[House Report 106-579] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office] 106th Congress Report HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 2d Session 106-579 ====================================================================== PROVIDING FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 3615, THE RURAL LOCAL BROADCAST SIGNAL ACT _______ April 12, 2000.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed _______ Mr. Linder, from the Committee on Rules, submitted the following R E P O R T [To accompany H. Res. 475] The Committee on Rules, having had under consideration House Resolution 475 by a non record vote, report the same to the House with the recommendation that the resolution be adopted. summary of provisions of the resolution The resolution provides for the consideration of H.R. 3615, the Rural Local Broadcast Signal Act, under a closed rule. The rule provides one hour of debate in the House divided equally between and controlled by the chairmen and ranking minority members of the Committees on Agriculture and Commerce. The rule provides that, in lieu of the amendments recommended by the Committees on Agriculture and Commerce now printed in the bill, the amendment in the nature of a substitute printed in this report shall be considered as adopted. Finally, the rule provides one motion to recommit with or without instructions. text of amendment in the nature of a substitute considered as adopted Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the following: SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS. (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Rural Local Broadcast Signal Act''. (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is as follows: Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents. Sec. 2. Purpose. Sec. 3. Rural television loan guarantee board. Sec. 4. Approval of loan guarantees. Sec. 5. Administration of loan guarantees. Sec. 6. Prohibition on use of funds for spectrum auctions. Sec. 7. Prohibition on use of funds by incumbent cable operators. Sec. 8. Annual audit. Sec. 9. Exemption from must carry requirements. Sec. 10. Additional availability of broadcast signals in rural areas. Sec. 11. Improved cellular service in rural areas. Sec. 12. Technical amendment. Sec. 13. Definitions. Sec. 14. Authorizations of appropriations. Sec. 15. Sunset. SEC. 2. PURPOSE. The purpose of this Act is to facilitate access, on a technologically neutral basis and by December 31, 2006, to signals of local television stations for households located in unserved areas and underserved areas. SEC. 3. RURAL TELEVISION LOAN GUARANTEE BOARD. (a) Establishment.--There is established the Rural Television Loan Guarantee Board (in this Act referred to as the ``Board''). (b) Members.-- (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), the Board shall consist of the following members: (A) The Secretary of the Treasury, or the designee of the Secretary. (B) The Secretary of Agriculture, or the designee of the Secretary. (C) The Secretary of Commerce, or the designee of the Secretary. (2) Requirement as to designees.--An individual may not be designated a member of the Board under paragraph (1) unless the individual is an officer of the United States pursuant to an appointment by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. (c) Functions of the Board.-- (1) In general.--The Board shall determine whether or not to approve loan guarantees under this Act. The Board shall make such determinations consistent with the purpose of this Act and in accordance with this subsection and section 4 of this Act. (2) Consultation authorized.-- (A) In general.--In carrying out its functions under this Act, the Board shall consult with such departments and agencies of the Federal Government as the Board considers appropriate, including the Department of Commerce, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Justice, the Department of the Interior, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (B) Response.--A department or agency consulted by the Board under subparagraph (A) shall provide the Board such expertise and assistance as the Board requires to carry out its functions under this Act. (3) Approval by majority vote.--The determination of the Board to approve a loan guarantee under this Act shall be by a vote of a majority of the Board. SEC. 4. APPROVAL OF LOAN GUARANTEES. (a) Authority To Approve Loan Guarantees.--Subject to the provisions of this section and consistent with the purpose of this Act, the Board may approve loan guarantees under this Act. (b) Regulations.-- (1) Requirements.--The Administrator (as defined in section 5 of this Act), under the direction of and for approval by the Board, shall prescribe regulations to implement the provisions of this Act and shall do so not later than 120 days after funds authorized to be appropriated under section 15 of this Act have been appropriated in a bill signed into law. (2) Elements.--The regulations prescribed under paragraph (1) shall-- (A) set forth the form of any application to be submitted to the Board under this Act; (B) set forth time periods for the review and consideration by the Board of applications to be submitted to the Board under this Act, and for any other action to be taken by the Board with respect to such applications; (C) provide appropriate safeguards against the evasion of the provisions of this Act; (D) set forth the circumstances in which an applicant, together with any affiliate of an applicant, shall be treated as an applicant for a loan guarantee under this Act; (E) include requirements that appropriate parties submit to the Board any documents and assurances that are required for the administration of the provisions of this Act; and (F) include such other provisions consistent with the purpose of this Act as the Board considers appropriate. (3) Construction.