Text: S.1363 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (06/15/2017)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 1363 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

<DOC>






115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                S. 1363

To streamline the process for broadband facility location applications 
                on Federal land, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             June 15, 2017

Mr. Heller (for himself and Mr. Manchin) introduced the following bill; 
   which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and 
                           Natural Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To streamline the process for broadband facility location applications 
                on Federal land, and for other purposes.

    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 ``Rural Broadband Deployment 
Streamlining Act''.

SEC. 2. STREAMLINING THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND THE FOREST 
              SERVICE PROCESS FOR BROADBAND FACILITY LOCATION 
              APPLICATIONS.

    (a) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) Broadband facility.--The term ``broadband facility'' 
        means any communications plant, equipment, supplies, cable, 
        wire, box, device, meter, tower, pole, duct, conduit, or other 
        facility related to the provision of advanced 
        telecommunications capability (as defined in section 706 of the 
        Telecommunications Act of 1996 (47 U.S.C. 1302)).
            (2) Covered land.--The term ``covered land'' means--
                    (A) public land administered by the Secretary of 
                the Interior; and
                    (B) National Forest System land administered by the 
                Secretary of Agriculture.
            (3) Department concerned.--The term ``Department 
        concerned'' means the Department of which the Secretary 
        concerned is the head.
            (4) Organizational unit.--The term ``organizational unit'' 
        means--
                    (A) within the Bureau of Land Management--
                            (i) a State office;
                            (ii) a district office; or
                            (iii) a field office; and
                    (B) within the Forest Service--
                            (i) a regional office;
                            (ii) the headquarters;
                            (iii) a management unit; or
                            (iv) a ranger district office.
            (5) Secretary concerned.--The term ``Secretary concerned'' 
        means--
                    (A) the Secretary of the Interior, with respect to 
                public land; and
                    (B) the Secretary of Agriculture, with respect to 
                National Forest System land.
    (b) Regulations.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment 
of this Act, the Secretary concerned shall issue regulations--
            (1) to streamline the process for considering applications 
        to locate or modify broadband facilities on covered land 
        administered by the Secretary concerned;
            (2) to ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that the 
        process is uniform and standardized across the organizational 
        units of the Department concerned; and
            (3) to require that the applications described in paragraph 
        (1) be considered and granted on a competitively and 
        technologically neutral, non-discriminatory basis.
    (c) Requirements.--The regulations issued under subsection (b) 
shall include--
            (1) procedures that require the tracking of applications 
        described in subsection (b)(1), including--
                    (A) identifying the number of applications--
                            (i) received;
                            (ii) approved; and
                            (iii) denied;
                    (B) in the case of an application that is denied, 
                describing the reasons for the denial; and
                    (C) describing the amount of time between the 
                receipt of an application and the issuance of a final 
                decision on an application;
            (2) minimum terms of not less than 5 years for leases with 
        respect to the location of broadband facilities on covered 
        land;
            (3) a policy under which an easement, license, or other 
        authorization to locate a broadband facility on covered land 
        renews automatically on expiration, unless the authorization is 
        revoked for good cause; and
            (4) fees for--
                    (A) submitting an application described in 
                subsection (b)(1), based on the cost to the Department 
                concerned of considering such an application; and
                    (B) granting an easement, license, or other 
                authorization to locate or modify a broadband facility 
                on covered land, based on the cost to the Department 
                concerned of any maintenance or other activities 
                required to be performed by the Department concerned as 
                a result of the location or modification of the 
                facility.
    (d) Additional Considerations.--In issuing regulations under 
subsection (b), the Secretary concerned shall consider--
            (1) how discrete reviews in considering an application 
        described in subsection (b)(1) can be conducted simultaneously, 
        rather than sequentially, by the organizational units of the 
        Department concerned that must approve the location or 
        modification; and
            (2) how to eliminate overlapping requirements among the 
        organizational units of the Department concerned with respect 
        to the location or modification of a broadband facility on 
        covered land administered by those organizational units.
    (e) Communication of Streamlined Process to Organizational Units.--
The Secretary concerned shall, with respect to the regulations issued 
under subsection (b)--
            (1) communicate the regulations to the organizational units 
        of the Department concerned; and
            (2) ensure that the organizational units of the Department 
        concerned follow the regulations.

SEC. 3. COMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES DEPLOYMENT ON FEDERAL PROPERTY.

    Section 6409(b) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act 
of 2012 (47 U.S.C. 1455(b)) is amended by adding at the end the 
following:
            ``(5) Timely consideration of applications.--
                    ``(A) In general.--Not later than 270 days after 
                the date on which an executive agency receives a duly 
                filed application for an easement or right-of-way under 
                this subsection, the executive agency shall--
                            ``(i) grant or deny, on behalf of the 
                        Federal Government, the application; and
                            ``(ii) notify the applicant of the grant or 
                        denial.
                    ``(B) Explanation of denial.--If an executive 
                agency denies an application under subparagraph (A), 
                the executive agency shall notify the applicant in 
                writing, including a clear statement of the reasons for 
                the denial.
                    ``(C) Deemed granted.--If an executive agency does 
                not grant or deny a duly filed application under 
                subparagraph (A) by the deadline set forth in that 
                subparagraph, the executive agency shall be deemed to 
                have granted the application.
                    ``(D) Applicability of environmental laws.--Nothing 
                in this paragraph shall be construed to relieve an 
                executive agency of the requirements of division A of 
                subtitle III of title 54, United States Code, or the 
                National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 
                4321 et seq.).
                    ``(E) Point of contact.--Upon receiving an 
                application under subparagraph (A), an executive agency 
                shall designate one or more appropriate individuals 
                within the executive agency to act as a point of 
                contact with the applicant.''.

SEC. 4. GAO REPORT.

    (a) Definition.--In this section, the term ``National Broadband 
Map'' means the map established by the National Telecommunications and 
Information Administration under section 6001(l) of the American 
Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (47 U.S.C. 1305(l)).
    (b) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to 
Congress a report evaluating--
            (1) how the Federal Communications Commission ensures that 
        the broadband data collected for the National Broadband Map is 
        accurate, complete, and reliable, including--
                    (A) the source of the data; and
                    (B) whether data may be available from alternative 
                commercial sources;
            (2) the extent to which Federal agencies or other entities 
        authorized to distribute Federal grants or loans for broadband 
        projects rely on data from the National Broadband Map to--
                    (A) award grants or loans for broadband projects; 
                or
                    (B) determine whether Federal Government funds will 
                be used to deploy broadband in areas already served by 
                private broadband providers;
            (3) the actions the Federal Communications Commission has 
        taken or plans to take to address the limitations, if any, in 
        using data from the National Broadband Map for policy or 
        funding decisions;
            (4) the extent to which interested parties have challenged 
        the accuracy of information on the National Broadband Map, 
        including how the challenges were resolved; and
            (5) whether the Federal Communications Commission should 
        collect data for the National Broadband Map from additional or 
        alternative commercial sources.
                                 <all>

Share This