HR 1542, the Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act.
H. R. ______
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Mr. TAUZIN (for himself, Mr. DINGELL, ____________________) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on __________
To deregulate the Internet and high speed data services, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act of 2001’’.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
(a) FINDINGS.—Congress finds the following:
(1) Internet access services are inherently interstate and international in nature, and should therefore not be subject to regulation by the States.
(2) The imposition of regulations by the Federal Communications Commission and the States has impeded the rapid delivery of high speed Internet access services to the public, thereby reducing consumer choice and welfare.
(3) The Telecommunications Act of 1996 represented a careful balance between the need to open up local telecommunications markets to competition and the need to increase competition in the provision of interLATA voice telecommunications services.
(4) In enacting the prohibition on Bell operating company provision of interLATA services, Congress recognized that certain telecommunications services have characteristics that render them incompatible with the prohibition on Bell operating company provision of interLATA services, and exempted such services from the interLATA prohibition.
(5) High speed data services and Internet access services constitute unique markets that are likewise incompatible with the prohibition on Bell operating company provision of interLATA services.
(6) Since the enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Federal Communications Commission has construed the prohibition on Bell operating company provision of interLATA services in a manner that has impeded the development of advanced telecommunications services, thereby limiting consumer choice and welfare.
(7) Internet users should have choice among competing Internet service providers.
(8) Internet service providers should have the right to interconnect with high speed data networks in order to provide service to Internet users.
(b) PURPOSES.—It is therefore the purpose of this Act to provide market incentives for the rapid delivery of advanced telecommunications services—
(1) by deregulating high speed data services and Internet access services;
(2) by clarifying that the prohibition on Bell operating company provision of interLATA services does not extend to the provision of high speed data services and Internet access services;
(3) by ensuring that consumers can choose among competing Internet service providers; and
(4) by ensuring that Internet service providers can interconnect with competitive high speed data networks in order to provide Internet access service to the public.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS
(a) AMENDMENTS.—Section 3 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 153) is amended—
(1) by redesignating paragraph (20) as paragraph (21);
(2) by redesignating paragraphs (21) through (52) as paragraphs (24) through (54), respectively;
(3) by inserting after paragraph (19) the following new paragraph:
‘‘(20) HIGH SPEED DATA SERVICE.—The term ‘high speed data service’ means any service that consists of or includes the offering of a capability to transmit, using a packet-switched or successor technology, information at a rate that is generally not less than 384 kilobits per second in at least one direction.’’;
(4) by inserting after paragraph (22) the following new paragraphs:
‘‘(23) INTERNET.—The term ‘‘Internet’’ means collectively the myriad of computer and telecommunications facilities, including equipment and operating software, which comprise the interconnected world-wide network of networks that employ the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, or any predecessor or successor protocols to such protocol, to communicate information of all kinds by wire or radio.
‘‘(24) INTERNET ACCESS SERVICE.—The term ‘Internet access service’ means (A) a service that combines computer processing, information storage, protocol conversion, and routing with transmission to enable users to access Internet content and services, and (B) the transmission of such service, but does not include the portion of such transmission from the user to the provider of such service.’’.
(b) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.—
(1) Section 230(f) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 230(f)) is amended—
(A) by striking paragraph (1); and
(B) by redesignating paragraphs (2) through (4) as paragraphs (1) through (3), respectively.
(2) Section 223(h)(2) of such Act (47 U.S.C.
223(h)(2)) is amended by striking ‘‘230(f)(2)’’ and inserting ‘‘230(f)(1)’’.
SEC. 4. LIMITATION ON AUTHORITY TO REGULATE HIGH SPEED DATA SERVICES.
(a) IN GENERAL.—Part I of title II of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 201 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
‘‘SEC. 232. PROVISION OF HIGH SPEED DATA SERVICES.
‘‘(a) FREEDOM FROM REGULATION.—Except to the extent that high speed data service and Internet access service are expressly referred to in this Act, neither the Commission, nor any State, shall have authority to regulate the rates, charges, terms, or conditions for, or entry into the provision of, any high speed data service or Internet access service, or to regulate the facilities used in the provision of either such service.
