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S. 1492 (110th): Broadband Data Improvement Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Oct 10, 2008.

Title I: Broadband Data Improvement - Broadband Data Improvement Act - (Sec. 103) Requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC): (1) to compile a list of geographical areas that are not served by any provider of advanced telecommunications capability (high-speed, switched, broadband telecommunications capability that enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications); (2) when census data is available, to determine the population, population density, and average per capita income for each area; and (3) to make certain international comparisons.

Requires the FCC to conduct and make public periodic surveys of consumers in urban, suburban, and rural areas in the large business, small business, and residential consumer markets to evaluate the national characteristics of broadband service capability.

Requires expansion of the American Community Survey conducted by the Bureau of the Census to elicit information, including for native lands, to determine what households own or use a computer, if they subscribe to Internet service and, if so, by dial-up or broadband.

(Sec. 104) Requires the Comptroller General to report to specified congressional committees on additional broadband metrics or standards that may be used by industry or 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.

(Sec. 105) Requires the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, subject to appropriations, to report to specified congressional committees on the impact of broadband speed and price on small businesses.

(Sec. 106) Directs the Secretary of Commerce to: (1) make competitive grants to develop and implement statewide initiatives to identify and track the availability and adoption of broadband services within each state; and (2) create a web page on the Department of Commerce website that aggregates relevant information made available to the public by grant recipients, including hypertext links to any geographic inventory maps created by grant recipients.

Requires that the FCC provide eligible entities electronic access to aggregate data (subject to exception) collected by the FCC from broadband service providers. Defines "eligible entity" as an entity that is: (1) either an agency or instrumentality of a state (or a state's subdivision), a nonprofit organization, or certain independent agencies; and (2) the single eligible entity designated by the state to receive such a grant.

Title II: Protecting Children - Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act - Subtitle A: Promoting a Safe Internet for Children - (Sec. 211) Declares that the issue of Internet safety includes issues regarding the use of the Internet in a manner that promotes safe online activity for children, protects children from cybercrimes, including crimes by online predators, and helps parents shield their children from material that is inappropriate for minors.

(Sec. 212) Directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to carry out a nationwide program to increase public awareness and provide education on strategies to promote safe Internet use by children. Requires annual reports to specified congressional committees.

(Sec. 214) Directs the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information to establish an Online Safety and Technology working group to review and evaluate: (1) the status of industry efforts to promote online safety for children; (2) the status of industry efforts to promote online safety by service providers and remote computing services by reporting apparent child pornography under specified provisions; (3) the record-keeping practices of electronic communications and remote computing service providers in connection with crimes against children; and (4) the development of technologies to help parents protect their children from inappropriate material on the Internet. Requires the working group to report to the Assistant Secretary and specified congressional committees.

Renders the Federal Advisory Committee Act inapplicable to the working group.

(Sec. 215) Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to require elementary and secondary schools with computer access to the Internet to educate minors about appropriate online behavior, including online interaction with other individuals in social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and response.

Subtitle B: Enhancing Child Pornography Enforcement - (Sec. 221) Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to impose a forfeiture penalty on any person determined by the FCC to have violated specified provisions relating to the sexual exploitation of minors.