WASHINGTON, June 5, 2013 – On Tuesday evening, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, kicked off the new debate on the Senate’s consideration of the farm bill when the chamber returns to session on Thursday morning. A number of amendments proposed to the measure impact broadband in rural areas..
An amendment by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., would clarify a provision of existing law dealing with access to broadband services on tribal trust land, trust allotted land, and non-Indian fee land within reservation boundaries.
One amendment that would establish a pilot program for creating gigabit-speed internet projects in rural regions was proposed by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-VT. Another amendment by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., would require the Rural Utilities Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure that its grants and loans provide broadband access to rural areas that do not already have it.
An amendment proposed by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, would modify a provision in the farm bill related to broadband telecommunications access in rural areas. Additionally, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., proposed an amendment to improve the gathering of broadband build-out data.
Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, proposed an amendment that would require the Government Accountability Office to produce annual report over the next five years on the effectiveness of reforms implemented by the Federal Communications Commission to promote access and affordability. Under the measure, the GAO would conduct a data-based evaluation of the Universal Service Fund and intercarrier compensation charges. The report would have to measurements and statistics demonstrating the effects on consumers, prices, and incentives for network investment.
The reports would focus specifically on the effects of the reforms on retail rates for voice and broadband services, average fixed and mobile broadband internet speeds available to both residential and business consumers, users’ access to and adoption of broadband, state universal service funds, and carrier of last resort requirements. Additionally, GAO will assess the progress in the implementation of the 2011 USF reform order and the amount and pace of investments in broadband networks following the enactment of those reforms. These investments are to include those financed by the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service telecommunication programs.
The comptroller general of the GAO would also be directed to direct special attention to any disparities between rural and urban areas in terms of these criteria.
- A Short History of Online Free Speech, Part I: The Communications Decency Act Is Born
- Free Press Denounces Facebook Ads, New Content Moderation, Problems of Broadband Adoption
- House Homeland Security Committee Issues Subpoena to the Owner of 8chan Internet Site
- FCC Finalizes Approval of T-Mobile-Sprint Merger, As States Continue to Oppose
- Trump Delays 10 Percent Tariff on Chinese Tech Goods, Buttigieg on Broadband, Facebook Eavesdropping
Intellectual Property3 weeks ago
In Congressional Oversight Hearing, Register of Copyrights Says Office Is Responding to Online Users
Broadband Data3 months ago
Pennsylvania Broadband Speeds Worse Than Previously Believed, According to State Report
Fiber2 weeks ago
‘Dig Once’ Provides Future-Proofing Solution for Federal Highway Infrastructure, Says BroadbandNow
Drones2 weeks ago
Greater Commercial Use of Drones Will Force Revisions of Federal Aviation Administration Regulations, Say Experts
Broadband Data2 months ago
California Report: Income Most Significant Factor in Low Broadband Adoption
Broadband Roundup7 days ago
Cable Industry Touts Energy Efficiency, Next Century Highlights Open Access Fiber, Aspen Forum Set
Broadband Roundup6 days ago
Trump Delays 10 Percent Tariff on Chinese Tech Goods, Buttigieg on Broadband, Facebook Eavesdropping
Broadband Roundup2 weeks ago
Rep. Bob Latta and Ajit Pai on Robocalls, Rural Massachusetts Projects, John Horrigan Report on Digital Divide