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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 21, 2015 5:00am-7:01am EDT

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agree on every footnote which is my internal joke but we agree on the end. >> i would encourage you all to wok together. >> senator, i would answer that question simply by saying is title 2 i think takes us away from the direction of getting more broadband options. one of the most. things unfortunate things about the debate and i say this as someone who grew up in rural america far away from any big city is that there are a number of different fcc policies that we could pursue to give folks in west virginia and folks in kansas and folks in south carolina the same options that people here in washington take for granted. we can make it easier for deploy wireless infrastructure. we have could get more spectrum out there so that wireless isps can deliver high speed in places like west virginia where you can't lay fiber. we could make it easier so these carriers don't have to invest every single dollar in copper but can deliver fiber to west virginians to make it fairer for
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rural schools who currently don't get a fair shake out of the program to get funding for that program and connect kids with digital opportunities. >> control of how that's delivered, correct? >> i'm sorry. >> it's a possibility of losing control of how it's delivered? who is going to make the decision how i get that? >> all of us would set the regulatory framework in the private sector and have maximum incentive. >> i understand. i'm not objecting to this. i want the best of both worlds i guess. i got a pretty good world right now. can i make it better without throwing the baby out with the bath water and losing the protections i've got. that's what i'm looking for. >> senator you raise an excellent point. i have to say that the in this hearing room i keep hearing the echo of years ago sitting at this table when senator hollings was sitting up there in the chair and he kept saying in his great south carolina draw i'm a born again deregulator. because he learned as you said
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what are the realities when you say the people who run it are the people who are going to make the rules and what we're trying to say is that this this is the most powerful and pervasive platform in the history of the planet. and there ought to be some rules that are made by people other than those who run it. >> yes, sir. >> and i would say to my -- the senator from west virginia that perhaps on this issue we here can find consensus and inspire those five to find consensus. >> can i pick up on that and say yea and varly. >> if we could work together on a solution, because i think there's -- i think that would make a lot of sense for a lot of reasons. senator wicker has one more question he'd like to ask. >> one more line of questioning. senator manchin is right. we've got it the pretty good now. innovation is pretty good now. i do wonder if this is a solution in search of a problem. but talking about rural america.
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commissioner clyburn thank you for visiting mississippi, thank you for visiting rural sunflower county specifically ruville in the mississippi delta. and there you saw a telemedicine program that is treating and attempting to defeat type 2 diabetes. so thank you so much for coming. this program depends on usf supported robust mobile broadband connections. what is the fcc prepared to do to ensure that sufficient usf support remains available so that rural wireless networks remain up and running enabling access to these critical life saving and cost saving advances in medicine? >> you know about phase one of mobility fund as well as our us,,connect america fund. we're moving ahead in the next phases of that which we will
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hope will be further enablers for investments. we've got broadband experiments in rural initiatives that will help us work out the kinks to for us to go to the next stage of broader series of investments. so what we're doing is on a very parallel courseworking out the kinks in terms of ip transition and the like and really continuing to fuel innovation and monies and investment. and working with communities with the private sector with government officials to ensure that the monies that are needed to close these gaps to ensure that ruralville mississippi has the connectivity it needs to further the positive het outcomes that i witnessed in that area. incredible outcomes. >> when you were there, did we get you down to indian know la to see the b.b. king museum?
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>> i missed that unfortunately. >> world class. >> we didn't allocate enough time. but if you invite me back i'll be glad to. i didn't get a chance to do too much eating. if you could work on that next time. >> chairman wheeler, university of mississippi medical center and the delta council have written you imploring you to preserve universal service support for rural areas. can the commission assure rural consumers like the ones i'm talking about that there will be no reductions in their access to wireless services and what assurances can you give this committee that rural consumers will not lose their current ability to choose among quality providers? >> i think commissioner clyburn thank you, senator. can i get an invitation? i'd like to see lucille. >> absolutely. >> the -- i think commissioner
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clyburn hit the nail on the head in terms of we are now, we're looking at moving to phase two of the mobility fund. and that it has to fit into all the other activities which we've spoken about earlier in this hearing in terms of what we're doing for universe service. i am a -- you talk about the great job that the university of mississippi medical center is doing. i'm a huge believer in what mobile health can do. i was before i took this job i was the chairman of the u.n. foundation's mental health alliance literally going around the world and saying here's how you can use mobility to solve these problems. and we want to make sure that those kind of opportunities sure do exist in this country. >> thank you. thank you, my colleagues or the second round. >> thank you senator wicker. senator nelson, you want to ask another question or two? >> we're almost there, guys.