‘‘(b) SAVINGS PROVISION.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or affect the authority of any State to regulate voice telephone exchange services, nor affect the rights of cable franchise authorities to establish requirements that are otherwise consistent with this Act.
‘‘(c) CONTINUED ENFORCEMENT OF ESP EXEMPTION, UNIVERSAL SERVICE RULES PERMITTED.—Nothing in this section shall affect the ability of the Commission to retain or modify—
‘‘(1) the exemption from interstate access charges for enhanced service providers under Part 69 of the Commission’s Rules; or
‘‘(2) rules issued pursuant to section 254.’’. (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.—Section 251 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 251) is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (c) and (d), the Commission shall not require an incumbent local exchange carrier to—
‘‘(A) provide unbundled access to any network elements used in the provision of any high speed data service, other than those network elements described in section 51.319 of the Commission’s regulations (47 C.F.R. 51.319), as in effect on January 1, 1999; or
‘‘(B) offer for resale at wholesale rates any high speed data service.
‘‘(2) AUTHORITY TO REDUCE ELEMENTS SUBJECT TO REQUIREMENT.—Paragraph (1)(A) shall not prohibit the Commission from modifying the regulation referred to in that paragraph to reduce the number of network elements subject to the unbundling requirement, or to forbear from enforcing any portion of that regulation in accordance with the Commission’s authority under section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, notwithstanding any limitation on that authority in section 10 of this Act.’’.
SEC. 5. INTERNET CONSUMERS FREEDOM OF CHOICE.
Part I of title II of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended by section 4, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
‘‘SEC. 233. INTERNET CONSUMERS FREEDOM OF CHOICE.
‘‘(a) PURPOSE.—It is the purpose of this section to ensure that Internet users have freedom of choice of Internet service provider.
‘‘(b) OBLIGATIONS OF INCUMBENT LOCAL EXCHANGE CARRIERS.—- Each incumbent local exchange carrier has the duty to provide—
‘‘(1) Internet users with the ability to subscribe to and have access to any Internet service provider that interconnects with such carrier’s high speed data service;
‘‘(2) any Internet service provider with the right to acquire the facilities and services necessary to interconnect with such carrier’s high speed data service for the provision of Internet access service; and
‘‘(3) any Internet service provider with the ability to collocate equipment in accordance with the provisions of section 251, to the extent necessary to achieve the objectives of paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection.
‘‘(c) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section—
‘‘(1) INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER.—The term ‘Internet service provider’ means any provider of Internet access service.
‘‘(2) INCUMBENT LOCAL EXCHANGE CARRIER.—The term ‘incumbent local exchange carrier’ has the same meaning as provided in section 251(h).’’.
SEC. 6. INCIDENTAL INTERLATA PROVISION OF HIGH SPEED DATA AND INTERNET ACCESS SERVICES.
(a) INCIDENTAL INTERLATA SERVICE PREMITTED.—Section 271(g) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 271(g)) is amended—
(1) by striking ‘‘or’’ at the end of paragraph (5);
(2) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (6) and inserting ‘‘; or’’; and
(3) by adding at the end thereof the following new paragraph:
‘‘(7) of high speed data service or Internet access service.’’.
(b) PROHIBITION ON MARKETING VOICE SERVICES.—Section 271 of such Act is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:
‘‘(k) PROHIBITION ON MARKETING VOICE TELEPHONE SERVICES.—Until the date on which a Bell operating company is authorized to offer interLATA services originating in an in-region State in accordance with the provisions of this section, such Bell operating company offering any high speed data service or Internet access service pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (7) of subsection (g) may not, in such in-region State market, bill, or collect for interLATA voice telecommunications service obtained by means of the high speed data service or Internet access service provided by such company.’’.
(c) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.—
(1) Section 272(a)(2)(B)(i) of such Act is amended to read as follows:
‘‘(i) incidental interLATA services described in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (5), (6), and (7) of section 271(g).’’.
(2) Section 272(a)(2)(C) of such Act is repealed.