Text: H.R.6819 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (05/12/2020)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 6819 Introduced in House (IH)]

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116th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 6819

   To fund grants for the immediate deployment of temporary wireless 
 broadband service on Tribal lands and Hawaiian Home Lands, to provide 
 emergency special temporary authority to use electromagnetic spectrum 
  for the provision of wireless broadband service on Tribal lands and 
              Hawaiian Home Lands, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              May 12, 2020

  Ms. Haaland (for herself, Mr. Cole, Ms. McCollum, Mr. Gallego, Mr. 
Kilmer, Ms. Kendra S. Horn of Oklahoma, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Case, Mr. Ted 
Lieu of California, Mr. Huffman, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Mr. Blumenauer, Ms. 
    Jayapal, Ms. DelBene, Mr. Soto, and Ms. Gabbard) introduced the 
   following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and 
                                Commerce

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
   To fund grants for the immediate deployment of temporary wireless 
 broadband service on Tribal lands and Hawaiian Home Lands, to provide 
 emergency special temporary authority to use electromagnetic spectrum 
  for the provision of wireless broadband service on Tribal lands and 
              Hawaiian Home Lands, 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 ``COVID-19 Designation of Immediate 
Special Authority of Spectrum for Tribes' Emergency Response in Indian 
Country Act'' or the ``COVID-19 DISASTER in Indian Country Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) The immediate grant of emergency special temporary 
        authority of available spectrum that will efficiently support 
        temporary wireless broadband networks and allow Indian Tribes 
        to provide Tribal members with wireless broadband service over 
        Tribal lands or Hawaiian Home Lands during the COVID-19 crisis 
        due to the increased demand for telecommunications and 
        disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Indian 
        Country is essential.
            (2) Reservations are the most digitally disconnected areas 
        in the United States that lack basic access to broadband and 
        wireless services at rates comparable to, and in some cases 
        lower than, third-world countries.
            (3) In 2018, the Government Accountability Office and the 
        Federal Communications Commission reported that only 65 percent 
        of American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) living on Tribal 
        lands had access to fixed broadband services, and only 68 
        percent of AI/AN households on rural Tribal lands had telephone 
        services. This is a stark comparison to only 8 percent of the 
        national average that lacks access to fixed broadband services.
            (4) Indian Tribes have previously encountered substantial 
        barriers to accessing broadband and other communications 
        services on Tribal lands to deploy telecommunication services 
        for the safety and well-being of Tribal members and to decrease 
        the alarming rates of unnecessary loss of lives that AI/ANs 
        disproportionately experience, especially through the lack of 
        access to health care services and emergency resources, as 
        demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to 
        disproportionately impact Indian Country.
            (5) Indian Tribes' lack of access to broadband services on 
        Tribal lands and Hawaiian Home Lands during the COVID-19 
        pandemic further highlights the digital divide in Indian 
        Country.
            (6) The Government Accountability Office found that health 
        information technology systems at the Indian Health Service 
        rank as the Federal Government's third-highest need for agency 
        system modernization, since 50 percent of Indian Health Service 
        facilities depend on outdated circuit connections based on one 
        or two TI circuit lines (3 Mbps), creating slower response 
        times than any other health facility system in the United 
        States.
            (7) A 2018 Tribal health reform comment filed with the 
        Federal Communications Commission has further stated that 
        approximately 1.5 million people living on Tribal lands lack 
        access to broadband and, of the 75 percent of rural Indian 
        Health Service facilities, many still lack reliable broadband 
        networks for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) to 
        access telehealth or clinical health care services, which is a 
        critical need in the most geographically isolated areas of the 
        country with some of the highest poverty rates, and lack of 
        access to reliable transportation.
            (8) The Bureau of Indian Education has stated that recent 
        estimates from 142 out of 174 schools have indicated that 
        approximately 15 to 95 percent of students do not have access 
        to internet services at home depending on Bureau school 
        location and limitations on data caps during the COVID-19 
        crisis.

