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H.R. 3193: E-BRIDGE Act


The text of the bill below is as of Nov 15, 2021 (Referred to Senate Committee).


IIB

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3193

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

November 15, 2021

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works

AN ACT

To amend the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 to provide for a high-speed broadband deployment initiative.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Eliminating Barriers to Rural Internet Development Grant Eligibility Act or the E-BRIDGE Act.

2.

High-speed broadband deployment initiative

(a)

In general

Title II of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3141 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

219.

High-speed broadband deployment initiative

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Broadband project

The term broadband project means, for the purpose of providing, extending, expanding, or improving high-speed broadband service to further the goals of this Act—

(A)

planning, technical assistance, or training;

(B)

the acquisition or development of land; or

(C)

the acquisition, design and engineering, construction, rehabilitation, alteration, expansion, or improvement of facilities, including related machinery, equipment, contractual rights, and intangible property.

(2)

Eligible recipient

(A)

In general

The term eligible recipient means an eligible recipient.

(B)

Inclusions

The term eligible recipient includes—

(i)

a public-private partnership; and

(ii)

a consortium formed for the purpose of providing, extending, expanding, or improving high-speed broadband service between 1 or more eligible recipients and 1 or more for-profit organizations.

(3)

High-speed broadband

The term high-speed broadband means the provision of 2-way data transmission with sufficient downstream and upstream speeds to end users to permit effective participation in the economy and to support economic growth, as determined by the Secretary.

(b)

Broadband projects

(1)

In general

On the application of an eligible recipient, the Secretary may make grants under this title for broadband projects, which shall be subject to the provisions of this section.

(2)

Considerations

In reviewing applications submitted under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall take into consideration geographic diversity of grants allocated, including consideration of underserved markets, in addition to data requested in paragraph (3).

(3)

Data requested

In reviewing an application submitted under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall request from the Federal Communications Commission, the Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Appalachian Regional Commission data on—

(A)

the level and extent of broadband service that exists in the area proposed to be served; and

(B)

the level and extent of broadband service that will be deployed in the area proposed to be served pursuant to another Federal program.

(4)

Interest in real or personal property

For any broadband project carried out by an eligible recipient that is a public-private partnership or consortium, the Secretary shall require that title to any real or personal property acquired or improved with grant funds, or if the recipient will not acquire title, another possessory interest acceptable to the Secretary, be vested in a public partner or eligible nonprofit organization or association for the useful life of the project, after which title may be transferred to any member of the public-private partnership or consortium in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary.

(5)

Procurement

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person or entity shall be disqualified from competing to provide goods or services related to a broadband project on the basis that the person or entity participated in the development of the broadband project or in the drafting of specifications, requirements, statements of work, or similar documents related to the goods or services to be provided.

(6)

Broadband project property

(A)

In general

The Secretary may permit a recipient of a grant for a broadband project to grant an option to acquire real or personal property (including contractual rights and intangible property) related to that project to a third party on such terms as the Secretary determines to be appropriate, subject to the condition that the option may only be exercised after the Secretary releases the Federal interest in the property.

(B)

Treatment

The grant or exercise of an option described in subparagraph (A) shall not constitute a redistribution of grant funds under section 217.

(c)

Non-Federal share

In determining the amount of the non-Federal share of the cost of a broadband project, the Secretary may provide credit toward the non-Federal share for the present value of allowable contributions over the useful life of the broadband project, subject to the condition that the Secretary may require such assurances of the value of the rights and of the commitment of the rights as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of contents in section 1(b) of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3121 note; Public Law 89–136) is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 218 the following:

Sec. 219. High-speed broadband deployment initiative.

.

3.

Determination of budgetary effects

The budgetary effects of this Act, for the purpose of complying with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, shall be determined by reference to the latest statement titled Budgetary Effects of PAYGO Legislation for this Act, submitted for printing in the Congressional Record by the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, provided that such statement has been submitted prior to the vote on passage.

Passed the House of Representatives November 4, 2021.

Cheryl L. Johnson,

Clerk