Text: S.454 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (02/12/2019)

1st Session
S. 454

To direct the Federal Communications Commission to establish the Office of Rural Broadband, and for other purposes.


February 12, 2019

Mr. Cramer (for himself, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Hoeven, and Mr. Wyden) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation


To direct the Federal Communications Commission to establish the Office of Rural Broadband, 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 “Office of Rural Broadband Act”.

SEC. 2. Office of Rural Broadband.

(a) Definitions.—In this section:

(1) AGENCY.—The term “agency” has the meaning given the term in section 551 of title 5, United States Code.

(2) BROADBAND.—The term “broadband” has the meaning given the term “advanced telecommunications capability” in section 706 of the Te­le­com­mu­ni­ca­tions Act of 1996 (47 U.S.C. 1302).

(3) COMMISSION.—The term “Commission” means the Federal Communications Commission.

(4) OFFICE.—The term “Office” means the Office of Rural Broadband established under subsection (b).

(5) RURAL.—The term “rural” has the meaning given the term in section 54.505(b)(3) of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor regulation.

(b) Establishment.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall establish an Office of Rural Broadband.

(c) Duties.—The Office shall have the following duties:

(1) Coordinate efforts with the Rural Utilities Service of the Department of Agriculture and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to ensure the mutual and complementary success of—

(A) the initiatives of the Commission; and

(B) the programs overseen by the other agencies described in this paragraph.

(2) Coordinate with the Universal Service Administrative Company to maintain updated information regarding programs that deploy rural broad­band.

(3) Coordinate with other agencies to remove barriers to broadband deployment.

(4) Assess, and publish the assessment of, the impact of proposed actions of the Commission on rural consumers before the actions are voted upon or taken.

(5) Track broadband subscription rates in rural areas, using data collected by the Bureau of the Census under section 103(d) of the Broadband Data Improvement Act (47 U.S.C. 1303(d)).

(6) Coordinate with other bureaus and offices of the Commission and other agencies to ensure consistency and updating of broadband mapping in rural areas.

(7) Include in the Communications Marketplace Report required under section 13 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 163) a report on the efforts of the Office to promote and sustain quality and affordable rural communications services, including voice service and broadband.

(8) Dedicate a representative to address stakeholder questions and concerns.

(d) No additional reporting requirements.—Nothing in this section shall create any additional reporting requirement for a broadband provider.