H.R. 4229 would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to collect detailed data twice a year on the availability of broadband Internet access services. That data would be reported by providers of those broadband services. Under the act, the FCC would establish and maintain a comprehensive database and create detailed and publicly available broadband coverage maps. The act also would require the FCC to develop processes for any person or entity to submit broadband availability data to verify or challenge the FCC’s database or maps.
H.R. 4229 would authorize the appropriation of $25 million in 2021 and $9 million annually from 2022 through 2028 to issue rules, establish reporting requirements, and hire contractors to establish a comprehensive broadband database and maps.
In total, CBO estimates that implementing the act would have a gross cost of $52 million over the 2020-2024 period, assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts. However, the FCC is authorized to collect fees sufficient to offset the costs of its regulatory activities each year; therefore, CBO estimates that the net effect on discretionary spending for those activities would be insignificant, assuming appropriation actions consistent with that authority.