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>> not quite. mr. chairman i have a letter that the leadership conference on civil and human rights, they're weighing in on this. i asked that it be entered into the record. >> without objection. >> let's go back. you know this flap started that prompted 4 million comments i take it that's fairly unprecedented. >> a record. >> and a lot of that was expressing their angst because they thought that their internet was going to be messed with. is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> and by messing with it, if we think back to what was in the public's mind at the time it
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was were they going to have to pay more because certain content was going to have to pay more to get on to the internet pipes. is that correct? into that was one of the major issues, the so-called fast lane issue. >> okay. and by you drawing the order as you have drawn it, does that allow you the fcc as a regulator, as a referee along with future regulators if someone suddenly wants to charge more for certain traffic on the internet than other types of traffic, that an fcc is going to be a referee there now or in the future to prevent that? >> yes, sir, we have a flatout ban on those kinds of paid fast
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lanes. >> and that's in the order. >> yes, sir. >> mr. pi do you disagree with that? >> i agree it's in the order. but i also agree with chairman last year when he testified. >> the obvious question is do you disagree with that provision in the order. >> yes i do. absolutely. because number one there is no paid prioritizationsization now. there are no fast lanes now. this is an entirely hypothetical concern. as the chairman pointed out last year -- >> i'll tell you mr. pai, it wasn't of no concern to 4 million people. >> you put it well, senator when you said they had angst about what was going to happen. if you look at the actual document, there's no evidence in the record of any systemic specifically with paid prioritization. even if you agreed there was a problem as the chairman testified before the house last year, you cannot ban paid prioritizationsization under title 2. i agree with him. >> you're putting words in my mouth here. >> i'm quoting you. >> let's be real clear. i said that there is a waiver
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process under title 2 that is a way out of what we have done, as you know is to have a flatout ban on paid prioritization and too specify what the waiver test ought to be. if you're going to represent my position, let's be specific on what that is. >> let me ask you, chairman wheeler, is there a difference in the issue about the application of title 2 that is before the court this time that was different the last time that this issue was before the court? >> yes, sir i think that the issue. >> would you explain that to the committee? >> the issue before the court in the 2010 rule was the court determined that -- that the kinds of requirements that the commission had put in place were
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only requirements that could be applied to a common carrier. and because of the fact that the agency had not said that the broadband providers were common carriers, they therefore couldn't reach and impose on them. a point that is of interest in that lawsuit and is relative to what commissioner pai said a moment ago about paid prioritization, is that verizon's counsel during oral argument said i have been explicitly authorized by my client to tell the court that the reason we are appealing this decision is that we want the kind of unregulated environment that would allow us to do the kind of things that you've been talking about such as paid prioritization. and that it was those issues that were all involved in that
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decision. >> let me give you chairman wheeler the chance. there was one of the senators here i think it was senator johnson, that he had asked a question. commissioner pai had answered it. you requested an opportunity to respond and there was not time in the senator's -- do you recall -- pooh. >> this is like watching a tennis match sir. i'm not sure i remember the question. >> i think that's where you wanted to voice your groopt with what i was saying >> no wonder i forgot. >> thank you though, senator. >> senator could i just -- >> i've got some additional questions i'll submit for the record. >> great. >> because of the lateness of the hour. >> you had a response to this last question. >> i just wanted to make sure we're accurate. i'm quoting the chairman on may 20th of 2014 "there is nothing in title 2 that prohibits paid prioritization. >> let's quit play ong words.
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>> moreover the representation of the oral argument was completely misconstituted, as well. >> il stipulate 0 that i said that. what that statement says is not how you are interpreting it. >> you can go to youtube and watch it. >> so just time-out. does title 2 provide a waiver process? >> there is no waiver process in title 2. you can interpret the rules to fashion some sort of make work. >> there is in all of title 2 a process where you can apply to the commission for a waiver. >> under what section? >> and if you take that don't take that out of context, the reason -- what i was saying in that hearing was that there is always an opportunity under title 2 to come in and seek a waiver under our general procedures. >> i mean, okay if that's the argument, obviously the fcc has general waiver authority it can apply to anything under the sun. >> i sure fouled up in my
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explanation of things then, didn't i? >> i take you at your word then that you didn't believe that title 2 banned prioritization. i agree with that. the record speaks for itself. >> well let me just say. >> it's very fun to sit between the two. >> you want to referee? >> mr. chairman, i think that the meetings of the fcc must be very interesting. >> must watch tv, senator. >> let me just say that i have the shared responsibility with the chairman of this committee as the majority of this committee, the chairman to see if there's any common ground and i'm not sure there is common ground if the issues are as divided as they are.