--(A) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit the Board from requiring, to the extent and under circumstances considered appropriate by the Board, that affiliates of an applicant be subject to certain obligations of the applicant as a condition to the approval or maintenance of a loan guarantee under this Act. (B) If any provision of this Act or the application of such provision to any person or entity or circumstance is held to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this Act, or the application of such provision to such person or entity or circumstance other than those as to which it is held invalid, shall not be affected thereby. (c) Authority Limited by Appropriations Acts.--The Board may approve loan guarantees under this Act only to the extent provided for in advance in appropriations Acts. (d) Requirements and Criteria Applicable to Approval.-- (1) In general.--The Board shall utilize the underwriting criteria developed under subsection (g), and any relevant information provided by the departments and agencies with which the Board consults under section 3, to determine which loans may be eligible for a loan guarantee under this Act. (2) Prerequisites.--In addition to meeting the underwriting criteria under paragraph (1), a loan may not be guaranteed under this Act unless-- (A) the loan is made to finance the acquisition, improvement, enhancement, construction, deployment, launch, or rehabilitation of the means by which local television broadcast signals will be delivered principally to an unserved area or an underserved area (or both); (B) the proceeds of the loan will not be used for operating, advertising, or promotion expenses; (C) the proposed project, as determined by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, is not likely to have a substantial adverse impact on competition that outweighs the benefits of improving access to the signals of a local television station in an unserved area or an underserved area (or both), and is commercially viable; (D) the loan is provided by-- (i) an insured depository institution (as that term is defined in section 3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act) that is acceptable to the Board; (ii) a lender that is acceptable to the Board, and-- (I) has not fewer than one issue of outstanding debt that is related within the highest three rating categories of a nationally recognized statistical rating agency; or (II) has provided financing to entities with outstanding debt from the Rural Utilities Service and which possess, in the judgment of the Board, the expertise, capacity, and capital strength to provide financing pursuant to this Act; or (iii) a nonprofit corporation, including the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation, engaged primarily in commercial lending, if the Board determines that such nonprofit corporation has one or more issues of outstanding long-term debt that is rated within the highest 3 rating categories of a nationally recognized statistical rating organization, and, if the Board determines that the making of the loan by such nonprofit corporation will cause a decline in the debt rating mentioned above, the Board at its discretion may disapprove the loan guarantee on this basis; (E) the loan (including Other Debt as defined in subsection (f)(2)(B)) is not provided by a lender that is a governmental entity, the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, any institution supervised by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, the Federal Housing Finance Board, or any affiliate of any such entity; (F) the loan has terms, in the judgment of the Board, that are consistent in material respects with the terms of similar obligations in the private capital market; (G) repayment of the loan is required to be made within a term of the lesser of-- (i) 25 years from the date of the execution of the loan; or (ii) the economically useful life, as determined by the Board or in consultation with persons or entities deemed appropriate by the Board, of the primary assets to be used in the delivery of the signals concerned; and (H) the loan meets any additional criteria developed under subsection (g). (3) Protection of united states financial interests.--The Board may not approve the guarantee of a loan under this Act unless-- (A) the Board has been given documentation, assurances, and access to information, persons, and entities necessary, as determined by the Board, to address issues relevant to the review of the loan by the Board for purposes of this Act; and (B) the Board makes a determination in writing that-- (i) to the best of its knowledge upon due inquiry, the assets, facilities, or equipment covered by the loan will be utilized economically and efficiently; (ii) the terms, conditions, security, and schedule and amount of repayments of principal and the payment of interest with respect to the loan protect the financial interests of the United States and are reasonable; (iii) to the extent possible, the value of collateral provided by an applicant is at least equal to the unpaid balance of the loan amount covered by the loan guarantee (the ``Amount'' for purposes of this clause); and if the value of collateral provided by an applicant is less than the Amount, the additional required collateral is provided by any affiliate of the applicant; and if the combined value of collateral provided by an applicant and any affiliate is not at least equal to the Amount, the collateral from such affiliate represents all of such affiliate's assets; (iv) all necessary and required regulatory and other approvals, spectrum rights, and delivery permissions have been received for the loan, the project under the loan, and the Other Debt, if any, under subsection (f)(2)(B); (v) the loan would not be available on reasonable terms and conditions without a loan guarantee under this Act; and (vi) repayment of the loan can reasonably be expected. (e) Considerations.