Skip to main content

tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  July 31, 2015 11:00am-1:01pm EDT

11:00 am
for a trigger, a quicker trigger and it seems what that ends up doing is reducing participation in the auction and probably reduces the prices people will pay because it means here in the reserve, you know, you stop while the bidding keeps going on up here in the unreserved, and i think an auction is something that proceeds to a conclusion not an auction that gets terminated to favor one party or another and so the establishment of the reserve is a huge point. i think now what we should not be doing is picking winners and losers inside that reserve. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. the chairman will recognize the gentleman from illinois.
11:01 am
>> thank you, mr. chairman. you both agree to facilitate broadband deployment will take reform, is that correct? >> yes. >> commissioner pei, you mentioned principles. >> with respect to my broadband plan it's a two-fold plan and it would be targeted changes to the rules to allow rate of return rate carriers for the costs they incur for deploying in rural areas and that support only extends to voice service, and secondly creating a voluntary path where rate of return carriers could at their option get into similar connect america fund and obviously the so-called model in that regard is not perfect but nonetheless if the rate of return carriers
11:02 am
find it to be preferable they should be given a limited window to do that. >> thank you chairman wheeler, these are questions for rural service so it's really appealing to the constituents in the state of illinois. the issue of dropped calls, and i go to the family-owned companies or the co-ops still out there, and it's -- the enter immediate airy carriers, can you tell me how we are going to -- you know these companies get blamed when the call gets dropped and it's the intermediate carrier that is doing it and it is causing all sorts of problems? >> yes, and you put your finger on that it's the intermediate
11:03 am
carrier and the failure on the part of the major carriers to police their subcontractors, if you will. we have done several things. first of all their used to be a game that got played where it would give a false ring, you know, to pretend the call was being completed when it really wasn't. we have a rule in place saying that's out of business. secondly, we have been enforcing this within the last few weeks we fined verizon $2 million and retired them to do $3 million of additional improvements to stop this because in 26 rural areas they weren't paying attention to this, which is the heart of the problem, it's this going to what you call the intermediate carriers that they need to be paying attention to. thirdly is that we have a data survey out there right now to try and identify exactly what
11:04 am
the extent and other causes might be so that we can take additional action if warranted. we understand that the call completion is a serious issue and we want to be all over it. >> that's good because we're going to the august break and i know they will have -- they are going to come and visit me during the break and they are going to ask so i am glad i got the chance to ask that question and continue to address this issue. last question, when it comes to the ip transition and the ability to upgrade technologies and we talked about that earlier, do all providers face a regulatory playing field when it comes to making upgrades and provide their customers with the newest technologies? >> i don't think they do, and i think that some segments of the industry face no barrier to decide to deploy next generation infrastructure. on the other hand, another segment faces antiquated rules
11:05 am
that require them to maintain the networks of yesterday, and obviously every dollar they have to spend maintaining that is a dollar they can't spend allowing them to compete with others. if we want to have more broadband competition let's have a level playing field in every single provider has the strongest incentive to compete for the customer's attention. >> thank you for your work on 911, and i look forward to getting together with ranking member asueda trust. >> would you yield for ten seconds? >> yes. >> i thank the gentleman and we are going to work together on that. how does the commission come up with the amount of what a fine is going to be? in one case it's $100 million, and you just mentioned $2 million. these are considerable sums.
11:06 am
how do you -- do you have a set of rules around that? >> for some kinds of issues such as lifeline, there is a schedule. for others it is a, again a totality of the circumstances kind of a situation where you make a judgement call. >> you are the one that makes the call? >> yes, ma'am. >> the time is expired. now go to the gentleman from vermont. mr. welch for five minutes. >> thank you both for joining us today. chairman wheeler, universal service really an important issue and i know you have been implementing some reforms and i am asking you to tell us what is the status of that and what are you doing to make sure the fcc public resources are both being used and both of you can answer that. >> thank you because we share
11:07 am
the belief that he has been talking about here insofar as the dichotomy between narrow band and broadband and that needs to be fixed trust i think i go a little further in my approach than commissioner pai does. i have developed what i have started calling the walden rule? >> oh, please. >> i read the other day that you said quote, usf should spend money where no one else will spend and that's a core principle. as this committee has been telling us so often you need to review what our rules are -- >> right. >> the fact that we are spending money to subsidize the telephone company around disney world just because we always have
11:08 am
doesn't make a lot of sense trust. we just had a man in hawaii go to jail for tax fraud and he is a provider of -- a recipient of universal service funds, and it ended up that he was charging his family's education expenses to universal service and the people were having to pay for it. we ought to have some standards for what is in oppics. i was just asked the other day to approve a waiver for university service trial to a company that could not produce audited financial statements. that's wrong. this is not my money but the peoples' money and we need to get it out, and that's why
11:09 am
commissioner o'reilly and clyburn and i are working together on a bipartisan deal to make sure that rate of return carriers have what commissioner pai has called a two-track commission, and it's we have a model with a new models and one for the old system. >> and commissioner, thank you. i think you captured the sentiment perfectly when you said when it comes to broadband rural service should be there and high quality and that's why i proposed the plan to make sure when it comes to raol americans we don't leave them, we give them the same opportunity. my concern is given the
11:10 am
timeframe we have committed to which is to get it done by the end of the year, i think it would be better to make the approach to have a target to the stand alone problem. there are abuses that need to be corrected. we can't let the necessary and perfect be the enemy of the good. >> thank you very much. the other thing lifeline my view is that its really an important program but there is fraud and abuse and one of the things that happens around here is that out of frustration when there is fraud and abuse, sometimes we attack the very existence of the program rather than reform it, and i think where there is bipartisan agreement is that anything we can do to limit fraud and abuse obviously we want to do. what is the progress on lifeline? >> thank you mr. welch. >> that's for both of you. >> we are going to have a
11:11 am
rule-making on lifeline hopefully before the year is out, and it depends on the comments and everything that we receive. it begins with overhaul. there's two problems with lifeline. one, it was designed wrong and over seen wrong. this was put in place by a previous administration, which we have inherited. it's ridiculous to have the people who are benefiting from the receipt of the funds being those certifying, and it's ridiculous you not require those people receiving the funds to keep records and on the administration side, it's ridiculous that you not have a database for duplicates and you
11:12 am
not put structures in place. what we have done since we came in, a 25% reduction on the expenditures on lifeline and 20 million people inappropriately on it are no longer on it and $100 million in penalties, but -- so we have done what we can to fix the oversight. what this rule making is going to do is to continue that and fix the underlying rule problems. >> thank you. my time is up, and i don't know if you want to let commissioner pai add anything? >> maybe address the eligibility base. >> i have support the chairman's vision of having a more responsible fiscal program but we didn't adopt more basic reforms like capping or putting a budget on the program, and a targeting broadband adoption, we
11:13 am
want these to go to connecting people off-line to help them get online and over 40 million households are eligible, and let's make sure we have fiscal measurements in place. >> what about the eligibility database? where are you on that? >> the duplication database, we have in place and operational and it's working quite well. insofar as the eligibility base the issue is our ability to get access to data held by state agencies principally and we are in the process of working our way through that. >> that's something we need to get done, obviously. >> i agree. >> i will go to the gentleman from new jersey mr. lance, for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman.
