Text: H.R.7160 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/11/2020)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 7160 Introduced in House (IH)]

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116th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 7160

To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to promote broadband deployment 
       by increasing participation in broadband support programs.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             June 11, 2020

 Mr. Butterfield introduced the following bill; which was referred to 
                  the Committee on Energy and Commerce

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to promote broadband deployment 
       by increasing participation in broadband support programs.

    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 ``Expanding Opportunities for Broadband 
Deployment Act''.

SEC. 2. EXPAND PARTICIPATION IN BROADBAND SUPPORT PROGRAMS.

    (a) Special Services.--Section 254(c)(3) of the Communications Act 
of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 254(c)(3)) is amended to read as follows:
            ``(3) Special services.--In addition to the services 
        included in the definition of universal service under paragraph 
        (1), the Commission--
                    ``(A) shall designate broadband service (in this 
                subparagraph meaning evolving, high-speed, 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) as 
                supported by the Federal universal service support 
                mechanisms; and
                    ``(B) may designate additional services for such 
                support mechanisms for schools, libraries, and health 
                care providers for the purposes of subsection (h).''.
    (b) Federal Universal Service Support.--Section 254(e) of the 
Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 254(e)) is amended to read as 
follows:
    ``(e) Universal Service Support.--
            ``(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), after the date 
        on which Commission regulations implementing this section take 
        effect, only an eligible telecommunications carrier designated 
        under section 214(e) shall be eligible to receive specific 
        Federal universal service support.
            ``(2) A provider of broadband service, and any affiliate 
        thereof, that has not been designated as an eligible 
        telecommunications carrier under section 214(e) of this title 
        shall be eligible to receive specific Federal universal service 
        support for the provision of broadband service, if such 
        provider or affiliate meets the applicable Commission legal, 
        financial, and technical requirements for receiving such 
        support.
            ``(3) In assessing a broadband service provider's financial 
        qualifications under paragraph (2), the Commission shall allow 
        such provider to choose to demonstrate its financial viability 
        and security through either--
                    ``(A) a letter of credit issued by a bank 
                acceptable to the Commission;
                    ``(B) a performance bond;
                    ``(C) credit rating issued by national ratings 
                agencies;
                    ``(D) its Form 10-K most recently filed with the 
                U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, provided that 
                such Form 10-K shows the ability of a publicly traded 
                applicant to meet financial eligibility requirements, 
                such as by reference to an applicant's debt/EBITDA 
                ratio, cash flow, or other criteria; or
                    ``(E) financial records audited by an unaffiliated, 
                qualified firm covering the preceding two fiscal years 
                showing the ability to meet financial eligibility 
                requirements.
            ``(4) A recipient of support pursuant to paragraphs (1) and 
        (2) shall use that support only for the provision, maintenance, 
        and upgrading of facilities and services for which the support 
        is intended. Any such support should be explicit and sufficient 
        to achieve the purposes of this section.
            ``(5) A provider of broadband service, and any affiliate 
        thereof, that receives specific Federal universal service 
        support pursuant to this subsection shall be subject to any 
        deployment, public interest, or reporting requirement 
        established under part 54 of title 47, Code of Federal 
        Regulations, for eligible communications carriers that receive 
        such support.''.

SEC. 3. UNIVERSAL SERVICE OBLIGATIONS.

    Providers will comply with all applicable Commission requirements 
as set forth in part 54 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations.
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