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and that saddens me because i think that reasonable people can usually come together and find a consensus. but commissioner pai, if the chairman says and this has been typical throughout the last three hours and 15 minutes, if the chairman says the sky's blue you will say no, it's a different color. >> senator, the best -- >> and that's what's gun on all day. >> senator, the best example of my willingness to find consensus is my track record over the 2 1/2 years i've had as serving under a commissioner. we had 9% of unanimous votes in terms of meeting items. that percentage has gone down to 50%. in may of 2014, the chairman's office asked us would you be
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interested in talking about a possible solution. i said yes. they never got back to us. on this particular issue and a great number of high profile issues we consistently put a proposal on the table that would allow us to find consensus incensive option, e rate you name it. all of my statements are on the record. they've repeatedly been rebuffed for god knows what reason. my door is always open. perhaps my foolish midwestern optimism i believe we can get to yes because in the first two years of my tenure, we did get to yes. since i'm the one being impugned here, and you have my permission since this is my time, you know there's eight difference between staking out a position and saying this position which is contrary to the goals of the majority if you don't agree with this position, then you're not compromising with me. but we'll let that slide.
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here's just -- i've heard mr. pai on this. wheeler sitting on nprm on redefineing mpd in hopes of consensus was republicans. here's a statement from commissioner pai on our location orders. saying at the time i expressed concern they would fail to meet that test that the concern was born out by the record in this proceeding. i'm pleased we're now adopting requirements that meet these twos watch words. i want to commend the parties that work cooperatively on this effort. there is a -- i sit down with all of my colleagues every other week. we have a regular meeting for an hour on the schedule at least for an hour to say what are the issues and what do we need to work on. and i hope that we can continue
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to produce results that where we respect each other. and but we need to be real careful of talking about how redefining things and then saying because you won't take my redefinition you won't compromise. that's not compromise. >> i'll just conclude by saying that i have a great deal of faith in senator thune as a partner, as we go forth on a lot of issues on this committee. and whether or not we can work out something on this, it's to be determined. but i can assure you that the conversations between senator thune and me are quite civil, and in the best spirit of
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friendliness. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator nelson. i think this discussion demonstrates that we do need to figure out how to resolve this issue. and indeed, the ambiguity. the uncertainty, all the discussion that's going on right now suggests to me that we need some clarity. and if we want to ban paid prioritization let's do it in law. that's a fairly straightforward way of solving this issue and eliminating what will be a lot of uncertaintiernity and a certain amount of lawsuits. i look forward to working with you and members on both sides. i hope we can find that title x as you referred to it. sweet spot. all right. i assume that the senators from the northeast are back because they want to ask some questions. can you be very, very quick? ing >>ing withing that suggestion, certainly, mr. chairman. >> senator from massachusetts. >> we'll seek common ground on brevity. >> say that not for my benefit but for theirs.
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>> i understand. i want to thank all of you for your patience and your perseverance here today. i just want to second what my two colleagues have said that we're certainly going to seek common ground. but i think there is a clear policy that has emerged from the fcc on an open internet and net neutrality and that policy now even if it is the result of a divided commission, is the law. and if it's challenged as i indicated earlier i certainly would do everything in my power to support it. because i think clarity is to be great lit saw the and prized here. i want to explore another area which relates to a letter that i received from a connecticut radio station, wgch in greenwich, the local owner of that radio station, rocco fort
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wrote to me regarding notification he seened from verizon that legacy services provided to the station wok immediately terminatenated in 90 days and that the station must find alternative service options. and he was upset understandably that his other options cost 2.5 times what the station currently pays and also would take weeks to install. wgch is a station that serves more than a million people with information that they need and deserve on emergencies severe weather, catastrophes and listeners rely on that service. so as ip transition moves forward and more legacy providers go through this process of obtaining permission for the commissionings to discontinue existing services in favor of newer technologies and more and more consumers receive these kinds of notices of discontinuous, i want to make
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sure there are sufficient protections for consumers. mr. chairman chairman wheeler i understand the commission is committed to making sure that consumers are properly informed. i'd also like to know what the commission is doing to ensure that consumers have recourses so they're not literally like w c gch cut off from service in the process. >> we have just finished the comment period on rule making on this issue. we shorthand call it copper retirement. and there are three principles. the first principle is the public safety principle. you can't negatively affect the ability of people to call 911. interestingly enough, when you go toive fooer that becomes a real issue because fiber doesn't have power that comes with it. so how are you going to deal with that in a power outage situation? secondly is that the consumer needs to know what's going on so it has to be transparency.