SEC. 3. DEPLOYMENT OF WIRELESS BROADBAND SERVICE ON TRIBAL LANDS AND 
              HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS.

    (a) Funding of Grants for Immediate Deployment of Wireless 
Broadband Service on Tribal Lands and Hawaiian Home Lands.--In addition 
to any other amounts made available, out of any money in the Treasury 
of the United States not otherwise appropriated, there are 
appropriated--
            (1) $297,500,000 for grants under the community facilities 
        grant program under section 306(a)(19) of the Consolidated Farm 
        and Rural Development Act to Indian Tribes, qualifying Tribal 
        entities, and the Director of the Department of Hawaiian Home 
        Lands, for the immediate deployment of wireless broadband 
        service on Tribal lands and Hawaiian Home Lands, respectively, 
        through the use of emergency special temporary authority 
        granted under subsection (b) of this section, including 
        backhaul costs, repairs to damaged infrastructure, the cost of 
        the repairs to which would be less expensive than the cost of 
        new infrastructure and would support the emergency special 
        temporary use, and the Federal share applicable to grants from 
        such amount shall be 100 percent, which amount shall remain 
        available for one year from the enactment of this Act; and
            (2) $3,000,000 for grants under the community facilities 
        technical assistance and training grant program under section 
        306(a)(26) of such Act, without regard to sections 
        306(a)(26)(B) and 306(a)(26)(C) of such Act, to assist Indian 
        Tribes, qualifying Tribal entities, and the Director of the 
        Department of Hawaiian Home Lands in preparing applications for 
        the grants referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection, 
        which amount shall remain available for one year from the 
        enactment of this Act. Grants referred to under paragraph (2) 
        shall be available to Indian Tribes, qualifying Tribal entities 
        and shall also be available to inter-Tribal government 
        organizations, universities, and colleges with Tribal serving 
        institutions for the purposes stated herein.
    (b) Emergency Special Temporary Authority To Use Available and 
Efficient Spectrum on Tribal Lands and Hawaiian Home Lands.--
            (1) Grant of authority.--Not later than 10 days after 
        receiving a request from an Indian Tribe, a qualifying Tribal 
        entity, or the Director of the Department of Hawaiian Home 
        Lands for emergency special temporary authority to use 
        electromagnetic spectrum described in paragraph (3) for the 
        provision of wireless broadband service over the Tribal lands 
        over which the Indian Tribe or qualifying Tribal entity has 
        jurisdiction or (in the case of a request from the Director of 
        the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands) over the Hawaiian Home 
        Lands, allowing unlicensed radio transmitters to operate for 
        such provision on such spectrum at locations on such Tribal 
        lands or Hawaiian Home Lands where such spectrum is not being 
        used, the Commission shall grant such request on a secondary 
        non-interference basis.
            (2) Duration.--A grant of emergency special temporary 
        authority under paragraph (1) shall be for a period of 
        operation to begin not later than 6 months after the date of 
        the enactment of this Act and to remain in operation for not 
        longer than 6 months, absent extensions granted by the 
        Commission pursuant to the procedures of the Commission 
        relating to special temporary authority.
            (3) Electromagnetic spectrum described.--The 
        electromagnetic spectrum described in this paragraph for 
        utilization on the temporary basis is any portion of the 
        electromagnetic spectrum--
                    (A) that is--
                            (i) between the frequencies of 2496 
                        megahertz and 2690 megahertz, inclusive;
                            (ii) in the white spaces of the television 
                        broadcast spectrum between the frequencies of 
                        470 megahertz and 790 megahertz, inclusive, 
                        excluding those frequencies utilized for other 
                        purposes under subpart H of part 15 of title 
                        47, Code of Federal Regulations;
                            (iii) between the frequencies of 5925 
                        megahertz and 7125 megahertz, inclusive; or
                            (iv) between frequencies of 3550 megahertz 
                        and 3700 megahertz, inclusive; and
                    (B) with respect to the Tribal lands or Hawaiian 
                Home Lands over which authority to use such spectrum is 
