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S. 592: Broadband Reserve Fund Act of 2021


The text of the bill below is as of Mar 4, 2021 (Introduced).


II

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 592

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 4, 2021

(for himself and Mrs. Blackburn) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

A BILL

To establish a reserve fund for the proceeds of the C-band auction conducted by the Federal Communications Commission.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Broadband Reserve Fund Act of 2021.

2.

Broadband and connectivity reserve fund

(a)

Definitions

In this section—

(1)

the term Assistant Secretary means the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information; and

(2)

the term Commission means the Federal Communications Commission.

(b)

Establishment of reserve fund

(1)

In general

There is established in the Treasury of the United States a fund to be known as the Broadband Reserve Fund (referred to in this section as the Fund).

(2)

Availability

(A)

In general

Amounts deposited in the Fund shall remain available through fiscal year 2030.

(B)

Use for deficit reduction

Any amounts remaining in the Fund after the end of fiscal year 2030 shall be deposited in the general fund of the Treasury for the sole purpose of deficit reduction.

(c)

Use of fund

(1)

In general

Subject to paragraph (2)—

(A)

amounts in the Fund shall be available for use by the Commission; and

(B)

the Commission—

(i)

shall reserve not less than 20 percent of the amounts in the Fund for use by the Assistant Secretary; and

(ii)

shall transfer the amounts reserved under clause (i) to the Assistant Secretary upon request.

(2)

Limitation

The Commission and the Assistant Secretary may not access or use amounts in the Fund for any purpose unless specifically authorized by an Act of Congress enacted after the date of enactment of this Act.

(3)

Sense of Congress regarding permissible uses of Fund

It is the sense of Congress that Congress should enact further legislation specifying the purposes for which amounts in the Fund may be used, which may include—

(A)

broadband deployment to unserved areas;

(B)

distance and remote learning;

(C)

digital equity and expanding broadband access in minority communities and on Tribal land;

(D)

securing the telecommunications supply chain;

(E)

promoting spectrum efficiency;

(F)

investment in public safety communications infrastructure;

(G)

precision agriculture technologies; and

(H)

telehealth technologies.

(d)

Investment

Amounts in the Fund shall be invested in accordance with section 9702 of title 31, United States Code, and any interest on, and proceeds from, any such investment shall be credited to, and become a part of, the Fund.

(e)

Deposit of C-Band spectrum auction proceeds in Fund

Section 309(j)(8) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 309(j)(8)) is amended—

(1)

in subparagraph (A), by striking and (G) and inserting (G), and (H);

(2)

in subparagraph (C)(i), by striking and (G) and inserting (G), and (H); and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(H)

C-band auction proceeds

Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), and except as provided in subparagraph (B), of the proceeds (including deposits and upfront payments from successful bidders) from the use of a system of competitive bidding under this subsection to award licenses in the band of frequencies between 3700 megahertz and 3980 megahertz (designated by the Commission as Auction 107), $65,000,000,000 shall be deposited in the Broadband Reserve Fund established under section 3 of the Broadband Reserve Fund Act of 2021.

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