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tv   Communicators with Shirley Bloomfield  CSPAN  May 15, 2017 8:00pm-8:29pm EDT

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.... .... >> guest: and have evolved and
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two 3rds do videos and half does other things. they cover about 40% of the land mass. they are folks who live, work and raise families in communities where they provide communication services. we do everything from training, education and finding ways to create synergy that is hard for small carriers. >> host: who are your member companies and who do they represent? >> guest: i have carriers in 46 states. i have community -held companie in iowa. they are folks that provide service to again rural americans in general. i have folks who are dog amazing
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things because this is the community they live. as an example, i have a cooperative in eastern kentucky, one of the lowest income portions in the country. they are looking at ways to create broadband and growth and they partner with an entity to bring customer service training. the broadband is provided by one member company and the folks are able to work from home and to do teleworking which requires traditional actees to do it. i have companies on the islands, top of the mountains and they are looking to make sure rural america doesn't get left behind as we go through this
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communicati communication evolution where communication is overing. >> let's talk about the members faced and david kaut joins us. >> you mentioned broadband several times and that is a focus bringing high-speed access to rural areas and we hear about that all the time. what would you say are your biggest priorities right now? in congress or the fcc? >> that is a loaded question. the answer is broadband and appointment. one thing we are seeing for example is the fcc completed pretty comprehensive service universal reform. 2016, it was a big effort in the making of about six years of crunching number and models and different objectives with the fcc. so, the fcc came out of that reform with a model path and a legacy path for carriers. but the problem is there isn't
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sufficient funding to do the jobs the model and legacy problem is set to do. it is new accountability which is great. there is the ability to geolocate where you build the broadbrand which is important. people are wondering if i have broadbrand, enough broadband, if we have it today is sufficient for the future. i look at universal service in making sure we can refinish reform in a way that brings the promise to rural america as probably job number one. i think i get calls from communities across the country that are not served by a memb membership and saying how do you start a cooperative. second, is based on particularly congress's agenda and president trump's agenda, we are hearing a lot of talk about infrastructure.
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it is like part two of your question which is how do we then make sure broadband is considered part of any infrastructure package that is considered. i look at and i think highways of the future is broadband. public safety, education, tone medicine, all initiatives that keep our country robust can really be derived from broadband. how do we make sure it goes beyond a road and bridge. the third i would show in, you know, it is really important and has been great floors. it is a proceeding that nobody but our sector wouldn't watch. since 2011, the fcc desiginated
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a floor saying urban and rural need to match. i have maybe a thousand people, ten thousands people, it is not compareable show how do you find a way not to match urban by pennies. folks have been talking about that an capitol hill. >> how is the universal fund dollars used by our association members? >> a lot of people look at universal service and think you can build it that way. people built with capital infrastructure like the lending program run out of usda which is one of the few super appropiating line items in the budget and the program makes money for the government because there has never been a deadry
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deadryan -- deadline. it is support mechanisms that ensures the rates are compareable. how you keep the network up to date and speed and continue to build it out and make sure what you were charging for those services is reasonable compareable to urban rates. for example, most carriers have a density of about 1-5 consumer miles of wire. i look at a state like pennsylvania which as a good state to mix it because it has a mix of rural and urban. the average density is 284. the price doesn't get cheaper. how do you not charge rural consumers $300 a month for
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broadband services. they work hand and hand. i think the reforms the fcc are doing is so important because what they put in place we are going to quantify how far out we can go. how do we ensure those programs can taylor to reach the networks and not let the materials in place decline. >> you talk about universal service and that helps build out and operations. let's two billion for the smaller ones you represent. you all believe they need to provide another 250 million or so in funning. how is that working over there?
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>> it is a tough time. everybody is assessing. i think 250 million a year, we can quantify how many more people we can reach and what higher speeds we can provide for them. i look at that and think wow to reach the firth furtherest corn is a high price to pay. it is like they build a great car but there is not enough gas in the tank. that $250 million would go a long way. the other thing the high cost programs don't have like e-rate and life line is there is no cost of living adjustments. these companies have been frozen about this for seven years. i look at that and i think we
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are talking about broadband and how you get this great equalizer out there. i think we have a commission that is rural and empthetic. it was a really interesting election. i think rural america stood up a little bit and raised the flag and said we are out here, don't forget about us. we have chairman pai who hasn't just flown over rural america put lived on the ground there. he understands the challenge and made a real point of getting out in the dimitri simes communities and see what it takes. it has been on some of these bigs and commissioner riley actually took a leadership role saying he feels a very strong passion about making sure americans have access. so i remain hopeful.
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the way it is done is it it based on old legacy television base. you have a growing demand on a program that has become a broadbrand program. you are hitting a brick wall. folks are thoughtful, willing to take about it. i remain hopeful if we can talk about it using service to do some of the filling in the gaps would be efficient and cost effective way of pushing the broadband out there. you had a legislative conference with a lot of lawmakers on the hill and what is your sense on the prospect of an infrastructure bill? there has been a lot of talk about including broadband in it.
