No actions available.

Full Text of this Amendment

SA 3737. Mr. INOUYE submitted an amendment intended to be proposed to amendment SA 3500 proposed by Mr. HARKIN (for himself, Mr. CHAMBLISS, Mr. BAUCUS, and Mr. GRASSLEY) to the bill H.R. 2419, to provide for the continuation of agricultural programs through fiscal year 2012, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

Beginning with line 1 on page 872, strike through line 3 on page 879 and insert the following:

This subtitle may be cited as the ``Broadband Data Improvement Act''.
The Congress finds the following:
(1) The deployment and adoption of broadband technology has resulted in enhanced economic development and public safety for communities across the Nation, improved health care and educational opportunities, and a better quality of life for all Americans.
(2) Continued progress in the deployment and adoption of broadband technology is vital to ensuring that our Nation remains competitive and continues to create business and job growth.
(3) Improving Federal data on the deployment and adoption of broadband service will assist in the development of broadband technology across all regions of the Nation.
(4) The Federal Government should also recognize and encourage complementary state efforts to improve the quality and usefulness of broadband data and should encourage and support the partnership of the public and private sectors in the continued growth of broadband services and information technology for the residents and businesses of the Nation.
(a) IMPROVING FCC BROADBAND DATA.--Within 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Federal Communications Commission shall issue an order in WC docket No. 07-38 which shall, at a minimum--
(1) identify tiers of broadband service, among those used by the Commission in collecting Form 477 data, in which a substantial majority of the connections in such tier provide consumers with an information transfer rate capable of reliably transmitting full-motion, high definition video; and
(2) revise its Form 477 reporting requirements as necessary to enable the Commission to identify actual numbers of broadband connections subscribed to by residential and business customers, separately, either within a relevant census tract from the most recent decennial census, a 9-digit postal zip code, or a 5-digit postal zip code, as the Commission deems appropriate.
(b) EXCEPTION.--The Commission shall exempt an entity from the reporting requirements of subsection (a)(3) if the Commission determines that a compliance by that entity with the requirements is cost prohibitive, as defined by the Commission.
(c) PROPRIETARY INFORMATION.--Nothing in this section shall reduce or remove any obligation the Commission has to protect proprietary information, nor shall this section be construed to compel the Commission to make publically available any proprietary information. Any information collected by the Commission pursuant to this section that reveals any competitively sensitive information of an individual provider of broadband service capability shall not be disclosed by the Commission.
(d) Improving Section 706 Inquiry.--Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (47 U.S.C. 157 nt) is amended--
(1) by striking ``regularly'' in subsection (b) and inserting ``annually'';
(2) by redesignating subsection (c) as subsection (e); and
(3) by inserting after subsection (b) the following:
``(c) MEASUREMENT OF EXTENT OF DEPLOYMENT.--In determining under subsection (b) whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion, the Commission shall consider data collected through Form 477 reporting requirements.
``(d) DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION FOR UNSERVED AREAS.--As part of the inquiry required by subsection (b), the Commission shall compile a list of geographical areas that are not served by any provider of advanced telecommunications capability (as defined by section 706(c)(1) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (47 U.S.C. 157 nt)) and to the extent that data from the Census Bureau is available, determine, for each such unserved area--
``(1) the population;
``(2) the population density; and
``(3) the average per capita income.''.
(e) IMPROVING CENSUS DATA ON BROADBAND.--The Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Federal Communications Commission, shall expand the American Community Survey conducted by the Bureau of the Census to elicit information for residential households, including those located on native lands, to determine whether persons at such households own or use a computer at that address, whether persons at that address subscribe to Internet service and, if so, whether such persons subscribe
to dial-up or broadband Internet service at that address.
(a) IN GENERAL.--The Comptroller General shall conduct a study to consider and evaluate additional broadband metrics or standards that may be used by industry and the Federal Government to provide users with more accurate information about the cost and capability of their broadband connection, and to better compare the deployment and penetration of broadband in the United States with other countries. At a minimum, such study shall consider potential standards or metrics that may be used--
(1) to calculate the average price per megabit per second of broadband offerings;
