Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?

116th Congress }                                              { Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session   }                                              { 116-349

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



 
                 MAPPING ACCURACY PROMOTES SERVICES ACT

                                _______
                                

 December 16, 2019.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4227]

    The Committee on Energy and Commerce, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 4227) to prohibit the submission to the Federal 
Communications Commission of broadband internet access service 
coverage information or data for the purposes of compiling an 
inaccurate broadband coverage map, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that 
the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and Need for Legislation..............................2
III. Committee Hearings...............................................2
 IV. Committee Consideration..........................................3
  V. Committee Votes..................................................3
 VI. Oversight Findings...............................................3
VII. New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures3
VIII.Federal Mandates Statement.......................................3

 IX. Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............4
  X. Duplication of Federal Programs..................................4
 XI. Committee Cost Estimate..........................................4
XII. Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff Benefits......4
XIII.Advisory Committee Statement.....................................4

XIV. Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................4
 XV. Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................4
XVI. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............5

                         I. PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    H.R. 4227, the Mapping Accuracy Promotes Services Act'' or 
``MAPS Act'', was introduced on September 6, 2019, by Reps. 
McEachin (D-VA), Long (R-MO), Loebsack (D-IA), and Latta (R-
OH), and referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce. To 
ensure that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or 
Commission) and the public have access to accurate and granular 
information regarding the availability of broadband, the MAPS 
Act specifies that it is unlawful for a person to willfully, 
knowingly, or recklessly submit inaccurate information about 
the availability or quality of service of broadband.

                II. BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The FCC began collecting subscription and connection data 
for broadband and telephone service using Form 477 in 2000.\1\ 
Since then, these data have become the primary source for many 
FCC actions, including its publication of statutorily mandated 
reports to Congress regarding competition among certain service 
providers, and the availability of advanced communications 
capability.\2\ The FCC has also used these data to update its 
universal service policies, including by excluding certain 
areas from receiving support.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\See Federal Communications Commission, Establishing the Digital 
Opportunity Data Collection, Modernizing the FCC Form 477 Data Program, 
Report and Order and Second Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, WC Docket 
No. 19-195 and WC Docket No. 11-10, at para.5 (rel. Aug. 6, 2019) 
(hereinafter ``FCC Broadband Mapping Order'').
    \2\Id.
    \3\Id. at para.8.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In recent years, the FCC's efforts at mapping the 
availability of broadband internet access service have been 
widely criticized. A key part of the failures of the 
Commission's mapping process relates to inaccurately submitted 
data. In December of 2018, the FCC opened an investigation into 
whether one or more major carriers violated the Mobility Fund 
Phase II reverse auction's mapping rules by submitting 
inaccurate mapping data,\4\ and in May of 2019, one company 
erroneously claimed to be serving millions more people than it 
was in fact serving.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Federal Communications Commission, FCC Launches Investigation 
into Potential Violations of Mobility Fund Phase II Mapping Rules, 
Press Release (Dec. 7, 2018).
    \5\Federal Communications Commission, Inquiry Concerning Deployment 
of Advanced Telecommunications Capability to All Americans in a 
Reasonable and Timely Fashion, Statement of Commissioner Geoffrey 
Starks, GN Docket No. 18-238, at 327 (rel. May 29, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        III. COMMITTEE HEARINGS

    For the purposes of section 103(i) of H. Res. 6 of the 
116th Congress, the following hearing was used to develop or 
consider H.R. 4227:
    The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a 
legislative hearing on September 11, 2019, entitled 
``Legislating to Connect America: Improving the Nation's 
Broadband Maps.'' The Subcommittee received testimony from the 
following witnesses:
           James M. Assey, Executive Vice President, 
        NCTA--The Internet & Television Association;
           Shirley Bloomfield, Chief Executive Officer, 
        NTCA--The Rural Broadband Association;
           Dana J. Floberg, Policy Manager, Free Press 
        & Free Press Action;
           Jonathan Spalter, President and CEO, US 
        Telecom Association;
           Grant Spellmeyer, Vice President, Federal 
        Affairs & Public Policy, U.S. Cellular; and
           James W. Stegeman, President/CEO, CostQuest 
        Associates.

