher
     Taylor (MS)
     Thompson (CA)
     Tierney
     Velazquez
     Waters
     Watson
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Wilson (NM)
     Woolsey
     Wu

                             NOT VOTING--11

     Bono
     Davis (FL)
     DeLay
     Evans
     Gibbons
     Kingston
     Manzullo
     McHugh
     Nussle
     Peterson (PA)
     Reyes

                              {time}  2205

  Mr. Cleaver changed his vote from ``yea'' to ``nay.''
  Mr. Moran of Virginia changed his vote from ``nay'' to ``yea.''
  So the bill was passed.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________