11:14 am
commissioner pai, i want to speak with you about the fcc's recent order regarding the tcpa. you stated in your descent the attempt to modernize it to leave the american enterprise worse off. can you elaborate to the committee how you believe the commission may not have gotten this correct, and what it should have done to protect the american consumer. >> thank you, congressman for the question. i begin from the premise that unwanted robocallers are a plague. nobody wants to get them. my problem with the commission's order is it takes us in the opposite direction. for example, the prison pay industry can robocall you. and if you use your smartphone
11:15 am
to make a telephone call that's an auto dialer, and they are open to loopholes for reassigned numbers, and a lot of legitimate businesses have no reason to know if they have that number in stock and they have the prior phone numbers' owner the consent of that owner, and they have no reason to know that has been redesigned. litigation is a flood. 14 class actions filed in 2008 and last year alone there was something like 1,918. my concern is we are opening loopholes and at the same time not cracking down on the bad actors which are the unwanted robocallers. we need to create a safe harbor for technology to block the foreign robocallers. despite the fact we got 96,000
11:16 am
complaints for violations of the do not call register, and the first seven months of this year we had one citation from the enforcement bureau against the do not call registry violators. >> why do you think the commission did not have a safe harbor rule? >> i am not sure why, to be honest with you. i can tell you it has created a tremendous uncertainty among the host of legitimate businesses that have consumers' consent and want to communicate important information. there are class action lawsuits who are trying to communicate with people who voluntarily communicated with them. >> first of all we want to make sure -- let me just go down the list. exemptions. we want to make sure there were opportunities if you are a doctor or a hospital and you
11:17 am
need to do something because of a federal emergency or your bank needs to contact you because there's fraud there should be those exemptions, and you get to make one mistake and discover that the lance phone has been transferred. you don't have to do this three or four or hundreds of times, as some people have. you can say, excuse me, this is not the number. just provide notification. thirdly, the -- it was the congress that created the private right of action, and that is something that is a decision that is out of our hands. but to your key point about the safe harbor and carrier solution, specifically we addressed that because the carriers were saying to us we want -- we're afraid to offer blocking services because you
11:18 am
might charge us with blocking calls, doing just that, which would be a violation of our rules. we amended the rules to say, no, that is not a violation. we have now a workshop coming up where we are bringing carriers and other affected parties to come in and sit down, and how you handle calls are different and how do you put those in place. this is something where we have said to the carriers our rules now specifically allow you to block calls where you are requested by consumers, please do. >> any sir rebuttal. >> the safe harbor was not given enough clarity and if a carrier is willing to trust a company to fine a company -- i would say
11:19 am
not to -- >> you are not encouraging folks not to not block calls? are we together on the fact that we want them to be blocking calls? >> on that we agree, which is why i propose the agency create a very detailed specific guideline for how the safe harbor would operate. >> i don't want to send mixed messages. >> thank you. my time has expired and thank you for the rebuttal the sir rebuttal, and the sir, sir, sir rebuttal. >> feel free to call either one of us at home if you want to follow-up. >> i have a prerecorded message i can send. >> we have herbsissues as it relates to democracy. we will go to the gentleman from iowa for five minutes. >> i want to come back to one issue that was already brought up and have you elaborate a little bit on that, mr. wheeler.
11:20 am
before i ask that specific question, i always just like to talk about rural broadband as you might imagine, both of you and just how important it is for places like iowa and not just places like iowa but all over the country. i know we have bipartisan support to make sure that we have rules in place and make sure we have programs in place and incentives in place to expand that broadband availability to so many folks around the country. we know it's an economic development issue and health issue and we talk about the spectrum, for example, an issue for hospitals making sure that, you know i heard from somebody this morning about that, making sure that they have the broadband available and make sure they can do what they need to do for their patients. we know it's important for education and i talk about the university for iowa where they offer a program where they offer ap classes but it doesn't do any
11:21 am
good if the folks can't access what the university of iowa offers and farmers, it's very important for farmers to have access to broadband so they can make decision for planning and their businesses in general, and on and on and on and one of my town meetings on broadband a small town, and there were 27 people at that meeting on a weekday afternoon at 2:00 in the afternoon because it is just so absolutely critical for them to be able to have this broadband coverage. really, my question goes back to what i think was already mentioned earlier this year, 115 members, myself included wrote to you, mr. wheeler, urging reform of a portion of the high cost program that supports small rural broadband supporters so they could receive support for lines, and as is the current practice rural broadband
11:22 am
industry submitted data to the fcc in 2013 but it has not acted on the plan. are there issued with the plan proposed by the broadband industry that prevent the fcc from acting on it as proposed and if you can elaborate on that, i would appreciate it. >> there was, what something like 114 different carriers in iowa. you represent the poster child of the rural challenge for rate of return carriers. it is outrageous that, you know if you are -- if you live in rural america, you are 30 times more likely not to be able to get broadband as if you live in an urban area. there are two components. one is dealing with things through the price cap carriers, and we recently -- we recently released what will be $10 billion over six years to seven
11:23 am
carriers to build their facilities and i love seeing the headlines that pop up across the country that we get in our report that so-and-so carrier announces they are going to spend $27 million to bring broadband to this area and as a result of our funds, then we go to the rate of return carriers the challenge with rate of return carriers and how we deal with it is the program has been in place for so long and the circumstances have changed over that period, and as i say, i agree strongly with commissioner pai this difference between narrow band and broadband doesn't make sense, but we have to be saying how do we make sure that we can bring this whole program forward, so we sat down with the rural carriers to say how can we do that, and to try
11:24 am
and reach a consensus because there's a couple rural carrier associations that don't agree with themselves and it's encouraging, and we have agreed on -- everybody has agreed on this two-step -- this two-prong process that i laid out a minute ago. i amplm optimistic that we who are working together with the rural carriers to come up with a package proposal and we'll be able to get this done and that we will be able to live up to the commitment that we made over in the other body to have it done by the end of the year. >> thank you mr. wheeler and mr. chair. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky for five minutes. >> this is three parts.