-- (1) Type of market.-- (A) Priority considerations.--To the maximum extent practicable, the Board shall give priority in the approval of loan guarantees under this Act in the following order: First, to projects that will serve the greatest number of households in unserved areas and the number of States (including noncontiguous States); and second, to projects that will serve the greatest number of households in underserved areas. In each instance, the Board shall consider the project's estimated cost per household to be served. (B) Prohibition.--The Board may not approve a loan guarantee under this Act for a project that is designed primarily to serve 1 or more of the 40 most populated designated market areas (as that term is defined in section 122(j) of title 17, United States Code). (2) Other considerations.--The Board shall consider other factors, which shall include projects that would-- (A) offer a separate tier of local broadcast signals; (B) provide lower projected costs to consumers of such separate tier; and (C) enable the delivery of local broadcast signals consistent with the purpose of this Act by a means reasonably compatible with existing systems or devices predominantly in use. (f) Guarantee Limits.-- (1) Limitation on aggregate value of loans.--The aggregate value of all loans for which loan guarantees are issued under this Act (including the unguaranteed portion of loans issued under paragraph (2)(A)) and Other Debt under paragraph (2)(B) may not exceed $1,250,000,000. (2) Guarantee level.--A loan guarantee issued under this Act-- (A) may not exceed an amount equal to 80 percent of a loan meeting in its entirety the requirements of subsection (d)(2)(A). If only a portion of a loan meets the requirements of that subsection, the Board shall determine that percentage of the loan meeting such requirements (the ``applicable portion'') and may issue a loan guarantee in an amount not exceeding 80 percent of the applicable portion; or (B) may, as to a loan meeting in its entirety the requirements of subsection (d)(2)(A), cover the amount of such loan only if that loan is for an amount not exceeding 80 percent of the total debt financing for the project, and other debt financing (also meeting in its entirety the requirements of subsection (d)(2)(A)) from the same source for a total amount not less than 20 percent of the total debt financing for the project (``Other Debt'') has been approved. (g) Underwriting Criteria.--Within the period provided for under subsection (b)(1), the Board shall, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and an independent public accounting firm, develop underwriting criteria relating to the guarantee of loans that are consistent with the purpose of this Act, including appropriate collateral and cash flow levels for loans guaranteed under this Act, and such other matters as the Board considers appropriate. (h) Credit Risk Premiums.-- (1) Establishment and acceptance.--The Board may establish and approve the acceptance of credit risk premiums with respect to a loan guarantee under this Act in order to cover the cost, as determined under section 504(b)(1) of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990, of the loan guarantee. To the extent that appropriations of budget authority are insufficient to cover the cost, as so determined, of a loan guarantee under this Act, credit risk premiums shall be accepted from a non-Federal source under this subsection on behalf of the applicant for the loan guarantee. (2) Credit risk premium amount.-- (A) In general.--The Board shall determine the amount of any credit risk premium to be accepted with respect to a loan guarantee under this Act on the basis of-- (i) the financial and economic circumstances of the applicant for the loan guarantee, including the amount of collateral offered; (ii) the proposed schedule of loan disbursements; (iii) the business plans of the applicant for providing service; (iv) any financial commitment from a broadcast signal provider; and (v) the concurrence of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget as to the amount of the credit risk premium. (B) Proportionality.--To the extent that appropriations of budget authority are sufficient to cover the cost, as determined under section 504(b)(1) of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990, of loan guarantees under this Act, the credit risk premium with respect to each loan guarantee shall be reduced proportionately. (C) Payment of premiums.--Credit risk premiums under this subsection shall be paid to an account (the ``Escrow Account'') established in the Treasury which shall accrue interest and such interest shall be retained by the account, subject to subparagraph (D). (D) Deductions from escrow account.