(2) to reflect the average actual speed of broadband offerings compared to advertised potential speeds and to consider factors affecting speed that may be outside the control of a broadband provider;
(3) to compare, using comparable metrics and standards, the availability and quality of broadband offerings in the United States with the availability and quality of broadband offerings in other industrialized nations, including countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; and
(4) to distinguish between complementary and substitutable broadband offerings in evaluating deployment and penetration.
(b) REPORT.--Not later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit a report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce on the results of the study, with recommendations for how industry and the Federal Communications Commission can use such metrics and comparisons to improve the quality of broadband data and to better evaluate the deployment and penetration
of comparable broadband service at comparable rates across all regions of the Nation.
(a) IN GENERAL.--The Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy shall conduct a study evaluating the impact of broadband speed and price on small businesses.
(b) REPORT.--Not later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Office shall submit a report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, and the House of Representatives Committee on Small Business on the results of the study, including--
(1) a survey of broadband speeds available to small businesses;
(2) a survey of the cost of broadband speeds available to small businesses;
(3) a survey of the type of broadband technology used by small businesses; and
(4) any policy recommendations that may improve small businesses access to comparable broadband services at comparable rates in all regions of the Nation.
(a) Purposes.--The purposes of any grant under subsection (b) are--
(1) to ensure that all citizens and businesses in a State have access to affordable and reliable broadband service;
(2) to achieve improved technology literacy, increased computer ownership, and home broadband use among such citizens and businesses;
(3) to establish and empower local grassroots technology teams in each State to plan for improved technology use across multiple community sectors; and
(4) to establish and sustain an environment ripe for broadband services and information technology investment.
(b) Establishment of State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program.--
(1) IN GENERAL.--The Secretary of Commerce shall award grants, taking into account the results of the peer review process under subsection (d), to eligible entities for the development and implementation of statewide initiatives to identify and track the availability and adoption of broadband services within each State.
(2) COMPETITIVE BASIS.--Any grant under subsection (b) shall be awarded on a competitive basis.
(c) Eligibility.--To be eligible to receive a grant under subsection (b), an eligible entity shall--
(1) submit an application to the Secretary of Commerce, at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require;
(2) contribute matching non-Federal funds in an amount equal to not less than 20 percent of the total amount of the grant; and
(3) agree to comply with confidentiality requirements in subsection (h)(2) of this section.
(d) Peer Review; Nondisclosure.--
(1) IN GENERAL.--The Secretary shall by regulation require appropriate technical and scientific peer review of applications made for grants under this section.
(2) REVIEW PROCEDURES.--The regulations required under paragraph (1) shall require that any technical and scientific peer review group--
(A) be provided a written description of the grant to be reviewed; and
(B) provide the results of any review by such group to the Secretary of Commerce; and
(C) certify that such group will enter into voluntary nondisclosure agreements as necessary to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of confidential and proprietary information provided by broadband service providers in connection with projects funded by any such grant.
(e) Use of Funds.--A grant awarded to an eligible entity under subsection (b) shall be used--
(1) to provide a baseline assessment of broadband service deployment in each State;
(2) to identify and track--
(A) areas in each State that have low levels of broadband service deployment;
(B) the rate at which residential and business users adopt broadband service and other related information technology services; and
(C) possible suppliers of such services;
(3) to identify barriers to the adoption by individuals and businesses of broadband service and related information technology services, including whether or not--
(A) the demand for such services is absent; and
(B) the supply for such services is capable of meeting the demand for such services;
(4) to identify the speeds of broadband connections made available to individuals and businesses within the State, and, at a minimum, to rely on the data rate benchmarks for broadband service utilized by the Commission to reflect different speed tiers, including information transfer rates identified under section 6203(a)(2) of this subtitle, to promote greater consistency of data among the States;
(5) to create and facilitate in each county or designated region in a State a local technology planning team--