11:25 am
i will ask and if you need me to repeat i can do so as well. why do you oppose putting broadcasters in the duplex cap and why is it important to minimize the 600 megahertz band and why do you believe it's preferable to put broadcast stations in the up link rather than the down link? you suggested that the commission hold a hearing to discuss issues for the 600 megahertz megahertz. >> putting them in the duplex cap, one of the things that the wireless and unlicensed advocates agree on is that putting them in the duplex gap would be a terrible idea and
11:26 am
broadcasters have told us it's not optimal because the duplex gap is the only executive lyly -- so that's part of the reason why i have said consistently we need to do what the record suggests and that is moving them somewheres other than the duplex gap and that races the question where do you put them. i don't think there's a question in terms of the record itself that there's tremendous opposition inputting them in down link. if everybody carrying a smartphone right now we're in the down link so putting a broadcaster in the down link, it will make it less appealing and it will cause tremendous problems, and here the 700 megahertz auction is a
11:27 am
cautionary tail. we had broadcasters and channel 51 in the megahertz band and those took a long time to reserve and was challenging. remember, this is the last spectrum auction hopefully we are going to have in sometime with respect to the band, so those placed in down link will be there prplly so this is not a problem we will be able to work around. based on what i have seen in the record i prefer to place broadcasters in the up link and it's preferable for a couple reasons, and first they can minimize the problems it would cause in terms of interference because you can put a base station filter on and it would be easier since they are smaller in number and fixed location as opposed to putting a filter on a mobile device so in terms of
11:28 am
the onbank carrier, the commission has simply not made enough data available in terms of the simulations and data that underlie with those simulations and we heard from everybody, we need more data and we need to give you more meaningful input before you make a decision so i thought let's bring them into a room and have everybody participate so the commissioners can have a fully informed conversation, and congress gave us one chance to get it right and if we don't i am afraid of costs could be substantial. >> i have another question. you said hopefully this is the last spectrum auction? >> yes. >> do you believe enough is being done to make sure additional spectrum is available for commercial use and if not what else do you think should be done? >> thanks for the question consistent with what others have
11:29 am
said, we need to make sure there's more spectrum in the pipeline. look at the proliferation of the broadband and that's a great thing and i look at it as a commissioner and i think how are we going to provide the spectrum with all the devices connected to the internet are going to need it, and i have been so bullish about getting licenses out there. >> do you think congressional action is needed? >> it would be helpful and i know you and congressman matsui -- >> we have 27 seconds, but to comment on what is more available. >> i would like to identify with what you and congressman matsui are doing and if we get a chance i would like to respond to your first question as well. >> i have nine seconds so i yield back. sorry. >> the chairman recognizes mrs. clark for five minutes.
11:30 am
>> thank you, mr. chairman. your updates regarding the agency's activities, i have a few concerns that i would like to have you address, and one of them worries me a bit. what is not in your testimony, and it's how the commission will address continuing challenges and diversity and representation in the media and telecom industries. we are in the 21st century and we look at our nation and its diversity and there's a widespread acknowledgment that what we see in terms of industry is not reflective of who we are as a country. where is the commission's focus on the completion of the diversity studies? how can the data be used to create a more knewnuanced and
11:31 am
taylored program? and what can make sure vulnerable populations and their communities will be adequately served through these proposals? >> thank you, mrs. clark. the media report that i have promised to the committee by the middle of next year will include a topic on diversity. it has frankly been an issue that has been caught -- has caught up previous reports. but i think there's a couple things we can take up. there's a substantial increase in the number of broadcasts licenses since i became chairman, and minority broadcast licensees, and in large part because of what we did on the jsa rules and because those rules were being used to keep
11:32 am
opportunity away from minority intrapreneurs. and so i am proud of that effort, and secondly is that i think we all have to recognize as a point that was raised previously and the importance of how the television business is changing, and the opportunity that is reflected by over the top providers, and there's been a difference up here on whether we ought to do what this committee did for direct broadcast satellite for over the top, and that is to say that you can't hold content back, you can't have various leverage points because i think over the top programming creates incredible new opportunities for minorities. lastly we have been talking a lot about the designated entity
11:33 am
rules and the wireless auction and i feel strongly that what this congress asked us to do was to be creating opportunities for minorities women and rural individuals to participate in wireless, and that's what we did in the de rules and that the suggestions that have been made by my colleagues on the republican side actually would have limited the ability for real live des rather than hypothetical des to participate. >> so on the subject of des, and commissioner pai, i will have you respond as well. it appears that we have probably cracked the code of only one part of supporting small
11:34 am
businesses getting access to capital to enable them to compete in the wireless industry. how can the commission facilitate more transactions for des and especially those owned by women and minorities with the private sector? >> were you addressing that to -- so i think that we need to make sure that again the jsa rule was very helpful in that regard and has performed as expected. you know, we have made it clear that when broadcasts licensees come in for transfers, and they are complying with the rule that says they can't now have control of multiple licensees in a market that we will look favorably upon them selling those assets to minority
11:35 am
intrapreneurs. in fact that has been successful. >> thank you chairman. commissioner, i have run out of time but hopefully we can get a response from you as well. thank you. >> right now, for the record -- >> let's keep moving forward, i think. mr. olson from texas you are recognized for five minutes. welcome chairman wheeler and commissioner pai. since i have been on the committee since 2011, consumer privacy has been a focus of my work for the people of texas 22. in the 112th and 111th congress that work was done on the commerce manufacturing and trade sub committee because they had jurisdiction over the ftc. but the fcc has grabbed that authority to regulate the broadband isp's taken that from
11:36 am
