Text: S.774 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (04/22/2013)


113th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 774

To require the Comptroller General of the United States to submit a report to Congress on the effectiveness of the Federal Communications Commission’s universal service reforms.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
April 22, 2013

Mr. Begich (for himself and Mrs. Fischer) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation


A BILL

To require the Comptroller General of the United States to submit a report to Congress on the effectiveness of the Federal Communications Commission’s universal service reforms.

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

SECTION 1. GAO report on universal service reforms.

(a) Purpose.—The purpose of the report required under subsection (b) is to aid Congress in monitoring and measuring the effects of a series of reforms by the Federal Communications Commission (in this Act referred to as the “FCC”) intended to promote the availability and affordability of broadband service throughout the United States.

(b) Report.—The Comptroller General of the United States shall prepare a report providing detailed measurements, statistics, and metrics with respect to—

(1) the progress of implementation of the reforms adopted in the FCC’s Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopted on October 27, 2011 (FCC 11–161) (in this Act referred to as the “Order”);

(2) the effects, if any, of such reforms on retail end user rates during the applicable calendar year for—

(A) local voice telephony services (including any subscriber line charges and access recovery charges assessed by carriers upon purchasers of such services);

(B) interconnected VoIP services;

(C) long distance voice services;

(D) mobile wireless voice services;

(E) bundles of voice telephony or VoIP services (such as local and long distance voice packages);

(F) fixed broadband Internet access services; and

(G) mobile broadband Internet access services;

(3) any disparities or trends detectable during the applicable calendar year with respect to the relative average (such as per-consumer) retail rates charged for each of the services listed in paragraph (2) to consumers (including both residential and business users) located in rural areas and urban areas;

(4) any disparities or trends detectable during the applicable calendar year with respect to the relative average (such as per-consumer) retail rates charged for each of the services listed in paragraph (2) as between incumbent local exchange carriers subject to price cap regulation and those subject to rate-of-return regulation;

(5) the effects, if any, of those reforms adopted in the Order on average fixed and mobile broadband Internet access speeds, respectively, available to residential and business consumers, respectively, during the applicable calendar year;

(6) any disparities or trends detectable during the applicable calendar year with respect to the relative average fixed and mobile broadband Internet access speeds, respectively, available to residential and business consumers, respectively, in rural areas and urban areas;

(7) the effects, if any, of those reforms adopted in the Order on the magnitude and pace of investments in broadband-capable networks in rural areas, including such investments financed by the Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service under the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.);

(8) any disparities or trends detectable during the applicable calendar year with respect to the relative magnitude and pace of investments in broadband-capable networks in rural areas and urban areas;

(9) any disparities or trends detectable during the applicable calendar year with respect to the magnitude and pace of investments in broadband-capable networks in areas served by carriers subject to price cap regulation and areas served by carriers subject to rate-of-return regulation;

(10) the effects, if any, of those reforms adopted in the Order on adoption of broadband Internet access services by end users; and

(11) the effects, if any, of such reforms on State universal service funds or other State universal service initiatives, including carrier-of-last-resort requirements that may be enforced by any State.

(c) Timing.—On or before December 31, 2013, and annually thereafter for the following 5 calendar years, the Comptroller General shall submit the report required under subsection (b) to the following:

(1) The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.

(2) The Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate.

(3) The Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives.

(4) The Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives.

(d) Data inclusion.—The report required under subsection (b) shall include all data that the Comptroller General deems relevant to and supportive of any conclusions drawn with respect to the effects of the FCC’s reforms and any disparities or trends detected in the items subject to the report.