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none of this surprise. we're going to be changing things which is kind of like sounds like the story you're talking about. and thirdly, is that small and medium operators like your medium companies like you're talking about need to continue to have competitive-choices. and so we've teed up all three of those questions in this rule making. and we'll be wrestling with bringing them forward in an order, but you've put your finger on a very important issue. >> and what will be the timing for that? >> i hope to be able to work with all of my colleagues to deliver that, you know, sometime around football season. shall we say? i'll give myself a little leeway there. but -- >> great. >> we take this quite seriously. >> i want to just conclude on
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the subject that i raised during the end of my last question. it seems to me one of the brightest areas one of the most promising areas in the video marketplace these days seems to be the flexibility offered to consumers by online video services. and i'm talking about netflix amazon, prime, apple tv, just yesterday, as you may know, "the wall street journal" reported apple is in talks with tv networks to offer a less expensive slimmed down service. a bundle of 25 channels this fall, but here's the comment that struck me and i'm quoting for now, the talks don't involve nbcuniversal owner of the nbc broadcast network and cable channels like usa and bravo because of a falling out between apple and nbcuniversal parent
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company comcast corporation. the people familiar with the matter said. end of quote. i'm concerned about competition among broadband providers. i think that concern. anti-competitive behavior is real as the quote indicated. these new -- these companies that offer new services new competition require high speed internet access to reach their customers and that risk of anti-competitive behavior is one of the reasons that i've raised concern about the comcast merger that we've discussed with time warner. and in fact if i may quote you, you said the underpinning of broadband policy today is that competition is the most effective tool for driving innovation investment and consumer and economic benefits.
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unfortunately, the reality we face today is that as broadband increases, competitive choice decreases. my time is expired. perhaps gratefully in your view but i just want to invite your comment if you have any other comments or from other members of the commission because i think that central principle and goal of competition is so important, i know that you can't comment on the merger. i'm not asking you to. but if you or any of your colleagues has a comment on this general area, i would welcome it. >> yes, i have opinions. i know that will surprise you. but i will look down the table and see if anybody -- i don't want to who this. anybody want to -- jessica. >> television is going to change more in the next couple of years than it has over the last several decades. we all now want to watch what we
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want to watch when we want to watch it on any screen handy. and i think the commission going forward needs to be mindful of all of these new services and help find ways to make them successful so that consumers have more choice and that there's more competition in the provision of video services. >> i've heard from so many of the members of this committee about cable pricing and these kinds i have things. the answer is in competition. that competition is coming over the top. it is coming over the top through the internet. it is one of the reasons why there has to be an open internet. because historically, cable systems have chosen who will be on. i will take this service, is not that service. and we cannot be in that kind of a situation if we want to have
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true video competition. >> good. thank you. >> thank you, senator blumenthal. senator markey. >> thank you mr. chairman very much. may i ask you, mr. chairman, did the fcc follow the processes used by both democrat and republican commissions when crafting these latest net neutrality rules? >> yes, sir. >> yeah. these are tough decisions. it's a process though. and out of the process came a decision. >> that i agree with. i think that's a historically correct decision. but i don't think there should be a question whether or not you use the process that allowed all voices to be heard and the final vote 3-2, 3-2 is based upon the totality of everything that all five of you had the opportunity to hear. 3-2. >> the process gave everyone the ability to be able to hear what they needed to hear. and i think you made just the right decision. and i think you made the right
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decision looking at the whole history of the fcc and what you've done for our country. back in the 1970s, you know the ceo of sprint and mci came into my office and they had less than one-half of one-half of one-half of 1% of the market and they wanted the fcc to change the rules so you didn't have to dial 23 numbers before you dialed the number your mother made you memorize in case you were in a car accident. that's what created those industries. the fcc passed the rules that said no. you can use the telephone pole and pay a reasonable fee to do so. we don't want the whole street filled up with just poles. it was reasonable. it added to the competition. at&t didn't want to be broken up. but we all had black rotary dial phones. you can't stay there forever. we were already 100 years into that era.
