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115th Congress    }                                 {         Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                 {         115-841

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

 
    ADVANCING CRITICAL CONNECTIVITY EXPANDS SERVICE, SMALL BUSINESS 
 RESOURCES, OPPORTUNITIES, ACCESS, AND DATA BASED ON ASSESSED NEED AND 
                               DEMAND ACT

                                _______
                                

 July 18, 2018.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3994]

    The Committee on Energy and Commerce, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 3994) to establish the Office of Internet 
Connectivity and Growth, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     3
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     3
Committee Action.................................................     4
Committee Votes..................................................     4
Oversight Findings and Recommendations...........................     4
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     4
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     5
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     5
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     5
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     5
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     5
Earmark, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff Benefits.......     5
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     5
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     5
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     6
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     7

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Advancing Critical Connectivity 
Expands Service, Small Business Resources, Opportunities, Access, and 
Data Based on Assessed Need and Demand Act'' or the ``ACCESS BROADBAND 
Act''.

SEC. 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE OFFICE OF INTERNET CONNECTIVITY AND 
                    GROWTH.

  Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
the Assistant Secretary shall establish the Office of Internet 
Connectivity and Growth within the National Telecommunications and 
Information Administration.

SEC. 3. DUTIES.

  (a) Outreach.--The Office shall--
          (1) connect with communities that need access to high-speed 
        internet and improved digital inclusion efforts through various 
        forms of outreach and communication techniques;
          (2) hold regional workshops across the country to share best 
        practices and effective strategies for promoting broadband 
        access and adoption;
          (3) develop targeted broadband training and presentations for 
        various demographic communities through various media; and
          (4) develop and distribute publications (including toolkits, 
        primers, manuals, and white papers) providing guidance, 
        strategies, and insights to communities as the communities 
        develop strategies to expand broadband access and adoption.
  (b) Tracking of Federal Dollars.--
          (1) Broadband infrastructure.--The Office shall track the 
        construction and use of and access to any broadband 
        infrastructure built using any Federal support in a central 
        database.
          (2) Accounting mechanism.--The Office shall develop a 
        streamlined accounting mechanism by which any agency offering a 
        Federal broadband support program and the Commission through 
        the Universal Service Fund shall provide the information 
        described in paragraph (1) in a standardized and efficient 
        fashion.
          (3) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of the 
        enactment of this Act, and every year thereafter, the Office 
        shall make public on the website of the Office and submit to 
        the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of 
        Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
        Transportation of the Senate a report on the following:
                  (A) A description of the work of the Office for the 
                previous year and the number of residents of the United 
                States that received broadband as result of Federal 
                broadband support programs and the Universal Service 
                Fund program.
                  (B) A description of how many residents of the United 
                States were provided broadband by which universal 
                service mechanism or which Federal broadband support 
                program.
                  (C) An estimate of the economic impact of such 
                broadband deployment efforts on the local economy, 
                including any effect on small businesses or jobs.

SEC. 4. STREAMLINED APPLICATIONS FOR SUPPORT.

  (a) Agency Consultation.--The Office shall consult with any agency 
offering a Federal broadband support program to streamline and 
standardize the applications process for financial assistance or grants 
for such program.
  (b) Agency Streamlining.--Any agency offering a Federal broadband 
support program shall amend their applications for broadband support, 
to the extent practicable and as necessary, to streamline and 
standardize applications for Federal broadband support programs across 
the Government.
  (c) Single Application.--To the greatest extent practicable, the 
Office shall seek to create one application that may be submitted to 
apply for all, or substantially all, Federal broadband support 
programs.
  (d) Website Required.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Office shall create a central website 
through which potential applicants can learn about and apply for 
support through any Federal broadband support program.

SEC. 5. COORDINATION OF SUPPORT.

  The Office, any agency that offers a Federal broadband support 
program, and the Commission through the Universal Service Fund shall 
coordinate with the Office to ensure that support is being distributed 
in an efficient, technology-neutral, and financially sustainable 
manner, with the goal of serving the largest number of persons in the 
United States while avoiding overbuilding and promoting the most job 
and economic growth for all residents of the United States.