the ftc and it's now with the fcc and now it's under this committee's jurisdiction. the good news is you have not lost me and i am still with you, but folks back home want to know why, what is the problem with the ftc that forced this change? i give you chairman wheeler one minute and then i will give you a chance to respond to his comments. >> the act says it does not have jurisdiction over common carriers and so when we said that isps were telecommunication triggers, it triggered that. we work closely with the ftc and their jurisdiction insofar as edge providers, and whatever we do which will be forthcoming in
11:37 am
the next few months on our privacy proposals we will do our best to harmonize so there is a common set of concepts that govern privacy. >> great. mr. pai, your response. >> unforekphau nuttily the re reclassification deprived the jurisdiction because of the common carrier exemption. jurisdiction has explicitly been given compensation for, and then they air gated that issue for itself itself itself, and it's a narrow aur cane piece of the privacy puzzle, if you will. we don't have any rules in place, and moreover the guidance we have given out has been unhelpful. in may of this year, there was a guidance with respect to privacy
11:38 am
and it said the broadband providers should effect -- what does that mean? i have no idea. consumers have no idea. >> i have no idea. >> i would rather have the experts who protect the consumers handle this issue based on the law you have given them. >> and it's important the ftc has expertise to handle that? >> expertise and legal authority, yes. >> and we talked about privacy and edge providers. chairman wheeler consumer interests groups filed a petition to oppose consumer privacy protections on edge providers, and when are we going to see a response? do you believe they will have a standard protection? >> thank you. first of all, the commission has
11:39 am
for decades been enforcing privacy under the cpni rules on telecommunications carriers so it's not as though we fell into the patch and there's a long history regarding telecommunications carriers. insofar as extending our jurisdiction to the edge providers, i have said repeatedly that that is not our intention. i don't know when the specific response to that specific petition will be coming out. i will be happy to get you a date. i don't know what the planning process is on it. >> commissioner pai, your response. >> i think it's part of the problem. if you believe as the majority did at the time that the internet is a cycle and you have providers interacting to provide a better consumer experience it would seem to follow if an edge competitor is following in an
11:40 am
anti-competitive way, why couldn't they extend those rules to edge providers, and if you look at the internet conduct standard it's not clear why the fcc should limit its focus on internet service providers and you could have a edge provider engaging in that conduct. i hope we don't follow that to the illogical conclusion. the chair recognizes mr. rush from illinois. >> thank you mr. chairman, and mr. chairman and commissioner pai, i welcome you to today's hearing. i want to bring up one of the most troubling and egregious matters that is under the consideration of the fcc and i
11:41 am
am referring to the prison phone call rates. i understand that the fcc is poised to make a ruling on in-state phone rates for prison phone calls. now, that said mr. chairman, we must stop this immoral practice of exploitation of the poor, the very ones least able to afford this phone rate robbery. additionally, mr. chairman, once and for all we must do away with the practice of site commission kickbacks and we must cap in-state phone rates. as you know mr. chairman the
11:42 am
prison call industry is a multimillion dollar business. if there is any doubt i want to call your attention to a recent "huffington post" article entitled prisoners pay millions to call loved ones every year. now, this company wants even more. this article references how secure -- a company, the largest company in the prison phone call rate industry brag to its invest investors about it's $4.46 million future profits on the
11:43 am
poor. as you know i have been fighting this issue for over a decade, and it's now time for the fcc to take action and reign in these predatory practices by capping the rate at 5 cents per minute and eliminating all ancillary fees. more importantly, mr. chairman the fcc must also get a step ahead of the predatory companies that are right now trying to circumvent the laws by offering video phone calls and the same predatory rates that they offered for phone calls, telephone calls. mr. chairman my question is when will the fcc rule on this legalized telephonic terrorism? >> thank you very much, mr.
11:44 am
rush. this is -- i agree that this is a very serious issue. you and i can -- and people across america owe a huge debt of gratitude to commissioner clyburn who sit this issue that had been sitting on a desk for ten years and brought it forward so there was a decision about interstate, but you know what happens is that whack a mole starts getting played here we can't do it here so we move it over here, and then we have a decision on intra state that we are doing next month trust the point you make about video phones is another legitimate point. the reality here is that what we are talking about is a monopoly that is granted to prisons to determine how people communicate, and like any
11:45 am
monopoly, it ends up being exploitive exploitive, and the people who are hurt by that exploitation are the very people who rely on it, and i can assure you, sir, that commissioner clyburn keeps our feet to the fire on this, and i am fully supportive of her efforts. >> that's good news mr. chairman. i am just -- i'm just appear-- let me move on, if -- my time is up. >> time is expired. i should tell you, we're going to do a second round of questions so if you are here for that there will be more time. we will now go to the gentleman from florida for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. appreciate it. thanks to both of you for showing up today and thank you
11:46 am
for your testimony. chairman wheeler in march we discussed public safety interference complaint responses and a resulting quarterly report which you thought was a good idea. i know you have some information and you have posted what you poriaed the committee on what you are doing? >> sure. >> you have? have you posted on line -- >> i can't answer that for sure. >> get that to us as soon as possible? >> yes, sir. >> if you haven't, can you post that online as soon as possible? >> that's good. >> commissioner pai, there has been a lot of attention and concern regarding the auction rules and do you believe they are now -- are they now correctly balanced and if not what should be done to fix them? >> unfortunately, congressman, i
11:47 am
don't think they are. the agency has moved in the opposite direction. my principle is this should benefit small businesses but the agency have loosed some of the restrictions several years ago has now opened the door for large corporations to abuse the problem and squeeze out a lot of the small businesses who need access to capital in order to provide a facilities based service and we saw that in the most recent auction where small carriers tried to compete but were not able to because of deep-pocket fortune 500 used shell companies to keep them from bidding and i thought what i proposed were common sensory forms, and if you are making less than $15 million, you tkoepbd need more than 50 million of credits in order to get spectrum at an auction.
