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H.R.2174 - Rural Broadband Initiative Act of 2007
To amend the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 to establish an Office of Rural Broadband Initiatives in the Department of Agriculture, and for other purposes.
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May 3, 2007
Mr. SALAZAR introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, and in addition to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concernedCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. OFFICE OF RURAL BROADBAND INITIATIVES.
`SEC. 601. DEFINITIONS.
`SEC. 602. OFFICE OF RURAL BROADBAND INITIATIVES.
`(A) as of the date of enactment of this section, administer all rural broadband-related grant and loan programs previously administered by the Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service, including--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(D) assess all relevant technologies (including WiFi, WIMAX, DSL, cable, satellite, fiber, optical fiber, and broadband) over power lines, as the technologies are able to support in whole or in part rural broadband needs and requirements;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 180 days after the appointment of the first Under Secretary, the Under Secretary shall submit to the President and Congress a report describing comprehensive rural broadband strategy that includes--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(i) to promote interagency coordination of Federal agencies in regards to policies, procedures, and targeted resources, and to improve and streamline the polices, programs, and services;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(iii) to address both short- and long-term solutions and needs assessments for a rapid build-out of rural broadband solutions and applications for Federal, State, regional, and local government policy makers;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(iv) to identify how specific Federal agency programs and resources can best respond to rural broadband requirements and overcome obstacles that currently impede rural broadband deployment; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(v) to promote successful model deployments and appropriate technologies being used in rural areas so that State, regional, and local governments can benefit from the cataloging and successes of other State, regional, and local governments; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(1) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established in the Treasury of the United States a revolving fund, to be known as the `National Rural Broadband Innovation Fund' (referred to in this subsection as the `Fund'), consisting of--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(A) IN GENERAL- The Under Secretary shall use the amounts in the Fund to fund experimental and pilot rural broadband projects and applications, including WiFi, WIMAX, DSL, cable, satellite, fiber, optical fiber, and broadband delivery over power lines.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(A) IN GENERAL- Subject to subparagraph (B), on request by the Under Secretary, the Secretary of the Treasury shall transfer from the Fund to the Under Secretary such amounts as the Under Secretary determines are necessary to fund projects under paragraph (2).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(B) ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES- An amount not exceeding 10 percent of the amounts in the Fund shall be available for each fiscal year to pay the administrative expenses necessary to carry out this subsection.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of the Treasury shall invest such portion of the Fund as is not, in the judgment of the Secretary of the Treasury, required to meet current withdrawals.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(E) CREDITS TO FUND- The interest on, and the proceeds from the sale or redemption of, any obligations held in the Fund shall be credited to, and form a part of, the Fund.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 60 days after the date of appointment of the first Under Secretary, the Under Secretary shall submit to Congress a plan to establish a Rural Broadband Advisory Panel (referred to in this subsection as the `Panel').CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(D) cooperate with the Under Secretary in addressing and evaluating issues determined by the Under Secretary to be critical to fostering broadband access and connectivity in rural and underserved areas.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(f) Web-Based Clearinghouse- The Under Secretary shall establish a comprehensive and interactive rural broadband Web-based clearinghouse that describes options, opportunities, resources, successful public-private partnerships, comprehensive funding sources, and technology tutorials for rural broadband, including--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(5) applications, including telework, telemedicine, distance learning, training, homeland security, senior citizen connectivity and program development, and business and economic development;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
`(A) IN GENERAL- Not later than 60 days after the date of appointment of the first Under Secretary, the Under Secretary shall submit to Congress a revision of the rules and qualification criteria for the loan and loan guarantee program under this section.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 3. SUFFICIENCY OF RESOURCES.
(a) In General- Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall submit to Congress a report describing the resources and staff necessary to carry out this Act and the amendments made by this Act.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) REPORT- Not later than 30 days after the date on which the report is submitted under subsection (a), the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to Congress a report containing the findings of the review under paragraph (1).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
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