--If a default occurs with respect to any loan guaranteed under this Act and the default is not cured in accordance with the terms of the underlying loan or loan guarantee agreement, the Administrator, in accordance with subsections (h) and (i) of section 5 of this Act, shall liquidate, or shall cause to be liquidated, all assets collateralizing such loan as to which it has a lien or security interest. Any shortfall between the proceeds of the liquidation net of costs and expenses relating to the liquidation, and the guarantee amount paid pursuant to this Act shall be deducted from funds in the Escrow Account and credited to the Administrator for payment of such shortfall. At such time as determined under subsection (d)(2)(G) when all loans guaranteed under this Act have been repaid or otherwise satisfied in accordance with this Act and the regulations promulgated hereunder, remaining funds in the Escrow Account, if any, shall be refunded, on a pro rata basis, to applicants whose loans guaranteed under this Act were not in default, or where any default was cured in accordance with the terms of the underlying loan or loan guarantee agreement. (i) Judicial Review.--The decision of the Board to approve or disapprove the making of a loan guarantee under this Act shall not be subject to judicial review. SEC. 5. ADMINISTRATION OF LOAN GUARANTEES. (a) In General.--The Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service (in this Act referred to as the ``Administrator'') shall issue and otherwise administer loan guarantees that have been approved by the Board in accordance with sections 3 and 4 of this Act. (b) Security for Protection of United States Financial Interests.-- (1) Terms and conditions.--An applicant shall agree to such terms and conditions as are satisfactory, in the judgment of the Board, to ensure that, as long as any principal or interest is due and payable on a loan guaranteed under this Act, the applicant-- (A) shall maintain assets, equipment, facilities, and operations on a continuing basis; (B) shall not make any discretionary dividend payments that impair its ability to repay obligations guaranteed under this Act; (C) shall remain sufficiently capitalized; and (D) shall submit to, and cooperate fully with, any audit of the applicant under section 8(a)(2) of this Act. (2) Collateral.-- (A) Existence of adequate collateral.--An applicant shall provide the Board such documentation as is necessary, in the judgment of the Board, to provide satisfactory evidence that appropriate and adequate collateral secures a loan guaranteed under this Act. (B) Form of collateral.--Collateral required by subparagraph (A) shall consist solely of assets of the applicant, any affiliate of the applicant, or both (whichever the Board considers appropriate), including primary assets to be used in the delivery of signals for which the loan is guaranteed. (C) Review of valuation.--The value of collateral securing a loan guaranteed under this Act may be reviewed by the Board, and may be adjusted downward by the Board if the Board reasonably believes such adjustment is appropriate. (3) Lien on interests in assets.--Upon the Board's approval of a loan guarantee under this Act, the Administrator shall have liens on assets securing the loan, which shall be superior to all other liens on such assets, and the value of the assets (based on a determination satisfactory to the Board) subject to the liens shall be at least equal to the unpaid balance of the loan amount covered by the loan guarantee, or that value approved by the Board under section 4(d)(3)(B)(iii) of this Act. (4) Perfected security interest.--With respect to a loan guaranteed under this Act, the Administrator and the lender shall have a perfected security interest in assets securing the loan that are fully sufficient to protect the financial interests of the United States and the lender. (5) Insurance.--In accordance with practices in the private capital market, as determined by the Board, the applicant for a loan guarantee under this Act shall obtain, at its expense, insurance sufficient to protect the financial interests of the United States, as determined by the Board. (c) Assignment of Loan Guarantees.--The holder of a loan guarantee under this Act may assign the loan guaranteed under this Act in whole or in part, subject to such requirements as the Board may prescribe. (d) Modification.--The Board may approve the modification of any term or condition of a loan guarantee or a loan guaranteed under this Act, including the rate of interest, time of payment of principal or interest, or security requirements only if-- (1) the modification is consistent with the financial interests of the United States; (2) consent has been obtained from the parties to the loan agreement; (3) the modification is consistent with the underwriting criteria developed under section 4(g) of this Act; (4) the modification does not adversely affect the interest of the Federal Government in the assets or collateral of the applicant; (5) the modification does not adversely affect the ability of the applicant to repay the loan; and (6) the National Telecommunications and Information Administration has been consulted by the Board regarding the modification. (e) Performance Schedules.-- (1) Performance schedules.--An applicant for a loan guarantee under this Act for a project covered by section 4(e)(1) of this Act shall enter into stipulated performance schedules with the Administrator with respect to the signals to be provided through the project. (2) Penalty.--The Administrator may assess against and collect from an applicant described in paragraph (1) a penalty not to exceed 3 times the interest due on the guaranteed loan of the applicant under this Act if the applicant fails to meet its stipulated performance schedule under that paragraph. (f) Compliance.