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it's all about competition and innovation. when is you did the light touch on wireless 1993, the cc using title two was all intended on unleashing hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars of new investment. it worked. the fcc made the right decision. the agency of expertise when we created the third, fourth fifth, sixth seventh ceremony license the reason we will to do it is the first two twos companies had monopolies charging 50 cents a minute and the phone was the size of a brick. people have two devices in their pocket. but the fcc made the right decision to advance competition. that's what this is all about. the cable industry did not want at&t and the telephone companies to get into cable. they wanted a monopoly. at&t did not want the cable industry to be able to provide telephone service.
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they all fought. these are big players here. big players. i understand it. big players. don't want little people coming in. ruining this nice little world that they have going. and even the decision you just made on municipal broad bands, justiest just saying to individual communities across the country you can't provide provide competition. and that's a 3-2 decision here. 3-2, 3-2, 3-2, i understand. i understand the commissioners who vote no. these are tough issues. they were tough issues on allowing mci and sprint to be born back in the 1970s. tough decisions. you're taking on the big companies. so we're at a crossroads here where the innovation, the investment dollars, the creativity, the content creators are not the big companies. they're thousands of little companies that all benefit from net neutrality. you got it just right. it's the heart of our economy.
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it's where young people want to go of all races. it's where the venture capitalists are putting their money. and as you correctly pointed out, all these companies then reported within days after you passed this rule it wasn't going to affect their long-term investment in infrastructure going forward. they all said the same thing. you know what else happened? all over the country, a whole bunch of people between the ages of 20 and 35 said this is great. i got new apps. i got new technologies. i have new services i can now reach 210 million americans. as soon as weise do that in america, and come up with the idea then we're selling it across the world branded made in america. it's these new companies that make the difference. just like sprint and mci, all the way through today, that's what the fcc is all about. you're the agency of expertise. and you've used this existing framework brilliantly over the years. brilliantly. and i think you got it the right
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again. and i think it would be ill advised for the congress to move in and try to be the agency of expertise when there is now a consensus already built by the statements of the largest companies that they can live it but the enthusiasm that comes from smaller software and apps companies, the new internet startups has been overwhelming. so i just say this to put in context the whole history of how far we've come in a brief period of time. you don't have to win a long distance phone call comes into your house any longer yell hurry, hurry, it's a long distance call. at&t had charged two bucks for a minute for 200 years because they could get away with it. we're not letting people get away with saying no, there's another way of doing business. that's what net neutrality makes possible for our country. thank you so much. >> thank the senator from massachusetts. i assume there wasn't a question
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in there somewhere. >> there was, in fact the first question was to the commissioner and he answered -- it was a leading question but it was a question. >> and mark, the senator from massachusetts down is undecided on our draft bill. i want to just in terms of fcc re-thorization very quickly it got asked once before and a couple of you responded to it. i want to ask the question of all commissioners. is it time to reauthorize the fcc? >> that's a decision that you make, that congress has made the decision not to the thus far. if you want to change that decision, you're the congress. you make the rules. >> i agree. that's up to congress, but i also agree it's always good to review federal agencies and practices. >> yes. >> it's congress's decision. i do agree it's time to move
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forward with something. >> i yield to the expert body. >> chairman, can i say 25 years is aing lo time. >> yeah. >> i'm agreeing with you. >> your hair was a different color back then. >> and very quickly, one reform that you would recommend that we make or a top reform as you think about fcc re-thorization any come to mind. >> i put a number on the table already. one that i haven't talked about i think there's a need to have an accountability of our enforcement procedures. issue a number of nels and judgments in that case but there's no actual tracking of what happens to the money. are we actually getting the money we're actually assigning penalties for. and i think that would be very helpful. i tried to get this, get the material for this hearing the information just came back we don't track that.
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i just think there's something wrong. we should know if we're penalizing somebody, is it being paid? what is the ramifications. that's one thing i would add to the multiple layers i've already talked about. >> sunshine agriform makes our deliberative process cumbersome. so sunshine agriphone would be top on my list. >> in addition to the proposals and the process reform act, i would add reform of section 5 of the communications act to ensure that the full commission has an opportunity to weigh in on serious and substantial policy questions which currently republican often resolved on delegated authority by the bureaus. >> i think we need a program to bring more engineers. we have more wireless technologies evolving faster than at any point in human history. i think that if we were able to bring in more engineers to review some of those new technologies and equipment authorizations which are multiplying, we would be a lot faster making sure innovation its way to the marketplace.
