Text: H.R.4881 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Referred in Senate (07/24/2018)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 4881 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

<DOC>
115th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 4881


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             July 24, 2018

    Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, 
                      Science, and Transportation

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
 To require the Federal Communications Commission to establish a task 
force for reviewing the connectivity and technology needs of precision 
                   agriculture in the United States.

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Precision Agriculture Connectivity 
Act of 2018''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) Precision agriculture technologies and practices allow 
        farmers to significantly increase crop yields, eliminate 
        overlap in operations, and reduce inputs such as seed, 
        fertilizer, pesticides, water, and fuel.
            (2) These technologies allow farmers to collect data in 
        real time about their fields, automate field management, and 
        maximize resources.
            (3) Studies estimate that precision agriculture 
        technologies can reduce agricultural operation costs by up to 
        25 dollars per acre and increase farm yields by up to 70 
        percent by 2050.
            (4) The critical cost savings and productivity benefits of 
        precision agriculture cannot be realized without the 
        availability of reliable broadband Internet access service 
        delivered to the agricultural land of the United States.
            (5) The deployment of broadband Internet access service to 
        unserved agricultural land is critical to the United States 
        economy and to the continued leadership of the United States in 
        global food production.
            (6) Despite the growing demand for broadband Internet 
        access service on agricultural land, broadband Internet access 
        service is not consistently available where needed for 
        agricultural operations.
            (7) The Federal Communications Commission has an important 
        role to play in the deployment of broadband Internet access 
        service on unserved agricultural land to promote precision 
        agriculture.

SEC. 3. TASK FORCE.