                requested under paragraph (1), is not assigned to any 
                licensee.
    (c) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the Federal 
        Communications Commission.
            (2) Hawaiian home lands.--The term ``Hawaiian Home Lands'' 
        means lands held in trust for Native Hawaiians by Hawaii 
        pursuant to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920.
            (3) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian Tribe'' means the 
        governing body of any individually identified and federally 
        recognized Indian or Alaska Native Tribe, band, nation, pueblo, 
        village, community, affiliated tribal group, or component 
        reservation in the list published pursuant to section 104(a) of 
        the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994 (25 
        U.S.C. 5131(a)).
            (4) Qualifying tribal entity.--The term ``qualifying Tribal 
        entity'' means an entity designated by the Indian Tribe with 
        jurisdiction over particular Tribal lands for which the 
        spectrum access is sought. The following may be designated as a 
        qualifying Tribal entity:
                    (A) Indian Tribes.
                    (B) Tribal consortia which consists of two or more 
                Indian Tribes, or an Indian Tribe and an entity that is 
                more than 50 percent owned and controlled by one or 
                more Indian Tribes.
                    (C) Federally chartered Tribal corporations created 
                under section 17 of the Indian Reorganization Act (25 
                U.S.C. 5124), and created under section 4 of the 
                Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. 5204).
                    (D) Entities that are more than 50 percent owned 
                and controlled by an Indian Tribe or Indian Tribes.
            (5) Entity that is more than 50 percent owned and 
        controlled by one or more indian tribes.--The term ``entity 
        that is more than 50 percent owned and controlled by one or 
        more Indian Tribes'' means an entity over which one or more 
        Indian Tribes have both de facto and de jure control of the 
        entity. De jure control of the entity is evidenced by ownership 
        of greater than 50 percent of the voting stock of a 
        corporation, or in the case of a partnership, general 
        partnership interests. De facto control of an entity is 
        determined on a case-by-case basis. An Indian Tribe or Indian 
        Tribes must demonstrate indicia of control to establish that 
        such Indian Tribe or Indian Tribes retain de facto control of 
        the applicant seeking eligibility as a ``qualifying Tribal 
        entity'', including the following:
                    (A) The Indian Tribe or Indian Tribes constitute or 
                appoint more than 50 percent of the board of directors 
                or management committee of the entity.
                    (B) The Indian Tribe or Indian Tribes have 
                authority to appoint, promote, demote, and fire senior 
                executives who control the day-to-day activities of the 
                entity.
                    (C) The Indian Tribe or Indian Tribes play an 
                integral role in the management decisions of the 
                entity.
                    (D) The Indian Tribe or Indian Tribes have the 
                authority to make decisions or otherwise engage in 
                practices or activities that determine or significantly 
                influence--
                            (i) the nature or types of services offered 
                        by such an entity;
                            (ii) the terms upon which such services are 
                        offered; or
                            (iii) the prices charged for such services.
            (6) Tribal lands.--The term ``Tribal lands'' has the 
        meaning given that term in section 73.7000 of title 47, Code of 
        Federal Regulations, as of April 16, 2020, and includes the 
        definition ``Indian Country'' as defined in section 1151 of 
        title 18, United States Code, and includes fee simple and 
        restricted fee land held by an Indian Tribe.
            (7) Wireless broadband service.--The term ``wireless 
        broadband service'' means wireless broadband internet access 
        service that is delivered--
                    (A) with a download speed of not less than 25 
                megabits per second and an upload speed of not less 
                than 3 megabits per second; and
                    (B) through--
                            (i) mobile service;
                            (ii) fixed point-to-point multipoint 
                        service;
                            (iii) fixed point-to-point service; or
                            (iv) broadcast service.
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