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>> this is a series of good ideas. i'd like to be much more forthcoming and more detailed in response with that laundry list sir. >> okay. >> look, it's been a long day. i appreciate your indulgence. i would just say in closing i think the issues that we've discussed and detaineed today, you can tell there are strong feelings about. i still believe maintained for a long time that we're better served in the long run if we can provide clearer rules for the road. and i think clear direction of the fcc but limited tailored to me is a better way to approach the issue of how best to achieve an open internet and as i mentioned before, we've got a ball with you senator nelson and others on the committee about it. i would hope going forward that the commission col play a constructive role not discourage us from legislating. and but perhaps be helpful if we
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decide to do something that would put something in statute that i think again addresseses the issue of uncertainty and lawsuits which is going to plague this order i think for sometime to come that you all could play a contributing role to that and not work against that. >> can i just be supportive of those comments sir? i think that we're in a situation of we will we will provide you whatever of expertise that we can including from different points of view. and this is going to a classic situation of we'll report and you decide. >> okay. >> i ask that question, as well of the chairman and he has assured me that he will. my sense is as a result of what we've heard today from the five commissioners is that we're going to have to let this percolate a bit before we can actually sit down and have this
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consensus building that you all -- that you and i are talking about. >> okay. with that, the hearing record will remain open for two weeks during which time senators will be asked to submit any questions for the record. upon receipt the witnesses are requested to submit their written answers to the committee as soon as possible. thank the panel. this hearing is adjourned. on the next "washington journal," former deputy chief of counter-terrorism, fred burton discusses security concerns at u.s. embassies. then daniel mitchell of the cato
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institute looks at the current tax code and proposals to reform it. and after that, maryland state delegate cory mccray talks about his efforts to restore voting rights to felons. plus your phone calls, facebook comments and tweets. "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. saturday on c-span, fcc chair tom wheeler testifies on the fcc's recent an probable of new open internet rules designed to prohibit internet service providers from blocking or discriminating against legal content moving through their networks. he spoke in front of the house oversight and government reform committee. see it starting at 150 a.m. eastern time. sunday, secret service director joseph clancy discusses an incident in which two secret service agents allegedly drove into a white house barricade while drunk. he spoke in front of a house appropriations subcommittee. you can see those comments sunday at 10:30 a.m. eastern
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also on c-span. this weekend, the c-span cities is tour has partnered with media come to learn about the history and literary life of columbus georgia. >> right here inside the museum is the remains of a confederate ironclad the c subpoena subpoena jackson. and this is an ironclad that was built here in columbus curing the war. those oval shapes that you see are actually the gun ports of the jackson. and the jackson is armed with six brook rifles. the particular brook rifle that we're firing today is one of the guns built specifically for the jackson. it was cast at the selma naval works in selma, alabama and completed in january of 1865. the real claim to fame is directly connected to the fact that there are only 4 iron clads from the civil war that we can study right now.
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and the jackson is right here and this is why this facility is here. it's first and foremost to tell the story of this particular ironclad and to show people that there are more than just one or two ironclads. there were many. >> watch all of our events from columbus saturday at noon eastern on c-span2's book tv and sunday afternoon at 2:00 on "american history tv" on c-span3. next remarks from mark rosekind administrator for the national highway traffic safety administration on his agency's mission and commitment to protect drivers. he also looked at distracted driving initiatives and rental car safety loopholes. head by the consumer federation of america, this is an hour.
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>> okay. we're going to get started. so if anybody wants to drag the folks from the outside, this is the final panel of the conference. and hopefully, one of the best ones. so my name is gigi sohn. i am a public interest advocate turned bureaucrat. i guess about 15 months ago, i joined the federal communications commission. i now have a new title, counselor to chairman wheeler. so i work with the chairman. he spoke here last year and enjoyed it a great deal. we've got a bunch of terrific panelists. let me introduce them briefly. we're going to talk amongst ourselves and hopefully in about 45 minutes and then we'll open it up to question and answer. but i'd like us to wrap up 12:15, 12:20. i've got to get going and i know people want to have lunch.
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so very quickly, directly to my left is frank taurus the director of consumer affairs for microsoft. next to him is lee tien, senior staff attorney from the electronic frontier foundation in san francisco. next to him is chris calabrese, senior policy director with the center for democracy and technology. he was at the aclu for a long time and now at cdt. last but certainly not least the infamous marc cooper, the research director of consumer federation of america and i got a request, although mark you don't need to honor this request to get closer to the mic when you speak. nobody has ever you know, i can't hear you, marc cooper said nobody ever. >> in the bronx, they can hear me. >> and loud. >> so am i. i actually want to start with mark to sort of to kind of put a frame around this panel. i mean, it sounds like a little
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try to say god, the world is changing so quickly. technology is changing so quickly. but you've got connected devices, cars. i think you're going to talk about a toothbrush. you've got the internet of things, big data. i mean it's incredibly complicated. it's evolving so rapidly. you know how do you get a handle if you're a consumer advocate, how do you get a handle on this stuff? what do we do about it? okay. what is going to come down -- what are we missing? what's coming down the pike that's going to even be more radical. i'll start with mark and if anybody else wants to speak afterwards, but mark, go ahead and frame the conversation for us. >> i thought i'd start in a different place which is frequently my starting point. >> ignore my question. >> absolutely. i'm a consumer advocate. i've got my agenda. in the quart century after world war ii the u.s. population increased by 50%.