11:48 am
if you are a genuine business you should be able to provide a service, and unfortunately it fell one vote short and all of the proposals have restored public faith in the small business program. >> thank you. >> chairman wheeler in the open internet order you committed to take stems to prevent increases in pole attachment rates. what steps you have taken to prevent such increases and what additional steps are expected? >> thank you. there's a proceeding underway to do that that we started in the last six weeks eight weeks somewhere like that. it's to -- it's designed to make sure that there is parody between telecommunication services and cable service attachment fees. >> okay. again, can you continue to update us on this?
11:49 am
>> yes, sir. >> already, i yield back. >> now we will go to, let's see, mr. johnson is next for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. chairman wheeler, in a recent response to questions for the record as to whether you think stakeholders who cannot afford to have regulatory lawyers or lobbyists in washington, d.c. should also have the same access that other stakeholders have. you made a point that the commission does not have funding for routine field hearings and similar activities yet your emsaeury has been traveling, and it seems you both have been wheels up quite frequently in your travels. so let me pose the question this
11:50 am
way. given that you apparently have a robust travel budget isn't the real issue how you elect to spend the money? >> thank you congressman. i think the people who i keep turning down saying, no i'm not going to cut talk and my travel is significantly less than other members of the commission, but your point is a well taken point. decisions get made. there's a travel budget that each commissioner has but that is for his or her discretion. there is -- >> you answered my question. it really is up to your discretion on how you spend the money. could you let us know for the record how much the fcc has
11:51 am
spent on travel in fy 2013 '14 and '15 so far. can you get that back? >> sure. >> i'd like to see that. commissioner pai, i was listening closely to your discussion with my colleague regarding the designated entity program. and i'm really struggling a bit with commissioner -- or chairman wheeler's ability to relate the rule and the facilities requirement in the competitive bidding rules for a couple of reasons. and you pointed those out. you made a compelling case this sets the staujge for arbritage. what steps does the commission need to take to make sure these rural small carriers are able to
11:52 am
get the credits that the designated entity program was designed to give them so that they can serve those underserved, unserved areas. >> thanks for the question. to be honest, we first need to return to the status quo before the most recent decision and adopt common sense reforms to make sure that large corporations don't game the system again and make sure the order did take some of these measures. prohibiting a single corporation from using multiple bidders in the same market. i'm talking about genuine reforms of the program to make sure the people who need the help, the people who want to serve folks in ohio and kansas can be able to do that. some of those reforms, lending the amount of bidding credits, making sure large des -- large companied can't own a majority of the de and preserve that amr
11:53 am
so that people don't flip all of the spectrum to the entrenched incumbents. those dont have a partisan affiliation to them and i wish the majority agreed with me. >> it's a real concern for me, and i'm sure other colleagues that represent rural areas of the country. i've got high school students that don't have access to broadband internet service. and as a result, they have to either go to a public library nearby or some other location. maybe to where they can get a wireless signal or something like that to do their homework, to do research, to do that kind of thing. this is 2015, for crying out loud. >> one of the reasons the flts based requirement is so important is in a lot of cases the larger providers don't see the business case in building out to that school or area whereas a smaller rural provider who does want to connect those
11:54 am
folks to the internet wirelessly have a strong incentive to make sure those folks are connected. when those rules providers are squeezed out and speculators can come in and take the spectrum and flip it to the big incumbents, that really does affect those consumers. >> now to the gentleman from missouri, mr. long, for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman and to you all for being here today. chairman wheeler, on july 24th four days ago, your agency announced that granted with conditions approveal of the transfer of authorization from directv to at&t. we hear much about the 180-day shop clock for reviewing such transfers, yet your agency's provisional grant of approval took over twice the amount of time, over 400 times. i've got some questions that i'd
11:55 am
like to have answers to. what's the point of the shot clock? >> the shot clock is aspirational to begin with, but it's something we try to manage here. the difficulty in this situation was that we were hung up by a court proceeding and a court decision that itself took as long as the shot clock. and so we -- specifically dealt with the kind of information that we could have on the public record. and we had to get through that before we could get to the decision. >> well on the 170th day of the 180-day shot clock, your agency stopped it for three months. >> because of the court decision. >> is that the same thing you're talking about? >> the reality -- and there is right now pending before commissioner pai and -- that's not a set-up question. i don't know the answer. on the protective order.
11:56 am
>> i just saw it yesterday. >> so we have put out a -- an order for -- to outline how you protect confidential information so that we can be in compliance with the court so that this will not happen again. and the absence of that was what held up this proceeding. >> commissioner pai, do you have the same opinion on why the shot clock was stopped at the 170th day or what the benefit of the shot clock is? >> the agency inflicted a wound on itself which is why the court had to intervene. what happened in the context of that transaction is the agency decided to try to get all kinds of confidential information from programmers and without any kind of due process. so the programmers naturally sued. i urged the agency to try to reach a settlement because this
11:57 am
information wasn't really necessary to a resolution and they called the fcc's decision an unexplained and a departure from policy. even though they remanded it and said this is the road map to follow if you want this information, despite having said the information was critical the agency didn't seek it or rely on it in making the decision. the shot clock needs to be more than aspirational. it needs to be a rule. 180 days period for the fcc with extensions for extenuating circumstances but we need to give the public and parties are a lot of certainty as to how the fcc is going to do it. >> i've got another question for chairman wheeler. three days prior to your conditional grant of approval of the transfer control and license and authorization from directv to at&t, the department of justice announced that after an extensive investigation it concluded the combination of at&t's land-based internet video business with directv satellite
11:58 am
based video business does not pose a significant risk to competition. although the justice department closed its investigation without imposing any congression onditions, they were to address potential harms presented by the combination of at&t and directv, despite the justice department's view that the combination of the two video businesses did not pose a significant risk to competition. what significant risks did your agency identify that the justice department apparently missed? >> we worked closely with the justice department on this. i don't think there was a sliver of light between us. >> how can you say that? >> because we have a different test. >> you have a what? >> a different test. >> they have an antitrust test that they face. we have a public interest test that we are supposed to measure by.