--The Administrator, in cooperation with the Board and as the regulations of the Board may provide, shall enforce compliance by an applicant, and any other party to a loan guarantee for whose benefit assistance under this Act is intended, with the provisions of this Act, any regulations under this Act, and the terms and conditions of the loan guarantee, including through the submittal of such reports and documents as the Board may require in regulations prescribed by the Board and through regular periodic inspections and audits. (g) Commercial Validity.--A loan guarantee under this Act shall be incontestable-- (1) in the hands of an applicant on whose behalf the loan guarantee is made, unless the applicant engaged in fraud or misrepresentation in securing the loan guarantee; and (2) as to any person or entity (or their respective successor in interest) who makes or contracts to make a loan to the applicant for the loan guarantee in reliance thereon, unless such person or entity (or respective successor in interest) engaged in fraud or misrepresentation in making or contracting to make such loan. (h) Defaults.--The Board shall prescribe regulations governing defaults on loans guaranteed under this Act, including the administration of the payment of guaranteed amounts upon default. (i) Recovery of Payments.-- (1) In general.--The Administrator shall be entitled to recover from an applicant for a loan guarantee under this Act the amount of any payment made to the holder of the guarantee with respect to the loan. (2) Subrogation.--Upon making a payment described in paragraph (1), the Administrator shall be subrogated to all rights of the party to whom the payment is made with respect to the guarantee which was the basis for the payment. (3) Disposition of property.-- (A) Sale or disposal.--The Administrator shall, in an orderly and efficient manner, sell or otherwise dispose of any property or other interests obtained under this Act in a manner that maximizes taxpayer return and is consistent with the financial interests of the United States. (B) Maintenance.--The Administrator shall maintain in a cost-effective and reasonable manner any property or other interests pending sale or disposal of such property or other interests under subparagraph (A). (j) Action Against Obligor.-- (1) Authority to bring civil action.--The Administrator may bring a civil action in an appropriate district court of the United States in the name of the United States or of the holder of the obligation in the event of a default on a loan guaranteed under this Act. The holder of a loan guarantee shall make available to the Administrator all records and evidence necessary to prosecute the civil action. (2) Fully satisfying obligations owed the united states.--The Administrator may accept property in satisfaction of any sums owed the United States as a result of a default on a loan guaranteed under this Act, but only to the extent that any cash accepted by the Administrator is not sufficient to satisfy fully the sums owed as a result of the default. (k) Breach of Conditions.--The Administrator shall commence a civil action in a court of appropriate jurisdiction to enjoin any activity which the Board finds is in violation of this Act, the regulations under this Act, or any conditions which were duly agreed to, and to secure any other appropriate relief, including relief against any affiliate of the applicant. (l) Attachment.--No attachment or execution may be issued against the Administrator or any property in the control of the Administrator pursuant to this Act before the entry of a final judgment (as to which all rights of appeal have expired) by a Federal, State, or other court of competent jurisdiction against the Administrator in a proceeding for such action. (m) Fees.-- (1) Application fee.--The Board shall charge and collect from an applicant for a loan guarantee under this Act a fee to cover the cost of the Board in making necessary determinations and findings with respect to the loan guarantee application under this Act. The amount of the fee shall be reasonable. (2) Loan guarantee origination fee.--The Board shall charge, and the Administrator may collect, a loan guarantee origination fee with respect to the issuance of a loan guarantee under this Act. (3) Use of fees collected.--Any fee collected under this subsection shall be used to offset administrative costs under this Act, including costs of the Board and of the Administrator. (n) Requirements Relating to Affiliates.-- (1) Indemnification.--The United States shall be indemnified by any affiliate (acceptable to the Board) of an applicant for a loan guarantee under this Act for any losses that the United States incurs as a result of-- (A) a judgment against the applicant or any of its affiliates; (B) any breach by the applicant or any of its affiliates of their obligations under the loan guarantee agreement; (C) any violation of the provisions of this Act, and the regulations prescribed under this Act, by the applicant or any of its affiliates; (D) any penalties incurred by the applicant or any of its affiliates for any reason, including violation of a stipulated performance schedule under subsection (e); and (E) any other circumstances that the Board considers appropriate. (2) Limitation on transfer of loan proceeds.--An applicant for a loan guarantee under this Act may not transfer any part of the proceeds of the loan to an affiliate. (o) Effect of Bankruptcy.