Senators Introduce Bill to Promote Broadband and Connectivity Priorities
Sens Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the Broadband Reserve Fund Act. This legislation would require the net proceeds from the C-Band spectrum auction to be deposited into a reserve fund at the Department of Treasury to be used to expand broadband access and digital opportunity, modernize the nation’s communications infrastructure, and meet other connectivity priorities. These funds would be available for Congress to authorize for use by the Federal Communications Commission or the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The Broadband Reserve Fund Act (S.592) would:
- Create a Broadband Reserve Fund at the Treasury Department where the net proceeds from the C-Band spectrum auction would be deposited, up to $65 billion;
- Make funds available for Congress to authorize for use by the FCC or the NTIA;
- Establish a sense of Congress to make potential uses for the fund that include broadband deployment in unserved areas, distance and remote learning, promoting digital equity and expanding internet access in minority communities and on Tribal lands, securing the communications supply chain, enhancing spectrum efficiency, modernizing public safety communications infrastructure, and increasing accessibility to precision agriculture technologies, and telehealth technologies; and
- Require additional action by Congress to direct the eligible agencies on how to use the money. The funds would be available until 2030, at which point any remaining proceeds would be deposited in the general fund of the Treasury for deficit reduction.
Wicker, Blackburn Introduce Bill to Promote Broadband and Connectivity Priorities