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automobile penetration went from 50% to 80% and miles driven increased by 250%. telephone penetration went from 50% to 90% and the number of phone calls increased by 500%. tv went from zero to 90%. and became the fourth most frequent consumer activity after sleeping, eating, and working. the number of residential buildings increased by 500%. and mortgage debt increased by a thousand percent. electricity consumption increased by 700 percent. now you may not like it but that was the american way of life and it became the gold standard for advanced industrial society. it was copied all around the world. interestingly, about 20 years into the process, a public interest advocate came along who said wait a minute.
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consumers are not getting their full value. and a lot of their important values are not having any weight in the deployment of this american way i have life. my hypothesis, today the digital revolution stands exactly where the advanced industrial revolution stood at the end of world war ii. in the next 25 years things will change at least as much and probably twice as much. however, and we can't stop it. you cannot stop it. the economics is overwhelming. nor do i think we should try precisely because there's so much economic benefit. on the other hand, we certainly can't wait for the 20 years to try and fix it. we've learned an important lesson. code is law, architecture is destiny and retrofit is expensive and maybe impossible. so what we have to do in the
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next ten years is to make sure we shape and guide the digital revolution in a consumer friendly direction that also allows it to express itself and deliver the values. we need the benefits and we need to start to control the costs. that's a big picture of where we're going. nobody knows what we're going to end up with. i was going to give the example of the toothbrush calling. it's an ad in "wired" magazine. the wired toothbrush is really a fascinating prospect because americans don't brush their teeth very well. who the heck wants someone to know that other than my dentist? >> so mark used the word values. i want to -- i do want to get back to what is consumer protection mean in this era but you used the word values. it's something my boss chairman wheeler talks about. he talks about a network compact, values that underlie
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our telecommunications systems that must be preserved regardless of the technology. so the network compact has values like access, competition consumer protection, public safety, again this is just with regard to networks. so i wanted to ask the folks on the panel maybe we'll start with frank and go down. what are the values that ought to be underlying or animating or digital world? what are the things that are not necessarily included in the network compact that we ought to be thinking about as technology changes? let's start with you frank. >> i think one way of looking at this is should those values actually be any different from the values that any company or government for that matter has when they're talking about issues or products or services that have direct impact on consumers or are meant for consumers. i mean, did you -- do we go back to the basics and say consumers
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ought to be treated fairly? that they ought to have some recourse. that their information ought to be kept private and secure. and when you layer on top of those types of values what's going on in the digital age, it may get a little bit more complicated but i think the underlying values may not necessarily change. i mean before data was kept on letters and on paper and you could secure them in your home. and if the government wanted access, they needed a warrant and they came to your door, that type of thing. well, the landscape has changed as the internet allows us to be a lot more global, things are stored in the cloud which essentially means some companies server somewhere. and so just to take the example of privacy you know, things have changed. we need to be thoughtful about how to overlay those values into what's happening with technology today. i mean we can go into a lot of different examples.