--(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, whenever any person or entity is indebted to the United States as a result of any loan guarantee issued under this Act and such person or entity is insolvent or is a debtor in a case under title 11, United States Code, the debts due to the United States shall be satisfied first. (2) A discharge in bankruptcy under title 11, United States Code, shall not release a person or entity from an obligation to the United States in connection with a loan guarantee under this Act. SEC. 6. PROHIBITION ON USE OF FUNDS FOR SPECTRUM AUCTIONS. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, no loan guarantee under this Act may be granted or used to provide funds for the acquisition of licenses for the use of spectrum in any competitive bidding under section 309(j) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 309(j)). SEC. 7. PROHIBITION ON USE OF FUNDS BY INCUMBENT CABLE OPERATORS. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, no loan guarantee under this Act may be granted or used to provide funds for-- (1) the extension of any cable system to any area or areas for which the cable operator of such cable system has a cable franchise, if such franchise obligates the operator to extend such system to such area or areas; or (2) the upgrading or enhancement of the services provided over any cable system, unless such upgrading or enhancement is principally undertaken to extend services to areas outside of the previously existing franchise area of the cable operator. SEC. 8. ANNUAL AUDIT. (a) Requirement.--The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct on an annual basis an audit of-- (1) the administration of the provisions of this Act; and (2) the financial position of each applicant who receives a loan guarantee under this Act, including the nature, amount, and purpose of investments made by the applicant. (b) Report.--The Comptroller General shall submit to the Congress a report on each audit conducted under subsection (a). SEC. 9. EXEMPTION FROM MUST CARRY REQUIREMENTS. A facility of a satellite carrier, cable system, or other multichannel video programming distributor that is financed with a loan guaranteed under this Act and that delivers local broadcast signals in a television market pursuant to the provisions of section 338, 614, or 615 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 338, 534, or 535) shall not be required to carry in such market a greater number of local broadcast signals than the number of such signals that is carried by the cable system serving the largest number of subscribers in such market. SEC. 10. ADDITIONAL AVAILABILITY OF BROADCAST SIGNALS IN RURAL AREAS. (a) Opening of Filing for Additional Translator and Low-Power Stations.--The Federal Communications Commission shall, in accordance with its regulations, open a filing period window for the acceptance of applications for television translator stations and low-power television stations in rural areas. (b) Deadlines for Notice.--The Commission shall announce the filing period window no less than 90 days prior to the commencement of the window. SEC. 11. IMPROVED CELLULAR SERVICE IN RURAL AREAS. (a) Reinstatement of Applicants as Tentative Selectees.-- (1) In general.--Notwithstanding the order of the Federal Communications Commission in the proceeding described in paragraph (3), the Commission shall-- (A) reinstate each applicant as a tentative selectee under the covered rural service area licensing proceeding; and (B) permit each applicant to amend its application, to the extent necessary to update factual information and to comply with the rules of the Commission, at any time before the Commission's final licensing action in the covered rural service area licensing proceeding. (2) Exemption from petitions to deny.--For purposes of the amended applications filed pursuant to paragraph (1)(B), the provisions of section 309(d)(1) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 309(d)(1)) shall not apply. (3) Proceeding.--The proceeding described in this paragraph is the proceeding of the Commission In re Applications of Cellwave Telephone Services L.P, Futurewave General Partners L.P., and Great Western Cellular Partners, 7 FCC Rcd No. 19 (1992). (b) Continuation of License Proceeding; Fee Assessment.-- (1) Award of licenses.--The Commission shall award licenses under the covered rural service area licensing proceeding within 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act. (2) Service requirements.--The Commission shall provide that, as a condition of an applicant receiving a license pursuant to the covered rural service area licensing proceeding, the applicant shall provide cellular radiotelephone service to subscribers in accordance with sections 22.946 and 22.947 of the Commission's rules (47 CFR 22.946, 22.947); except that the time period applicable under section 22.947 of the Commission's rules (or any successor rule) to the applicants identified in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of subsection (d)(1) shall be 3 years rather than 5 years and the waiver authority of the Commission shall apply to such 3-year period. (3) Calculation of license fee.-- (A) Fee required.--The Commission shall establish a fee for each of the licenses under the covered rural service area licensing proceeding. In determining the amount of the fee, the Commission shall consider-- (i) the average price paid per person served in the Commission's Cellular Unserved Auction (Auction No. 12); and (ii) the settlement payments required to be paid by the permittees pursuant to the consent decree set forth in the Commission's order, In re the Tellesis Partners (7 FCC Rcd 3168 (1992)), multiplying such payments by two. (B) Notice of fee.