                      IV. COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    H.R. 4227, the ``Mapping Accuracy Promotes Services Act'' 
or ``MAPS Act'', was introduced on September 6, 2019, by Reps. 
McEachin (D-VA), Long (R-MO), Loebsack (D-IA), and Latta (R-
OH), and referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce. The 
bill was subsequently referred to the Subcommittee on 
Communications and Technology on September 7, 2019. Following a 
legislative hearing, on November 14, 2019, the Subcommittee met 
in open markup session, pursuant to notice, for consideration 
of H.R. 4227. No amendments were offered during Subcommittee 
consideration. Subsequently, the Subcommittee on Communications 
and Technology agreed to a motion by Mr. Doyle, Chairman of the 
subcommittee, to forward H.R. 4227 favorably to the full 
Committee, without amendment, by voice vote.
    On November 20, 2019, the full Committee on Energy and 
Commerce met in open markup session, pursuant to notice, to 
consider H.R. 4227. During consideration of the bill, no 
amendments were offered. Subsequently, the full Committee 
agreed to a motion by Mr. Pallone, Chairman of the committee, 
to order H.R. 4227 reported favorably to the House, without 
amendment, by a voice vote, a quorum being present.

                           V. COMMITTEE VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list each record vote 
on the motion to report legislation and amendments thereto. The 
Committee advises that there were no record votes taken on H.R. 
4227, including the motion on final passage by Mr. Pallone on 
the bill.

                         VI. OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 2(b)(1) 
of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
oversight findings and recommendations of the committee are 
reflected in the descriptive portion of the report.

 VII. NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY, ENTITLEMENT AUTHORITY, AND TAX EXPENDITURES

    Pursuant to 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, the Committee adopts as its own the 
estimate of new budget authority, entitlement authority, or tax 
expenditures or revenues contained in the cost estimate 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974.
    The Committee has requested but not received from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office a statement as to 
whether this bill contains any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.

                    VIII. 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.

       IX. 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 make it 
unlawful for any person to submit inaccurate broadband 
availability or quality of service data willfully, knowingly, 
or recklessly.

                   X. DUPLICATION OF FEDERAL PROGRAMS

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(5) of rule XIII, no provision of 
H.R. 4227 is known to be duplicative of another Federal 
program, including any program that was included in a report to 
Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 or the 
most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.

                      XI. COMMITTEE COST ESTIMATE

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII, 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.

    XII. EARMARKS, 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. 4227 contains no earmarks, limited 
tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits.

                   XIII. ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    The legislation does not create any new Federal advisory 
committee within the meaning of section 5(b) of the Federal 
Advisory Committee Act.

                XIV. 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.

           XV. SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF THE LEGISLATION

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 designates that the short title may be cited as 
the ``Mapping Accuracy Promotes Services Act'' or ``MAPS Act''.

Sec. 2. Definitions

    Section 2 provides definitions for the terms ``broadband 
internet access service'', ``Commission'', ``provider'', and 
``quality of service''.

Sec. 3. Enforcement

    Section 3 specifies that it is unlawful for a person to 
willfully, knowingly, or recklessly submit inaccurate 
information about the availability or quality of service of 
broadband. The Committee recognizes that information and data 
submitted by providers may contain minor mistakes. Therefore, 
the standard set forth in this provision, including the word 
``recklessly'', is not intended to apply to providers who 
submit information that contains unintentional errors, minor 
mistakes, small omissions, and small overstatements. Instead, 
the focus is on materially inaccurate information that will 
have a significant impact on the Commission's collection and 
use of the information and data under this Act.

       XVI. CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    There are no changes to existing law made by the bill H.R. 
4227.

                                  [all]