11:59 am
so we have two different standards we measure to. and what was happening here was that in about 25% of the area of at&t service area directv was a competitor to at&t for video service. and so eliminating that competition, the question became, does that create an incentive then to eliminate broadband competition as well? so what we required was that at&t expand its broadband coverage which increased competition for broadband by a significant amount and created an opportunity for those video providers not to have to go through an increasingly decreasing -- a decreasing choke
12:00 pm
point. >> you didn't think i was paying attention. >> we have a red light. my five-minute shot clock has expired so i'll be back for round two. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. collins. >> mr. wheeler, the big issue that i've been involved in as pirate radio which you may know and back in early june pretty much every new york member of congress as well as jersey sent you a letter. and while the issue may not be a terrible issue in some parts of the country, it truly is in new york city as evidenced by not often you can get 27 members of new york to agree. upstate and down state we're like two different worlds. to sum it up we're extraordinarily disappointed the fcc has clearly said it's not a priority. we've got the letter just from you yesterday. and it -- and i understand
12:01 pm
budget concerns and i guess what i'm trying to -- the point i want to emphasize is this is an issue, even though it's not to you, and you are the chairman we really don't appreciate you saying that, as you put in here the time and expense of pursuing these cases present particular difficulties in the current flat budget environment where the commission staffing is at its lowest pont in 30 years. overtime is less available so we must prioritize based on existing resources and harm to the public. thus matters posing an imminent threat to public safety are directly harming large numbers of consumers must take precedence over large matters such as pirate radio. i understand what you are saying. but what is the size of your budget? >> congressman, i -- that
12:02 pm
letter, and those particular words, which i wrote, were not designed to say that this is a low priority, but designed to say that first issue is public safety. pirate radio has to exist inside that. and i believe that we have been very aggressive. so during my chairmanship we've had 200 private radio enforcements. in the last year we've had 100 alone. >> how many in new york? >> i don't know the exact number, but i would say 90% -- 80% of those. and so what we've done is -- and commissioner o'reilly when he was meeting with the new york broadcasters focused on that. we formed an inneragency working group task force to work with the nab and the new york broadcasters on this issue. >> so you had that meeting and
12:03 pm
the fourth point that came out was basically that you need morfolks in your local enforcement officer. point number four of that hearing was additional fcc enforcement options. >> right. that was one of the things. >> in another hearing we talked about how you've been reducing the local field offices and pulling those folks back to headquarters. and some of us would presume that to be ready to enforce title two which we can disagree on as well. seems disingenuous and our big concern is words are words actions are actions, and the actions have not convinced me and i think other members that it is at all a priority. your letter, while it said maybe some day if we've got nothing else to, do we'll see what we might want to find in pirate radio. it's a low priority. >> if that's how you interpret
12:04 pm
it, i apologize because that's not what was meant. so the new york office, the boston office and miami office which is where pirate radio tends to exist those three areas, this is a whack-a-mole. this is a whack-a-mole -- >> that's what pirate radio is. >> so one of the things that i encouraged in that letter is that congress can be helpful because we can't go -- we can go and shut somebody down and he or she moves to this spot boom, and we are just constantly chasing. if congress could also enact, nak illegal to aid and abet the carrying out of this. i think that's also what the nab group has recommended. if we can get at those who are aiding and abetting because there's a -- that pulls this off. you move to my apartment here. move to this base here.
12:05 pm
we didn't know anything about this. so there is a totality of the package here. 200 enforcements. a task force working on it. we could use some additional authorities so we can have some teeth. >> i'm about out of time. two things. one is, maybe this is a rhetorical question. there's been suggestions that the fcc has actually directed field offices to step down and back away from enforcement. any truth in that? >> i have heard that suggestion. i have not -- >> i'm going to put it right out here. >> i have heard that suggestion. i have not seen that command. >> it did not come from you? >> it did not come from me. >> could you provide me the language that we might put in to some other legislation that would assist you on the pirate radio issue. it is an important issue for us in new york, and we just don't want to be the last thing on friday afternoon at 4:59
12:06 pm
somebody said i have one minute until i get home. let me see what i can do on pirate radio. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from south dakota. >> thank the chairman and the ranking member for suffering along with me as you wait for the last questioner. thanks to both of you as well. and thank you commissioner pai for referencing the letter that 114 of my closest friends and i sent to the chairman and the fcc regarding stand alone and to both of you for addressing it so thoroughly today. i might just hone in a little bit on some of the finer points regarding the timeline. in the letter i received from you mr. chairman yesterday, you often referred to a lack of consensus. there seems to be some consensus. you pledged that by the end of the year we'll solve this. as you both know the community presented a plan in 2013.
12:07 pm
modified somewhat over the last couple of years to meet moving targets. i might ask you commissioner pai, you've offered up i think, your quote from your plan was simple amendments to existing rules as an outcome. one thing i've noticed around here and in regulatory bodies, we can tend to complicate simple things. my goal is usually the opposite of that. are there issues in the arlec plan that prevent this from going forward or prevent us from using this model or issues that cause this to take so long? >> thanks for the question and also for your kind words about my proposal which is modeled on your letter. i think the problem is basically this. there are a number of problems with a high cost fund. problem "a" is stand alone
12:08 pm
broadband service. my position has been consistent with your letter and a companion letter, let's adopt targeted changes to the rules to make sure rate of return carriers aren't penalized for offering broadband as a stand alone service. for the purposes of this issue, stand alone broadband let's get that piece done and turn to the other issues. the rate of return care yes, i appreciate the efforts to find that consensuous. it's not necessary to resolve those issues to adopt a stand alone broadband issue. if we wait until a consensus i fear we'll not meet the deadline we set for getting this done by the end of the year. >> is there a reason we can't meet that, and are we attaching too many other things to the simple solution? >> those are the two right questions. i am trying to do that.