--Within 30 days after the date an applicant files the amended application permitted by subsection (a)(1)(B), the Commission shall notify each applicant of the fee established for the license associated with its application. (4) Payment for licenses.--No later than 18 months after the date that an applicant is granted a license, each applicant shall pay to the Commission the fee established pursuant to paragraph (3) for the license granted to the applicant under paragraph (1). (5) Auction authority.--If, after the amendment of an application pursuant to subsection (a)(1)(B), the Commission finds that the applicant is ineligible for grant of a license to provide cellular radiotelephone services for a rural service area or the applicant does not meet the requirements under paragraph (2) of this subsection, the Commission shall grant the license for which the applicant is the tentative selectee (pursuant to subsection (a)(1)(B) by competitive bidding pursuant to section 309(j) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 309(j)). (c) Prohibition of Transfer.--During the 5-year period that begins on the date that an applicant is granted any license pursuant to subsection (a), the Commission may not authorize the transfer or assignment of that license under section 310 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 310). Nothing in this Act may be construed to prohibit any applicant granted a license pursuant to subsection (a) from contracting with other licensees to improve cellular telephone service. (d) Definitions.--For the purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply: (1) Applicant.--The term ``applicant'' means-- (A) Great Western Cellular Partners, a California general partnership chosen by the Commission as tentative selectee for RSA #492 on May 4, 1989; (B) Monroe Telephone Services L.P., a Delaware limited partnership chosen by the Commission as tentative selectee for RSA #370 on August 24, 1989 (formerly Cellwave Telephone Services L.P.); and (C) FutureWave General Partners L.P., a Delaware limited partnership chosen by the Commission as tentative selectee for RSA #615 on May 25, 1990. (2) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the Federal Communications Commission. (3) Covered rural service area licensing proceeding.--The term ``covered rural service area licensing proceeding'' means the proceeding of the Commission for the grant of cellular radiotelephone licenses for rural service areas #492 (Minnesota 11), #370 (Florida 11), and #615 (Pennsylvania 4). (4) Tentative selectee.--The term ``tentative selectee'' means a party that has been selected by the Commission under a licensing proceeding for grant of a license, but has not yet been granted the license because the Commission has not yet determined whether the party is qualified under the Commission's rules for grant of the license. SEC. 12. TECHNICAL AMENDMENT. Section 339(c) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 339(c)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph: ``(5) Definition.--Notwithstanding subsection (d)(4), for purposes of paragraphs (2) and (4) of this subsection, the term `satellite carrier' includes a distributor (as defined in section 119(d)(1) of title 17, United States Code), but only if the satellite distributor's relationship with the subscriber includes billing, collection, service activation, and service deactivation.''. SEC. 13. DEFINITIONS. In this Act: (1) Affiliate.--The term ``affiliate''-- (A) means any person or entity that controls, or is controlled by, or is under common control with, another person or entity; and (B) may include any individual who is a director or senior management officer of an affiliate, a shareholder controlling more than 25 percent of the voting securities of an affiliate, or more than 25 percent of the ownership interest in an affiliate not organized in stock form. (2) Unserved area.--The term ``unserved area'' means any area that-- (A) is outside the grade B contour (as determined using standards employed by the Federal Communications Commission) of the local television broadcast signals serving a particular designated market area; and (B) does not have access to local television broadcast signals from any commercial, for- profit multichannel video programming provider. (3) Underserved area.--The term ``underserved area'' means any area that-- (A) is outside the grade A contour (as determined using standards employed by the Federal Communications Commission) of the local television broadcast signals serving a particular designated market area; and (B) has access to local television broadcast signals from not more than one commercial, for- profit multichannel video provider. (4) Common terms.--Except as provided in paragraphs (1) through (4), any term used in this Act that is defined in the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.) has the meaning given that term in the Communications Act of 1934. SEC. 14. AUTHORIZATIONS OF APPROPRIATIONS. (a) Cost of Loan Guarantees.--For the cost of the loans guaranteed under this Act, including the cost of modifying the loans, as defined in section 502 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C. 661a), there are authorized to be appropriated for fiscal years 2001 through 2006, such amounts as may be necessary. (b) Cost of Administration.--There is hereby authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act, other than to cover costs under subsection (a). (c) Availability.--Any amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorizations of appropriations in subsections (a) and (b) shall remain available until expended. SEC. 15. SUNSET. No loan guarantee may be approved under this Act after December 31, 2006.