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he said it would potentially help address your issues. i look at the mood in congress and have been out here for a long time and i have done through the cycles. i think there is something to be said that everybody can find something important and good for the country. i think there is a lot of -- i am very hopeful we can do this. i will say, the fact that you have president trump putting out a potentially one trillion were
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proseal. whether they would proportion it the same way it is hard to say but most reference broadband should be part of the discussion. i think the when you say is pokesed on infrastructure and figure out what the pieces look like. i look at 2018 as an election year and great year to invest in infrastructure. >> >> host: there is new leadership
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in congress. marcia black burn and mike doyle and greg aldman and susan on the other side. what has been your interaction with this group? >> senator thune has been where he has been for a while. he gets it. these are his constituents and he said wired to think about what is happening for rural c consuco consumers and making sure his state has the same right next door in minnesota. blackburn has been engaged and spent time working with the trump administration and was behind the scenes in terms of their priorities.
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she already invited folks to participate in the closed brand summit she held in florida. he is going to -- she addressed our group in washington and shared some of her agenda and talked about real broadbraand. congressman waldman is from a state with deep rural constituents so a deep understanding of these issues. you if you can find ways to find areas of commonality.
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let's assume infrastructure is bogue pushed as a bill. we have utility service usda and t the stimulus bill when you said that was a good thing but others disagree. >> i think there is a multi approach. there is no one one press on this. i think universal this is the
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accountable that is looking at for the investment program. i think that is one important piece. stimulus, we had companies that are built out amazing things during this. we are not anti-stimulus. i look at things like it was the usda versus ntia. it is a real lending program and they understand real network. we saw things hit the ground last faster so i would say if there is any capital push i think putting it to an agency that understands requirements are and what standards need to be met is important. the other thing is if they take it seriously there has been to be a government position to streamline and make sure they
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are not going through four sets of hoops. even with the stimulus we had folks up to the deadline because they had a local jurisdiction issue and if you didn't spend the money by the deadline you were out of the game. people like to throw out tax incentives. i think it is an important piece. if you can't make money in an area having a tax credit in an area you are not making money in isn't going to be a huge motivator but for the entire space as a whole it probably makes sense that that be a part of it. i don't see the tax incentive. i would probably put mose last but i think we are seeing one of the things i really admire is chairman thune and mobile now that addresses the streamlining issues.
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chairman pai with the digital empower agenda is very thoughtful about what it is going to take that is complimentary to any proposal and i think creating the broadbrand council is intriguing. it is fun to share costs with him which is a roll up your sleeves i think he thought he would get 40 names into the pot and there is 400. so i think there is a lot of interest in people serving on that advisory council. gl what percentage of the u.s. population doesn't have access to broadband? >> i think it depends on who you ask. 85% of my maybe offers at least speeds in access of ten megabits
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to 85% of their consumers out there. i look at our ecosystem and it is pretty robust. everybody is using different standards. we have parts that are served and that is why one of the initiatives put forward was the connect america fund too which allowed some of the larger air areas who are for whatever reason choosing not to invest in the world market and the area to put it up for auction. i think that is going to be an interesting process and something we are excited about is because a lot of the area are contingent to the area my company served. they are eggs to go in and get support
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>> how do you see the harmioniig happ happen? >> people jump to the conclusions of what this means.
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in reality, it was a little bit of an overreach. i look at the carriers i represe represent. privacy very important. but i think what the fcc had done was really look at one sector of the industry and frankly there are other folks who are kind of in this industry on the edge or contract providers that have far more access to data than a broadbrand provider does. i like the idea of harmonizing. it has been a more reasonable approach and i think cooler
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heads will prevail. for everybody going to go back to the table to make sure everything is protected which i think is the ultimate goal. not actually targeting any one industry. is >> do you think congress is going it make a serious run at some sort of legislation to target or will do they doa broader attempt?
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>> i am almost a fan of the art of the possible. i will tell you we were in the position that carriers are already regulated under title ii so we were less concerned about what was happening under a title two regime.
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same thing if people can sit down and share principles i think we have a good opportunity to do it. it is, you know, governor again, congress has a lot on their plate and net neutrality takes a lot of oxygen so the question is can you clear up enough so that folks can focus on the issues or will they want to.
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>> they are paying taxes for potential infrastructure. why should they worry so much about the rural broadband? >> aside the fact it is cool, the other reason they should care about is the value of the network grows and the more connection you have on the network. a network that leads out geographically 56% of the country has far less value to all of us. the other thing i will say is rural america, when you think about it, the percentage of natural resources are energy. the other interesting thing is
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the hudson instustute did a study and did economic analysis in 2014 showing rural broadband has a 24 billion impact on the economy and 66% of the benefit goes to urban american because vendors, jobs, and suppliesuppl. the there flow doesn't stay unone location. i think again the more woe continue to create a robust national network the benefit of all us of us. >> shirley bloomfield is the rural broadband association chief and david kaut is from the
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news daily. >> up next, president trump speaks at a police officer memorial ceremony. after that, today's white house briefing. the washington post put out this story. trump revealed highly classified information to russian foreign minister and ambassador in the white house meeting last week according to current and formal u.s. officials who say trump's gestures create a risky situation. they write it was so sensitive details

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