SEC. 6. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) Agency.--The term ``agency'' has the meaning given that 
        term in section 551 of title 5, United States Code.
          (2) Assistant secretary.--The term ``Assistant Secretary'' 
        means the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications 
        and Information.
          (3) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the Federal 
        Communications Commission.
          (4) Federal broadband support program.--The term ``Federal 
        broadband support program'' does not include any Universal 
        Service Fund program and means any of the following programs 
        (or any other similar Federal program) to the extent the 
        program offers broadband internet service or programs for 
        promoting broadband access and adoption for various demographic 
        communities through various media for residential, commercial, 
        community providers, or academic establishments:
                  (A) The Telecommunications and Technology Program of 
                the Appalachian Regional Commission.
                  (B) The Telecommunications Infrastructure Loans and 
                Loan Guarantees, the Rural Broadband Access Loans and 
                Loan Guarantees, the Substantially Underserved Trust 
                Areas Provisions, the Community Connect Grant Program, 
                and the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant 
                Program of the Rural Utilities Service of the 
                Department of Agriculture.
                  (C) The Public Works and Economic Adjustment 
                Assistance Programs and the Planning and Local 
                Technical Assistance Programs of the Economic 
                Development Administration of the Department of 
                Commerce.
                  (D) The Community Development Block Grants and 
                Section 108 Loan Guarantees, the Funds for Public 
                Housing Authorities: Capital Fund and Operating Fund, 
                the Multifamily Housing, the Indian Community 
                Development Block Grant Program, the Indian Housing 
                Block Grant Program, the Title VI Loan Guarantee 
                Program, Choice Neighborhoods, the HOME Investment 
                Partnerships Program, the Housing Trust Fund, and the 
                Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS of the 
                Department of Housing and Urban Development.
                  (E) The American Job Centers of the Employment and 
                Training Administration of the Department of Labor.
                  (F) The Library Services and Technology Grant 
                Programs of the Institute of Museum and Library 
                Services.
          (5) Office.--The term ``Office'' means the Office of Internet 
        Connectivity and Growth established pursuant to section 2.
          (6) Universal service fund program.--The term ``Universal 
        Service Fund program'' means any program authorized under 
        section 254 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 254) 
        to help deploy broadband.
          (7) Universal service mechanism.--The term ``universal 
        service mechanism'' means any funding stream provided by a 
        Universal Service Fund program to support broadband access.

                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    H.R. 3994, the ``Advancing Critical Connectivity Expands 
Service, Small Business Resources, Opportunities, Access, and 
Data Based on Assessed Need and Demand Act'' was introduced on 
October 6, 2017, by Representative Paul Tonko (D-NY). H.R. 3994 
would establish an Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth 
at the National Telecommunications and Information 
Administration (NTIA). The Office of Internet Connectivity and 
Growth would coordinate and track Federal funding for broadband 
across all agencies. This office would streamline the process 
of applying for Federal funding for projects that expand 
broadband access.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    NTIA, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the 
executive branch agency principally responsible for advising 
the President on telecommunications and information policy 
issues. NTIA also plays an important role in expanding 
broadband Internet access and adoption in America, expanding 
the use of spectrum by all users, and ensuring that the 
Internet remains an engine for continued innovation and 
economic growth.
    In addition, the NTIA Administrator is currently a Co-Chair 
of the Broadband Interagency Working Group (BIWG), which works 
with other Federal agencies to improve coordination across 
programs, reduce regulatory barriers to broadband deployment, 
promote awareness of the importance of Federal support for 
broadband investment and digital inclusion programs, and 
collect and share information with communities about available 
Federal resources for broadband deployment and digital 
inclusion efforts.
    In an effort to ensure these Federal resources are not 
distributed in competition with one another, H.R. 3994 would 
authorize NTIA to track and coordinate broadband funding across 
the Federal government.