12:09 pm
it is my goal to do it. i expect to do it. a couple of points here. in order to do that, you cannot be wetted to consensus. at some point in time you have to pull up and shoot. boy, am i trying to get consensus. if you can't get everybody to agree, you have to put, and we will put forward a proposal on that in a timely basis in order to do things by the end of the year because at the root of this is we've got to do better for rural consumers, period. and it's not just one simple fx. it's a broader set of fixes. i'm in violent agreement on the narrow broadband issue. but it's not enough. and then we also have a responsibility to those people who are paying for this every month in their phone bills to
12:10 pm
make sure the money is spent responsibly. and i hope we have consensus. i'm working for consensus. if we can't have consensus we need to have progress. >> i don't want consensus to mean 100% as you might imagine. shifting then with my remaining time. we spent time talking about the -- i was about to call it the voluntary auction. the word voluntary is how it's often referred to because it is voluntary, both opting in and opting out. the $1.75 billion that congress has put in for the repacking fund is probably not going to be enough considering we're looking at 1100, maybe tv stations that will have to involuntarily move. is there a plan to deal with that shortfall that i can assure
12:11 pm
my rural north dakota broadcasters that they won't have to bear all the cost? maybe commissioner pai first? >> i have long suggested we should treat the $1.75 billion relocation fund as a budget and structure the auction in a way to minimize the possibility that we'd exceed it and put the onus on broadcasters to pay up. the other issue that i've heard most recently in nebraska is that 36 months is not necessarily as long as it might seem. there's a shortage of people automobile to able to do the work. and that the commission should be mindful of that as well as it progresses. so i share your concern and want to make sure broadcasters to the extent possible are held harmless in terms of necessary expenditures. >> chairman, i -- >> i think he's identified the key issue. we have to live within a budget
12:12 pm
and manage things within a budget. you gave us that number. we can't change that number and we have to come up with a program that will make it work. >> thank you both. >> if you hang around, mr. kramer, we're going to hang around for a second round. we're going to go to the gentleman from new mexico for fife five. >> thank you for being here. i appreciate the testimony on rural access. as commissioner pai said, he's a rural guy. i'm a rural guy. chairman walden also represents a rural district. they need broadband access and affordability. we can have connectivity at 30,000 feet when flying across the united states in an airplane. there's noreason we cannot have
12:13 pm
connectivity when on the ground traveling all across america and in states like mine in new mexico. in new mexico, 77% of those living in rural communities and 89% in tribal communities lack access to broadband. you have pursued an aggressive agenda that includes reforming the erate program, modernizing the life light program. can you discuss what this agenda means for those who lack sufficient access to broadband and communication services not just with build-out but making it more affordable so people are able to take advantage of it once there's a build-out. >> thank you congressman. i hope we can do significantly better than the speed delivering to the air. that's what we're doing. i have been in new mexico multiple times and tribal areas
12:14 pm
and very remote areas in new mexico to personally talk to the individuals involved. i remember a situation that there was a fiber going down this side of the road. a fiber underneath a reservation and over here about 100 yards away was a high school and up here was the library. and they couldn't get a connection from the fiber to the high school because it was cost prohibitive and the erate program wasn't paying for that. now we pay for that. and that's in large part because of these kinds of specific examples we've seen. we need to make sure this is the case. we also need to make sure that low-income individuals who are disproportionately represented in tribal areas have access to
12:15 pm
broadband support to connect them. and that is why we are not only overhauling but changing the orientation of the lifeline program to go to broadband. >> chairman wheeler in all these areas i'm going to submit some other questions into the record to flush these areas out. i appreciate the conversation we've had today and the focus in how we can grow the rural family and add attention there. the other place i want to comment you both and get your perspective is on modernizing the fcc. you've embarked on expanding electronic filing decreasing backlogs and improving responsiveness to consumers. can you tell me what you are doing to provide greater information to consumers, including improving transparencey and accountableth standard
12:16 pm
using forums digitizing the process? >> boy am i glad you asked that question. >> do you both support that effort? yes? commissioner pai? >> yes. >> my first trip to our consumer operation in gettysburg i saw in the corner a humongous machine that the staff proudly announced could take 17 different forms and put them into one envelope. i said why are we sending out 17 different forms. and they said because that's the way we do it. so you contact the fcc on a robo call issue and we will send you the form for robo call as well as the form for loudness on commercials, as well as the form for every other kind of complaint. i said wait a minute. >> those forms are required to be sent back. >> and i would talk to consumers who would say, what am i
12:17 pm
supposed to do with this? we now have updated it put it on the web. we just won a prize for being one of the best government sites, consumer interface sites and we're taking that information n putting it back into what should we be doing to help us focus on our priorities. >> if there's other areas we can work on in this space, i look forward to having those conversations. if i'm able to because of the length of the line i look forward to the second round. >> we're going to start now. thank you. i want to go back to this issue of translators and maybe commissioner pai, chairman wheeler. there's all this talk about set aside an entire channel for unlicensed and i support unlicensed. we've made a lot of unlicensed available. there's more to be done. want set aside a whole channel for unlicensed contribute to the problem that we're hearing from
12:18 pm
translators and lptv community? >> it will by definition to the extent a particular channel is designated for unlicensed. that means an lptv's station can't occupy it post auction. >> in reality, probably not because what we're talking about here are using tv white spaces and creating these additional applications for unlicensed. in those areas where the duplex gap is not sufficient. and that's going to be a handful of areas that i doubt will be any areas that are the typical lptv rural kind of area. >> so will you commit to lptv and translators having priority then over unlicensed? >> no, we're -- so it was really clear. >> in the tv band.
