S 2430, the Broadband Regulatory Parity Act of 2002.
Sponsor: Sen. John Breaux (D-LA).
Date Introduced: April 30, 2002.
Source: Office of Sen. Breaux.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
Mr. BREAUX introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on _________
To provide for parity in regulatory treatment of broadband services providers and of broadband access services providers, 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 ‘‘Broadband Regulatory Parity Act of 2002’’.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress makes the following findings:
(1) The cable modem service offered by cable operators for high-speed access to the Internet is functionally equivalent to, and competes with, digital subscriber line service offered by local exchange carriers.
(2) Cable modem services and digital subscriber line services are subject to disparate regulatory treatment by the Federal Government and by State and local governments.
(3) Competing and functionally equivalent products and services should be regulated, or not regulated, in the same manner, regardless of who provides such products or services.
(4) The Federal Communications Commission is best positioned to determine which, if any, regulatory requirements for broadband access services should be retained and which, if any, should be eliminated.
(5) The Commission should be required to ensure that providers of broadband services are regulated in an equivalent manner, regardless of the platform used to provide such services.
(6) Government regulation should not favor or advantage one class of competitors among competitors offering similar products or services.
(7) The deployment of digital subscriber line service has been restrained by regulatory requirements that are inappropriate for a competitive service offered by various non-dominant providers.
(8) Inappropriate regulation imposes needless costs and results in higher consumer costs.
(9) Lower consumer costs will accelerate demand for high-speed Internet access services.
(10) Regulatory certainty and parity will provide incentives to increase deployment of high-speed Internet services, bringing the benefits of such services to communities in the form of enhancements in medicine, education, national security, work from home, and other benefits.
(11) The United States lags behind many other countries in the deployment of high-speed data services.
(12) When all providers of broadband services compete under the same rules, consumers will benefit from increased choices and lower prices.
SEC. 3. PARITY IN REGULATORY TREATMENT OF BROADBAND SERVICE PROVIDERS AND BROADBAND ACCESS SERVICE PROVIDERS.
(a) IN GENERAL.—Part II of title II of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 251 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
‘‘SEC. 262. PARITY IN REGULATORY TREATMENT OF BROADBAND SERVICE PROVIDERS AND BROADBAND ACCESS SERVICE PROVIDERS.
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Commission shall, not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of the Broadband Regulatory Parity Act of 2002, prescribe regulations to ensure that—
‘‘(1) all broadband services, and all broadband access services, are subject to the same regulatory requirements, or no regulatory requirements;
‘‘(2) all providers of broadband services, and all providers of broadband access services, are subject to the same regulatory requirements, or no regulatory requirements, with respect to the provision of such services and the facilities and equipment used to provide such services in the provision of such services; and
‘‘(3) paragraphs (1) and (2) are implemented without increasing the regulatory requirements applicable to any provider of broadband services, or broadband access services, on any such service or on any facilities or equipment used to provide any such service in the provision of such service.
‘‘(b) PROHIBITION ON STATE JURISDICTION.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, broadband services and broadband access services, and the facilities and equipment used to provide such services in the provision of such services, shall not be subject to the jurisdiction of any State.
‘‘(c) OBLIGATIONS OF INCUMBENT LOCAL EXCHANGE CARRIERS TO INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS.—Notwithstanding subsection (a), each incumbent local exchange carrier has the duty to provide all Internet service providers with the telecommunications necessary for such provider to provide broadband access service to its subscribers. Such telecommunications shall be offered on rates, terms, and conditions that are just and reasonable.
‘‘(d) SAVINGS PROVISIONS.—(1) Nothing in this section affects the requirements of section 271.
‘‘(2) Nothing in this section affects the obligations of incumbent local exchange carriers under section 251(c) to provide requesting telecommunications carriers with services and access to facilities and equipment necessary for the provision of switched band voice telecommunications service.
‘‘(3) Nothing in this section precludes or affects any tariff filed by the National Exchange Carrier Association, and any such tariff may continue to include broadband services.
‘‘(4) Nothing in this section affects section 251(f).’’.
(b) DEFINITIONS.—Section 3 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 153) is amended—
(1) by redesignating paragraphs (20) through (52) as paragraphs (22) through (54), respectively; and
(2) by inserting after paragraph (19) the following new paragraphs:
‘‘(20) BROADBAND SERVICE.—The term ‘broadband service’ means any service that is used to provide access to the Internet and consists of or includes the offering of a capability to transmit information at a rate that is generally not less than 256 kilobits per second in at least one direction.
‘‘(21) BROADBAND ACCESS SERVICE.—The term ‘broadband access service’ means a service that combines computer processing, information storage, protocol conversion, and wire routing with transmission to enable users to access Internet content and services.’’.