    (a) Definitions.--In this section--
            (1) the term ``broadband Internet access service''--
                    (A) means a mass-market retail service by wire or 
                radio that provides the capability to transmit data to 
                and receive data from all or substantially all Internet 
                endpoints, including any capabilities that are 
                incidental to and enable the operation of the 
                communications service, but excluding dial-up Internet 
                access service; and
                    (B) also encompasses any service that the 
                Commission finds to be providing a functional 
                equivalent of the service described in subparagraph 
                (A);
            (2) the term ``Commission'' means the Federal 
        Communications Commission;
            (3) the term ``Department'' means the Department of 
        Agriculture;
            (4) the term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        Agriculture; and
            (5) the term ``Task Force'' means the Task Force for 
        Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision 
        Agriculture in the United States established under subsection 
        (b).
    (b) Establishment.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Commission shall establish the Task Force 
for Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision 
Agriculture in the United States.
    (c) Duties.--
            (1) In general.--The Task Force shall consult with the 
        Secretary, or a designee of the Secretary, and collaborate with 
        public and private stakeholders in the agriculture and 
        technology fields to--
                    (A) identify and measure current gaps in the 
                availability of broadband Internet access service on 
                agricultural land;
                    (B) develop policy recommendations to promote the 
                rapid, expanded deployment of broadband Internet access 
                service on unserved agricultural land, with a goal of 
                achieving reliable capabilities on 95 percent of 
                agricultural land in the United States by 2025;
                    (C) promote effective policy and regulatory 
                solutions that encourage the adoption of broadband 
                Internet access service on farms and ranches and 
                promote precision agriculture;
                    (D) recommend specific new rules or amendments to 
                existing rules of the Commission that the Commission 
                should issue to achieve the goals and purposes of the 
                policy recommendations described in subparagraph (B);
                    (E) recommend specific steps that the Commission 
                should take to obtain reliable and standardized data 
                measurements of the availability of broadband Internet 
                access service as may be necessary to target funding 
                support, from future programs of the Commission 
                dedicated to the deployment of broadband Internet 
                access service, to unserved agricultural land in need 
                of broadband Internet access service; and
                    (F) recommend specific steps that the Commission 
                should consider to ensure that the expertise of the 
                Secretary and available farm data are reflected in 
                future programs of the Commission dedicated to the 
                infrastructure deployment of broadband Internet access 
                service and to direct available funding to unserved 
                agricultural land where needed.
            (2) No duplicate data reporting.--In performing the duties 
        of the Commission under paragraph (1), the Commission shall 
        ensure that no provider of broadband Internet access service is 
        required to report data to the Commission that is, on the day 
        before the date of enactment of this Act, required to be 
        reported by the provider of broadband Internet access service.
            (3) Hold harmless.--The Task Force and the Commission shall 
        not interpret the phrase ``future programs of the Commission'', 
        as used in subparagraphs (E) and (F) of paragraph (1), to 
        include the universal service programs of the Commission 
        established under section 254 of the Communications Act of 1934 
        (47 U.S.C. 254).
            (4) Consultation.--The Secretary, or a designee of the 
        Secretary, shall explain and make available to the Task Force 
        the expertise, data mapping information, and resources of the 
        Department that the Department uses to identify cropland, 
        ranchland, and other areas with agricultural operations that 
        may be helpful in developing the recommendations required under 
        paragraph (1).
            (5) List of available federal programs and resources.--Not 
        later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, 
        the Secretary and the Commission shall jointly submit to the 
        Task Force a list of all Federal programs or resources 
        available for the expansion of broadband Internet access 
        service on unserved agricultural land to assist the Task Force 
        in carrying out the duties of the Task Force.
    (d) Membership.--
            (1) In general.--The Task Force shall be--
                    (A) composed of not more than 15 voting members who 
                shall--
                            (i) be selected by the Chairman of the 
                        Commission, in consultation with the Secretary; 
                        and
                            (ii) include--
                                    (I) agricultural producers 
                                representing diverse geographic regions 
                                and farm sizes, including owners and 
                                operators of farms of less than 100 
                                acres;
                                    (II) an agricultural producer 
                                representing tribal agriculture;
                                    (III) Internet service providers, 
                                including regional or rural fixed and 
                                mobile broadband Internet access 
                                service providers and 
                                telecommunications infrastructure 
                                providers;
                                    (IV) representatives from the 
                                electric cooperative industry;
                                    (V) representatives from the 
                                satellite industry;
                                    (VI) representatives from precision 
                                agriculture equipment manufacturers, 
                                including drone manufacturers, 
                                manufacturers of autonomous 
                                agricultural machinery, and 
                                manufacturers of farming robotics 
                                technologies;
                                    (VII) representatives from State 
                                and local governments; and
                                    (VIII) representatives with 
                                relevant expertise in broadband network 
                                data collection, geospatial analysis, 
                                and coverage mapping; and
                    (B) fairly balanced in terms of technologies, 
                points of view, and fields represented on the Task 
                Force.
            (2) Period of appointment; vacancies.--
                    (A) In general.--A member of the Task Force 
                appointed under paragraph (1)(A) shall serve for a 
                single term of 2 years.
                    (B) Vacancies.--Any vacancy in the Task Force--
                            (i) shall not affect the powers of the Task 
                        Force; and
                            (ii) shall be filled in the same manner as 
                        the original appointment.
            (3) Ex-officio member.--The Secretary, or a designee of the 
        Secretary, shall serve as an ex-officio, nonvoting member of 
        the Task Force.
    (e) Reports.--Not later than 1 year after the date on which the 
Commission establishes the Task Force, and annually thereafter, the 
Task Force shall submit to the Chairman of the Commission a report, 
which shall be made public not later than 30 days after the date on 
which the Chairman receives the report, that details--
            (1) the status of fixed and mobile broadband Internet 
        access service coverage of agricultural land;
            (2) the projected future connectivity needs of agricultural 
        operations, farmers, and ranchers; and
            (3) the steps being taken to accurately measure the 
        availability of broadband Internet access service on 
        agricultural land and the limitations of current, as of the 
        date of the report, measurement processes.
    (f) Termination.--The Commission shall renew the Task Force every 2 
years until the Task Force terminates on January 1, 2025.

SEC. 4. NO ADDITIONAL FUNDS AUTHORIZED.

    No additional funds are authorized to be appropriated to carry out 
this Act. This Act shall be carried out using amounts otherwise 
authorized.

            Passed the House of Representatives July 23, 2018.

            Attest:

                                                 KAREN L. HAAS,

                                                                 Clerk.

Share This