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114th Congress  }                                        {  Rept. 114-583
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session     }                                         {      Part 1

======================================================================



 
              SECURING ACCESS TO NETWORKS IN DISASTERS ACT

                                _______
                                

  May 23, 2016.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Upton, from the Committee on Energy and Commerce, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3998]

    The Committee on Energy and Commerce, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 3998) to direct the Federal Communications 
Commission to commence proceedings related to the resiliency of 
critical telecommunications networks during times of emergency, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon with amendments and recommend that the bill 
as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     4
Committee Consideration..........................................     4
Committee Votes..................................................     4
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     4
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     4
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     4
Earmark, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff Benefits.......     4
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     4
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     5
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     5
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     5
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     5
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     5
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     6
Exchange of Letters with Additional Committees of Referral.......     8

    The amendments are as follows
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Securing Access to Networks in 
Disasters Act''.

SEC. 2. STUDY ON NETWORK RESILIENCY.

  Not later than 36 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the 
Commission shall submit to Congress, and make publically available on 
the Commission's website, a study on--
          (1) making telecommunications service provider-owned WiFi 
        access points, and other communications technologies operating 
        on unlicensed spectrum, available to the general public for 
        access to 911 services, without requiring any login 
        credentials, during times of emergency when mobile service is 
        unavailable; and
          (2) whether non-telecommunications service provider-owned 
        WiFi access points can provide public access to 911 services 
        during times of emergency.

SEC. 3. ACCESS TO ESSENTIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS DURING FEDERALLY DECLARED 
                    EMERGENCIES.

  Section 427(a)(1)(A) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and 
Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5189e(a)(1)(A)) is amended by 
striking ``telecommunications service'' and inserting ``wireline or 
mobile telephone service, Internet access service, radio or television 
broadcasting, cable service, or direct broadcast satellite service''.

SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

  As used in this Act and for purposes of the rules required by this 
Act--
          (1) the term ``Commission'' means the Federal Communications 
        Commission;
          (2) the term ``mobile service'' means commercial mobile 
        service (as defined in section 332 of the Communications Act of 
        1934 (47 U.S.C. 332)) or commercial mobile data service (as 
        defined in section 6001 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job 
        Creation Act of 2012 (47 U.S.C. 1401));
          (3) the term ``WiFi access point'' means wireless Internet 
        access using the standard designated as 802.11 or any variant 
        thereof; and
          (4) the term ``times of emergency'' means either an emergency 
        as defined in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster 
        Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122), or an 
        emergency as declared by the governor of a State or territory 
        of the United States.

    Amend the title so as to read:
    A bill to direct the Federal Communications Commission to 
conduct a study on network resiliency during times of 
emergency, and for other purposes.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 3998, Securing Access to Networks in Disasters (SANDy) 
Act, introduced by Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), 
seeks to ensure that Americans have better access to 
communications networks during emergencies. The SANDy Act would 
give all communications providers--radio, TV, telephone, and 
Internet--better access to disaster areas and to the resources 
they need to restore service. The bill would also require the 
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to study the potential 
use of WiFi communications during emergencies.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    When Super Storm Sandy struck in October 2012, it wreaked 
havoc across the Northeast. People who lived in these areas 
turned to communications networks--telecommunications, 
broadcast, and cable--for critical information and to call for 
help. Unfortunately, many of these systems were not available 
when people needed them most. For instance, the storm knocked 
off-line nearly 25 percent of the cell sites in its path, with 
more than 50 percent off-line in the hardest-hit counties.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Improving the Resiliency of Mobile Wireless Communications 
Networks, PS Docket No. 13-239, para.3, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 
(Rel. September 27, 2013 (online at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/
view?id=6017468877).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The public's ability to communicate often hinges on the 
viability of commercial networks. To keep potentially 
lifesaving information flowing, the personnel who maintain 
communications networks need access protected areas and 
resources. For instance, when the power goes out, 
communications equipment must rely on backup generators that 
require fuel. During emergencies, however, broadcasters, cable 
operators, and telecommunications providers have struggled to 
obtain fuel. According to reports, even when network operators 
obtain the resources they need, they can be confiscated to 
restore other services that are considered ``essential'' under 
the law.
    Moreover, in the chaos that follows a major disaster, 
merely getting access to the disaster area can be challenging. 
During Sandy, communications providers were turned away at 
because they were not considered essential to the recovery 
effort. As a result, communications networks remained down 
hours or even days longer than necessary leaving those in the 
disaster area stranded without critical information or ways to 
call for help.
    The SANDy Act would recognize the critical role wireline 
and mobile telephone, Internet, radio and television 
broadcasting, and cable and satellite services play by adding 
them to the list of essential service providers. Having these 
networks operational not only speed recovery efforts, they can 
mean the difference between life and death during an event like 
Super Storm Sandy. The bill further requires the FCC to study 
how WiFi could be used to help facilitate emergency 
communications during disasters, as some telecommunications 
providers have done during emergencies.
    When the SANDy Act was first introduced, it contained 
additional provisions, primarily addressing customer access to 
wireless networks during an emergency. Specifically, the Act as 
introduced would have required that during emergencies, 
consumers' cell phones could work on another carriers' networks 
if a consumer's own network goes down.
    Just before the bill was considered at full Committee 
markup, the five largest U.S. wireless carriers announced that 
they would voluntarily act on a number of the wireless 
provisions in the bill. Under the new ``Wireless Network 
Resiliency Cooperative Framework,'' the wireless providers 
voluntarily agreed to:
          (1) Provide for reasonable arrangements for roaming 
        during disasters when technically feasible,
          (2) Foster mutual aid during emergencies,
          (3) Enhance local governments' preparedness and 
        restoration,
          (4) Increase consumer readiness and preparation, and
          (5) Improve public awareness and stakeholder 
        communications on service and restoration status by 
        providing public information on actual outages for 
        given disasters or emergencies.
    In light of this agreement, Ranking Member Pallone offered 
an amendment during the full Committee markup of the SANDy Act 
to remove the wireless provisions. The Committee adopted this 
amendment, refocusing the SANDy Act on ensuring that 
communication networks operators can get access to the 
resources necessary to repair and maintain their networks 
during disasters.