                             COMMITTEE ACTION

    On January 30, 2018, the Subcommittee on Communications and 
Technology held a hearing on H.R. 3994. The Subcommittee 
received testimony from:
           Jonathan Spalter, President and CEO, 
        USTelecom;
           Brad Gillen, Executive Vice President, CTIA;
           Matthew Polka, President and CEO, American 
        Cable Association;
           Shirley Bloomfield, CEO, NTCA--The Rural 
        Broadband Association;
           Scott Slesinger, Legislative Director, 
        National Resources Defense Council;
           Joanne S. Hovis, President, CTC Technology 
        and Energy; and
           Elin Swanson Katz, Consumer Counsel, 
        Connecticut Consumer Counsel.
    On June 13, 2018, the Subcommittee on Communications and 
Technology met in open markup session and forwarded H.R. 3994, 
as amended, to the full Committee by a voice vote. On July 12, 
2018, the full Committee on Energy and Commerce met in open 
markup session and ordered H.R. 3994, as amended, favorably 
reported to the House 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 recorded votes taken in connection with ordering 
H.R. 3994 reported.

                 OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    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.

   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. 
3994 would result in no new or increased budget authority, 
entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or revenues.

                  CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ESTIMATE

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, 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.

         STATEMENT OF GENERAL PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general 
performance goal or objective of this legislation is to 
establish the Office of Internet Growth and Connectivity at 
NTIA.

                    DUPLICATION OF FEDERAL PROGRAMS

    No provision of H.R. 3994 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.

                        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.

       EARMARK, LIMITED TAX BENEFITS, AND LIMITED TARIFF BENEFITS

    Pursuant to clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI, the 
Committee finds that H.R. 3994 contains no earmarks, limited 
tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits.

                  DISCLOSURE OF DIRECTED RULE MAKINGS

    Pursuant to section 3(i) of H. Res. 5, the Committee finds 
that H.R. 3994 contains no directed rule makings.

                      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 
``Advancing Critical Connectivity Expands Service, Small 
Business Resources, Opportunities, Access, and Data Based on 
Assessed Need and Demand Act'' or the ``ACCESS BROADBAND Act.''

Section 2. Establishment of the Office of Internet Connectivity and 
        Growth

    Section 2 requires the Assistant Secretary to establish the 
Office of Internet Growth and Connectivity within 180 days of 
enactment.

Section 3. Duties

    Section 3 establishes several duties of the Office, 
including: connecting communities that need access to broadband 
and improved digital inclusion efforts through various forms of 
outreach and communications techniques; holding regional 
workshops across the country to share best practices and 
effective strategies for promoting broadband access and 
adoption; developing targeted broadband training and 
presentations for various demographic communities through 
various media; and developing and distributing publications 
providing guidance, strategies, and insights to communities as 
communities develop strategies to expand broadband access and 
adoption.
    Section 3 further directs the Office to track and account 
for Federal dollars used to support broadband deployment, as 
well as report annually to Congress on the work of the Office, 
a description of how many residents were provided broadband by 
either the universal service mechanism or the Federal broadband 
support program, and an estimate of the economic impact of such 
broadband deployment efforts.

Section 4. Streamlined applications for support

    Section 4 requires the Office to consult any agency 
offering a Federal broadband support program to streamline and 
standardize the application process.
    Additionally, Section 4 requires any agency offering a 
Federal broadband support program to amend their applications 
to streamline and standardize it. Section 4 further requires 
the Office to seek to create one application that may be 
submitted to apply for all, or substantially all, Federal 
broadband support programs.
    Finally, Section 4 requires the Office to create a central 
website through which potential applicants can learn about and 
apply for support through any Federal broadband support program 
within 180 days of enactment.

Section 5. Coordination of support

    Section 5 requires any agency that offers a Federal 
broadband support program and the Commission, through the 
Universal Service Fund, to coordinate with the Office to ensure 
that support is being distributed in an efficient, technology-
neutral, and financially sustainable manner with the goal of 
serving the largest number of persons in the United States 
while avoiding overbuilding and promoting the most job and 
economic growth for all residents of the United States.

Section 6. Definitions

    Section 6 defines several terms in the Act, including 
``Agency,'' ``Assistant Secretary,'' ``Commission,'' ``Federal 
Broadband Support Program,'' ``Universal Service Fund 
Program,'' and ``Universal Service Mechanism.''

         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    This legislation does not amend any existing Federal 
statute.

                                  [all]