Ten broadband bills were introduced in the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology the week of January 15, 2018. The sponsors of the bills are looking to incorporate the bills into the infrastructure bill. The bills mostly focus on speeding the deployment of broadband on federal property by streamlining environmental and historic preservation reviews, require broadband mapping, and require an inventory of federal assets on which a communications facility could be attached or installed. ITS America is concerned with a bill that would require the GAO to study the “potential avenues for, and barriers to, broadband deployment of gigabit WiFi service in spectrum bands below 6 gigahertz at a scale that allows for rapid expanded use of new consumer devices.” It is well established that connected vehicle applications have the potential to deliver broad safety and mobility benefits, for both passenger and commercial vehicles, throughout the 5.9 gigahertz band. ITS America will be reaching out to Representative Costello to discuss the bill.
Here is a snapshot of the bills:
H.R.___ “Wireless Internet Focus on Innovation in Spectrum Technology for Unlicensed Deployment (WIFI STUDy) Act,” sponsored by Representative Ryan Costello (R-PA) would study the role of unlicensed spectrum in assisting with internet traffic management. Of concern for ITS America is that this bill would require the GAO to study the “potential avenues for, and barriers to, broadband deployment of gigabit WiFi service in spectrum bands below 6 gigahertz at a scale that allows for rapid expanded use of new consumer devices.”
H.R.___ “Making Available Plans to Promote Investment in Next Generation Networks without Overbuilding and Waste (MAPPING NOW) Act,” sponsored by Representatives Bill Johnson (R-OH) and Brett Guthrie (R-KY) focuses on broadband mapping.
H.R.___ “Promoting Exchanges for Enhanced Routing of Information so Networks are Great (PEERING) Act,” sponsored by Representative Billy Long (R-MO) would provide grant funding to promote internet exchanges (or peering centers).
H.R. 4832, “Restoring Economic Strength and Telecommunications Operations by Releasing Expected Dollars (RESTORED Act), “sponsored by Representative Kevin Cramer (R-ND) would focus on universal service support to restore telecommunications after a disaster or emergency.
H.R. 4845, “Connecting Communities Post Disasters Act,” sponsored by Representative Pete Olson (R-TX) would provide a categorical exclusion from environmental and historical reviews to aid replacement and improvements to communications facilities following a disaster or emergency.
H.R. 4842, “The Streamlining Permitting to Enable Efficient Deployment of Broadband Infrastructure,” sponsored by John Shimkus (R-IL) would exempt broadband facilities from environmental and historic preservation reviews on federal property.
H.R. 4847, “Broadband Deployment Streamlining Act,” sponsored by Representative Susan Brooks (R-IN) would streamline processes to locate or modify communications on public lands and institute a shot clock.
H.R.___, “Communications Facilities Deployment on Federal Property Act of 2018,” sponsored by Representative Mimi Walters (R-CA) would require executive agencies to use common application forms and cost-based application fees for placement of communications facility installations on federal property.
H.R.___, “Inventory of Assets for Communications Facilities Act of 2018,” sponsored by Representative Chris Collins (R-NY) requires an inventory of federal assets on which a communications facility could be attached or installed.
H.R.___, “Streamlining and Expediting Approval for Communications Technologies Act,” sponsored by Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) is focused on tracking applications to locate or modify communications facilities on federal property.