(A) with members representing a cross section of the community, including representatives of business, telecommunications labor organizations, K-12 education, health care, libraries, higher education, community-based organizations, local government, tourism, parks and recreation, and agriculture; and
(B) which shall--
(i) benchmark technology use across relevant community sectors;
(ii) set goals for improved technology use within each sector; and
(iii) develop a tactical business plan for achieving its goals, with specific recommendations for online application development and demand creation;
(6) to work collaboratively with broadband service providers and information technology companies to encourage deployment and use, especially in unserved areas and areas in which broadband penetration is significantly below the national average, through the use of local demand aggregation, mapping analysis, and the creation of market intelligence to improve the business case for providers to deploy;
(7) to establish programs to improve computer ownership and Internet access for unserved areas and areas in which broadband penetration is significantly below the national average;
(8) to collect and analyze detailed market data concerning the use and demand for broadband service and related information technology services;
(9) to facilitate information exchange regarding the use and demand for broadband services between public and private sectors; and
(10) to create within each State a geographic inventory map of broadband service, including the availability of broadband service connections meeting information transfer rates identified by the Commission under section 6203(a)(2) of this subtitle, which shall--
(A) identify gaps in such service through a method of geographic information system mapping of service availability at the census block level among residential or business customers; and
(B) provide a baseline assessment of statewide broadband deployment in terms of households with high-speed availability.
(f) Participation Limit.--For each State, an eligible entity may not receive a new grant under this section to fund the activities described in subsection (d) within such State if such organization obtained prior grant awards under this section to fund the same activities in that State in each of the previous 4 consecutive years.
(g) Reporting.--The Secretary of Commerce shall--
(1) require each recipient of a grant under subsection (b) to submit a report on the use of the funds provided by the grant; and
(2) create a web page on the Department of Commerce web site that aggregates relevant information made available to the public by grant recipients, including, where appropriate, hypertext links to any geographic inventory maps created by grant recipients under subsection (e)(10).
(1) IN GENERAL.--Subject to paragraph (2), the Commission shall provide eligible entities access, in electronic form, to aggregate data collected by the Commission based on the Form 477 submissions of broadband service providers.
(2) LIMITATION.--Notwithstanding any provision of Federal or State law to the contrary, an eligible entity shall treat any matter that is a trade secret, commercial or financial information, or privileged or confidential, as a record not subject to public disclosure except as otherwise mutually agreed to by the broadband service provider and the eligible entity. This paragraph applies only to information submitted by the Commission or a broadband provider to carry out the provisions of
this subtitle and shall not otherwise limit or affect the rules governing public disclosure of information collected by any Federal or State entity under any other Federal or State law or regulation.
(i) Definitions.--In this section:
(1) COMMISSION.--The term ``Commission'' means the Federal Communications Commission.
(2) ELIGIBLE ENTITY.--The term ``eligible entity'' means a non-profit organization that is selected by a State to work in partnership with State agencies and private sector partners in identifying and tracking the availability and adoption of broadband services within each State.
(3) NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION.--The term ``nonprofit organization'' means an organization--
(A) described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from tax under section 501(a) of such Code;
(B) no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any member, founder, contributor, or individual;
(C) that has an established competency and proven record of working with public and private sectors to accomplish widescale deployment and adoption of broadband services and information technology;
(D) that has a board of directors a majority of which is not composed of individuals who are also employed by, or otherwise associated with, any Federal, State, or local government or any Federal, State, or local agency; and
(E) that has a board of directors which does not include any member that is employed either by a broadband service provider or by any other company in which a broadband service provider owns a controlling or attributable interest.
(j) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $40,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012.
(k) No Regulatory Authority.--Nothing in this section shall be construed as giving any public or private entity established or affected by this subtitle any regulatory jurisdiction or oversight authority over providers of broadband services or information technology.

(As printed in the Congressional Record for the Senate on Nov 15, 2007.)