United States Code/Title 47/Chapter 12/Section 1302

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§ 1302. Advanced telecommunications incentives

(a) In general. The Commission and each State commission with regulatory jurisdiction over telecommunications services shall encourage the deployment on a reasonable and timely basis of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans (including, in particular, elementary and secondary schools and classrooms) by utilizing, in a manner consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity, price cap regulation, regulatory forbearance, measures that promote competition in the local telecommunications market, or other regulating methods that remove barriers to infrastructure investment.

(b) Inquiry. The Commission shall, within 30 months after the date of enactment of this Act [enacted Oct. 10, 2008], and annually thereafter, initiate a notice of inquiry concerning the availability of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans (including, in particular, elementary and secondary schools and classrooms) and shall complete the inquiry within 180 days after its initiation. In the inquiry, the Commission shall determine whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion. If the Commission's determination is negative, it shall take immediate action to accelerate deployment of such capability by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting competition in the telecommunications market.

(c) Demographic information for unserved areas. As part of the inquiry required by subsection (b), the Commission shall compile a list of geographical areas that are not served by any provider of advanced telecommunications capability (as defined by section 706(c)(1) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (47 U.S.C. 157)) and to the extent that data from the Census Bureau is available, determine, for each such unserved area--

  1. the population;
  2. the population density; and
  3. the average per capita income.

(d) Definitions. For purposes of this subsection:

  1. Advanced telecommunications capability. The term "advanced telecommunications capability" is defined, without regard to any transmission media or technology, as high-speed, switched, broadband telecommunications capability that enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications using any technology.
  2. Elementary and secondary schools. The term "elementary and secondary school" means elementary and secondary schools, as defined in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 [20 U.S.C. § 7801].