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>> lynn? >> also maybe one of the things you can answer along with setting out the values what are some of the tralgs in translating those values in into law and policy? >> i guess i do agree with frank in the sense that a lot of this is a question of fidelity in translation, right? that is the values i don't think they've changed. i think that what has changed is architectures is technology is consumer knowledge and to some extent money and politics changing the terms of discourse. but to use mark saying architecture is destiny, he said architecture is policy, that means thaws have to understand the architecture. that means that when you are speaking for consumers or speaking for users, we have to make sure that we understand the
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architecture and we want to make sure that whom the people we represent understand it well enough so that when they make choices and when they -- when we engage in collective action, that we are doing so understanding the reality we face. i think that in the last 10, 20 years one of the big problems that consumers and users have had is that our understanding and off what we think about what's happening is so different from what is actual happening because of the way the technology works that there's this is enormous gap and as a result of that gap, people are doing things or are comfortable with changes in the world that don't actually favor them necessarily. the -- you know one of phi favorite examples is the one that frank pointed to the
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difference in the way that information sgs simply handled in the cloud or not. when i was growing up, a voice mail meant a something on a tape in my house. today, i know, i'm old. today a voice mail is something stored at sprint or verizon or at&t. that simple change in technology, you might say oh, well, they're both voice mail messages. what's the difference? but there's a world of difference. how -- who controls it who has access to it. what else is -- what other data is associated with it and all these things if you don't pay attention to them and apply the same rules and the same legal regulations they're going to work out very, very differently. the other example is less -- is more obscure but it's equally important. we don't as consumers or ordinary people really understand how hard it is to
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deidentify or an nom mize information. we are constantly told, yes, this has been stripped of pii or this is now anonymous. there it ever it can be used and transmitted safely. not so. it's extraordinarily easy to reidentify a great deal of information given how much information is out there. but when we don't know that and when our policymakers don't reflect that understanding and when the architectures ignore that, then we're going to have with big data very, very serious privacy and security problems as a result. i'll stop there. >> so chris, so just to tee up the questions again, what are the values that should underlie our digital technologies what are some of the challenges translating the values into laws. i'm going to add a third question. >> mang me go even longer. mark could also answer is what -- there was a lot of talk about architecting privacy
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specifically into design. what are the challenges, what are the constraints on building protection into the design of new digital products? >> sure. i don't know if i'll thoroughly cover all those. i'm sure we'll get to them. closer to the microphone. all right. so the internet is at least to my mind, the greatest tool for exercising your first amendment or free expression rights since the printing press. i mean, it's that the foundational in terms of its change. so this is like sort of leveled the technology has given us this extraordinary value proposition for exercising our rights for assembly, i mean you know, chairman wheeler deserves a great deal of credit for this net neutrality order that just came out this week or the rules were published yesterday but i think the 4 million plus people who submitted comments to the fcc also deserve some of that
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credit. and that is only possible because of the internet. so there's extraordinary value here for consumers for advocates for all of us. before we even get to the consumer benefits of having free e-mail and having you know all the other services that we've come to enjoy based on advertising and other supportive services. there is a cost of course because there are no free lunches. we all know that. and the costs are sometimes subtle and you know not always intuitive to consumers. and so just 0 give you one example and this is something that we've been noodling about a little bit. we all understand that the advertisements that we see on the sides of our websites are not -- are different for individual people. right? you are not seeing the same ad on your browser as other people are seeing on their browser. and you know those are provided by third parties. not only with those third parties providing you with ads, they're also collecting information on your viewing
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habits and they are correlating them across the web. you know, and so that can lead to concrete harm so for example there are rules around the information that you may use to give someone a credit card. you may only rely on certain categories of information to issue someone a credit card. you know their credit score, pieces in their credit score. however, the rules around marketing credit card information are much looser. so if i am seeing a different advertisement for a different kind of credit card based on information that has been gleaned about me i may be offered a higher credit, you know, a higher interest credit card and just not note it because i'm never seeing different ads. i'm seeing a different internet than other people are. so we've got to reconcile these two sort of different things. as mark and others have alluded to, the fact is that the pace of change has been so fast that is consumer intuition about these
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things has not yet caught up. they have an intuition about the cost and services and the way things are being provided them that is based on an obsolete business model. it is based on this dale that something i get in the mail is an is a letter that was sent to everybody. that's not true anymore. so far you know this is the challenge. we don't want to style of the innovation. we want to be able to share the information we want to keep up with the pace of change but we also want to quantify and grapple with these harms that are real and you know not to get too esoteric but do in some cases change the balance of power between companies and consumers in terms of the information they have and how they can act on it. >> mark, can you address the question that i asked about what are the constraints on actually building consumer protection into devices or other digital
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products? >> so leah's argued that it is very difficult for consumers to know what's going on. it's just not transparent. physical life we thought was transparent although there was a lot of stuff going on in the background, as well. so the question then becomes in this incredibly dynamic space which things change all the time, in which the consumer interface is sort of the front part of an immense terrain back there, how do we deal with that? and i have been an advocate so i want to disagree with chris when he says the internet is the biggest thing since the printing press. the internet is infinitely bigger than the printing press. >> i don't think that's disagreeing. >> the printing press was an elite medium for hundreds of years. the internet has been a mass medium from almost day one. we have now people with cell
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phones we have 5 billion people on this planet with cell phones. only 60% penetration may be getting to 70% mobile broadband is up to 40%. mobile brad band is up to 40% on the planet. captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2008
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