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S. 19 MOBILE NOW Act Making Opportunities for Broadband Investment and Limiting Excessive and Needless Obstacles to Wireless Act

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Summary

MOBILE NOW Act Making Opportunities for Broadband Investment and Limiting Excessive and Needless Obstacles to Wireless Act This bill requires the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), by December 31, 2020, to make available at least 255 megahertz of federal and nonfederal spectrum below the frequency of 6000 megahertz for mobile and fixed wireless broadband use. At least: (1) 100 megahertz shall be made available on an unlicensed basis; and (2) 100 megahertz shall be made available on an exclusive, licensed basis for commercial mobile use subject to potential continued use by incumbent federal entities in designated geographic areas. The NTIA must assess the feasibility of, and the FCC must consider service rules authorizing, mobile or fixed terrestrial wireless operations in specified millimeter wave bands. The Department of Commerce and the FCC must evaluate allowing commercial wireless services to share frequencies between 3100 and 4200 megahertz. Before 2018, the FCC must take action in its Program Alternatives for Small Wireless Communications Facility Deployments proceeding. The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 is amended to require executive agencies, within 270 days after receiving an application, to grant or deny easements, rights-of-way, or leases on federal property for communications facility installations. Executive agencies must: (1) notify applicants of the reasons for denials, and (2) designate an agency point of contact for applicants. The bill expands the categories of equipment for which applicants may seek such easements, rights-of-way, or leases. To facilitate installation of broadband infrastructure, the Department of Transportation must ensure that states receiving federal-aid highway funds: (1) identify a broadband utility coordinator to coordinate the broadband infrastructure right-of-way needs of the state with federal-aid highway projects, (2) register broadband infrastructure entities that seek to be included in those coordination efforts, (3) coordinate statewide telecommunication and broadband plans and state and local transportation and land use plans, and (4) minimize repeated excavations. The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) must establish a single database of real property owned, leased, or managed by executive agencies that is capable of supporting a communications facility installation. The OSTP must make the database available to: (1) entities that construct or operate communications facility installations or provide communications service, and (2) state and local governments so that they may provide information regarding state and local properties to include in the database. The Office of Management and Budget may provide pre-auction funding to federal agencies for auctions intended to occur within eight years (currently, five years) after the transfer of funds. Federal entities may request an immediate transfer of funds to pay for relocation or sharing costs after the frequencies are reallocated by competitive bidding. The Government Accountability Office must recommend policies to increase broadband Internet access in low-income neighborhoods, particularly for elementary and secondary school-aged children. The FCC must: (1) assess options for programs that allow licensees for exclusive use of spectrum in specific geographic areas to make unused spectrum available to unaffiliated small carriers or unaffiliated carriers serving rural areas, and (2) develop a national plan for making additional radio frequency bands available for unlicensed operations. The NTIA must conduct prize competitions to accelerate technology that improves spectrum efficiency. Wireless Telecommunications Tax and Fee Collection Fairness Act State and local jurisdictions are prohibited from requiring a person to collect from, or remit on behalf of, any other person a state or local tax, fee, or surcharge imposed on the purchase or use of any wireless telecommunications service within the state unless the collection or remittance is in connection with a financial transaction between: (1) the person that the state or local jurisdiction requires to collect or remit the tax, fee, or surcharge; and (2) the purchaser or user of the wireless telecommunications service. Any person who is aggrieved by a violation of such prohibition may bring a civil action for equitable relief.

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