                                Hearings

    On April 13, 2016, the Subcommittee on Communications and 
Technology held a hearing on H.R. 3998. The Subcommittee 
received testimony on the legislation from:
     Mr. Scott Bergmann, Vice President of Regulatory 
Affairs, CTIA--The Wireless Association.

                        Committee Consideration

    On April 18 and 19, 2016 the Subcommittee on Communications 
and Technology met in open markup session and forwarded H.R. 
3998 to the full Committee, without amendment, by a voice vote.
    On April 26, 27, and 28, 2016, the full Committee on Energy 
and Commerce met in open markup session and ordered H.R. 3998 
reported to the House, as amended, by a voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report legislation and amendments thereto. 
There were no record votes taken in connection with ordering 
H.R. 3998 reported.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee held a hearing and made 
findings that are reflected in this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    H.R. 3998, the Securing Access to Networks in Disasters 
(SANDy) Act, seeks to ensure that Americans have access to the 
nation's communications networks during emergencies.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that H.R. 
3998 would result in no new or increased budget authority, 
entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or revenues.

       Earmark, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff Benefits

    In compliance with clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI 
of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee 
finds that H.R. 3998 contains no earmarks, limited tax 
benefits, or limited tariff benefits.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate prepared 
by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. At the 
time this report was filed, the estimate was not available.

                  Congressional Budget Office Estimate

    At the time this report was filed, the cost estimate 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 
was not available.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of H.R. 3998 establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the Federal Government known to be duplicative of 
another Federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that enacting H.R. 3998 
specifically directs to be completed no rule makings within the 
meaning of 5 U.S.C. 551.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 provides that the Act may be cited as the 
``Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act.''

Section 2. Study on network resiliency

    Section 2 requires the FCC to submit a report to Congress 
within 36 months that studies making WiFi access points 
available to the public at no charge during times of emergency. 
The FCC's study should focus on access points owned by 
telecommunications service providers, but should also analyze 
whether such a requirement would be feasible for access points 
not owned or operated by telecommunications service providers.

Section 3. Access to essential service providers during federally 
        declared emergencies

    Section 3 would amend section 427 of the Robert T. Stafford 
Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act by adding wireline 
and mobile telephone service, Internet access service, radio 
and television broadcasting, cable service, and direct 
broadcast satellite service to the list of ``essential service 
providers'' under the Act.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

    ROBERT T. STAFFORD DISASTER RELIEF AND EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE ACT




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
TITLE IV--MAJOR DISASTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 427. ESSENTIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS.

  (a) Definition.--In this section, the term ``essential 
service provider'' means an entity that--
          (1) provides--
                  (A) [telecommunications service] wireline or 
                mobile telephone service, Internet access 
                service, radio or television broadcasting, 
                cable service, or direct broadcast satellite 
                service;
                  (B) electrical power;
                  (C) natural gas;
                  (D) water and sewer services; or
                  (E) any other essential service, as 
                determined by the President;
          (2) is--
                  (A) a municipal entity;
                  (B) a nonprofit entity; or
                  (C) a private, for profit entity; and
          (3) is contributing to efforts to respond to an 
        emergency or major disaster.
  (b) Authorization for Accessibility.--Unless exceptional 
circumstances apply, in an emergency or major disaster, the 
head of a Federal agency, to the greatest extent practicable, 
shall not--
          (1) deny or impede access to the disaster site to an 
        essential service provider whose access is necessary to 
        restore and repair an essential service; or
          (2) impede the restoration or repair of the services 
        described in subsection (a)(1).
  (c) Implementation.--In implementing this section, the head 
of a Federal agency shall follow all applicable Federal laws, 
regulations, and policies.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *