Congressional Budget Office
The Save the Internet Act (HR 1644) would require the Federal Communications Commission to return to the regulatory framework for Internet service providers (ISPs) that was in effect as of Jan 19, 2017. Restoring the 2015 regulatory framework could increase oversight and enforcement actions by the FCC and could reduce enforcement and oversight by the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice. Spending on such increased FCC activities would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
The 21st Century IDEA (HR 5759) would require agencies to update their websites, increase the use of electronic forms, implement the use of e-signatures, standardize information technology (IT) throughout the federal government, and improve the overall government IT experience for users. From Congressional Budget Office’s review of the current federal digital environment, it is not clear that agencies would take any extra steps to implement HR 5759 beyond those measures already under way or planned.
We introduced bipartisan legislation to encourage investment in high-speed internet and protect and expand access to broadband in our rural communities. The Access to Capital Creates Economic Strength and Supports (ACCESS) Rural America Act would provide regulatory relief to rural telecommunications service providers by allowing them to submit streamlined financial reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These small companies—many of which are the sole service providers in their region—could be put out of business by looming regulatory costs.
The Measuring the Economic Impact of Broadband Act of 2018 (S 645) would direct the Department of Commerce (DOC) to assess and analyze the contributions of the digital economy to the economy of the United States and produce a report every two years. The analysis would include the effect of digital-enabling infrastructure, broadband, e-commerce, and digital media.
The ACCESS BROADBAND Act (H.R. 3994) would direct the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to establish a new Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth and direct several federal agencies that offer broadband support programs to amend, streamline, and standardize their applications for those programs. Using information from the affected agencies, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 3994 would cost $13 million over the 2019-2023 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.