12:19 pm
>> the mandate from this committee is that there is no priority given to lptv. and the committee also said, however, we need to be encouraging unlicensed. i don't think that it comes down to that kind of a solution though, mr. chairman, with all due respect. i think it is possible in what we are just breaking our tails on is to be able to accomplish both of these and i think we'll be successful. >> i would say my recollection of the statute which we helped write here was the unlicensed was never set aside. we had a lot of discussion about that very fact that you don't go clear all this and then give it away to some pretty major operators. commissioner pai? >> this is part of the reason i suggested we adopt a technically sound solution as to where we put them. if we put them in the up link we
12:20 pm
avoid this. if we put them in the duplex -- >> you want to -- >> this is a really good point commissioner pai has raised. there is serious concern. let's remember what we're talking about here is how do we minimize the aggregate impact across the country? and that means that in a handful of markets it's a percentage that can be -- is in single digits that there's an issue. he is proposing that you put it in the -- in the up link. put the interference in the up lnk. that knocks out an entire base station. the impact is much broader. >> i think you have disagreement with commissioner pai. i have to move along here. i hear from my colleagues all over the west that are concerned these translators are going to go dark because they'll get squished out because you've
12:21 pm
created a whole band of unlicensed, that only adds to a problem. i realize they don't have all the rights and all that. i was a licensee of translators myself. i knew i could be pushed out. you have some flexibility here to manage. i want to switch gears and go to the tcpa issue because this issue of auto dialer has come up. in your order you adopted a broad deaffinition of an auto dialer. there are auto limits in auto dialer and there must be more than a theoretical potential the equipment could be modified. is my iphone an auto dialer? >> no, sir. >> there are at least three apps that dial my calls, call bot automating and voxling that would turn my iphone into an
12:22 pm
auto dialer. >> so the issue we were trying to deal with in this order was not the hardware, but the impact because the -- sentenceince congress acted in 1981, the technology has changed and what congress's instructions to us were is no contact from auto dialers without permission. >> but my question is if i push somebody's name chairman wheeler, i don't ever dial your number. i just push chairman wheeler and it dials. is that an auto dialer? >> no. >> if i have a database of names i want to reach out for, let's say voters and turn them out to vote and i have a device that calls until somebody answers n then i can take the call is that an auto dialer? if i have a teletown hall in my
12:23 pm
office and there's some company that calls all those thousands in my district are they prohibited from doing this? >> unless the consumer has asked to give this. the statute is very explicit. >> teletown halls by members of congress and most members do that are now -- >> all i'm doing is -- >> i'm asking you a question. so those are prohibited and your contention is always have been? >> yes sir. >> wow. that's interesting. that will be news to a lot of people. commissioner pai. >> mr. chairman, part of the reason it is indisputable a smartphone is an auto dialer is that if you look at the statute, it says capacity is the actual capacity. the smartphone has intrinsically the ability to do that. the majority rejected my argument saying you can download
12:24 pm
an app and effectively make it an auto dialer. that's part of the reason why every communications device other than a rotary phone is now subject to tcpa liability as an auto dialer. that's not good for anybody other than trial lawyers. >> we're hearing from others who are -- there's this issue with the health care exchanges and whether or not insurance companies can follow up and notify you it's time to come in and have some tests done. i've been told that may be prohibited now. are you hearing those? >> that's the first i've heard of it. it doesn't surprise me. we've seen from a number of different industries they are uncertain what the rules of the road are. >> understand what we were doing is responding to a series of petitions. we did not issue a rule. people petugsitioned us and said -- >> you interpreted it. >> and so if somebody wants to
12:25 pm
petition us on the kinds of things you talk about, we can deal with that. on the health care issue one we had an exemption for being able to bank fraud, health care things like this and for government agencies. >> with changing technology 40% of americans no longer have a land line. you spoke out and said pollsters could go the way of blacksmiths i guess. >> they have been, right. >> my point is, so that industry in effect in terms of trying to do a random sample is now put out of business in effect, right? how do you do a random sample on a poll if you can't randomly sample and dial? >> i once sat down with peter hart to write a piece on that in so far as wireless because you can't have random -- you can't get to the wireless numbers. that went by the board. the issue here is if you come
12:26 pm
to us and you say the statute says, which is does is the only folks who are allowed to be called are those who want to be called. >> got it. >> and i'm supposed to be a strict constructionalist of the statute. >> we've seen some examples by the court where they'd disagree with your statute. >> and you are constantly encouraging me to be a strict constructionalist. >> we're trying to understand the impact of your ruling. i've gone way beyond my time. i'll defer to my colleague from california. >> it's an important discussion. and i think that we need to -- we need to talk about this some more because it's -- what went into the statute was like holding a mirror up to the country at that time. in '91.
12:27 pm
that's a long time ago. that's many, many moons ago when you think of generations of how many generations of technology changes have taken place. whether someone wants to be a strict constructionist, we have to have the elasticity to stay up with the times. each one of us represents 750,000 people. maub maybe we've got to reach out to every single one of them if we possibly can. in my view meeting to people relative to a telephone town hall meeting has been overwhelmingly embraced. not just accepted but embraced by my constituents plus it saves tons of money and they get to just ask whatever they want. so these are -- i don't think they'd be satisfied, this is what the statute says.
12:28 pm
i think they'd say change whatever you have to change but keep up with the changes that are taking place. it's important. since we're going into a second round and maybe it's just the chairman and myself. two others? oh good. i want to talk about your budget. the house appropriators have really screwed the fcc in plain english, in my view. and i don't think it's funny. i think it's serious. we had members asking questions today about travel budgets. i think that whatever you do and however you do it it would be interesting to see if it tracks along with what -- how members of congress are allowed to handle their mra. i don't know, but it may be
12:29 pm
something for us to discuss. now the fy appropriations bill has $315 million in it. that reflects a cut of $25 million below the fy '15 enacted level and $73 million below the request. now they also have placed in writers that are relative to net neutrality and all of that. what i'd like to ask you, mr. chairman, is have you had conversations with the appropriators? is there anyone from the majority here that's been asked to lean in with the appropriators? we're constantly putting on the fcc and in oversight, all of these issues come up. i don't know who is going to do this work and follow up with every member's request about what they want? you wanted a closed offices. members said don't close them. we need them open.
12:30 pm
but there are so many things that are reliant on dollars and i'm not talking about having a load of extra dough. i'm talking about the agency being able to carry out its responsibilities. so what i'd luke to know is if you've had conversations with the appropriators on the majority side? with the majority side here to see what can be worked out with the budget? i don't know, you know these writers, the president is not going to soon something like this and at the end of the day, the appropriations process is so messed up around here because we don't have regular order, speaking of transparency and process and all of that. we're going to end up with an omnibus bill. and if we -- and i think that's what's going to happen. so compare and contrast what
12:31 pm
your present budget is because an omnibus really doesn't really allow for that much more. and address for us any conversations or how you're following up what the appropriators did to the budget of your agency. >> thank you, congresswoman. we've had conversations with everybody who will listen and some who won't. they -- and i mean that only in a flippant remark. i'm not saying people aren't listening. we've talked to this committee. i was honored the chairman came to the appropriations committee, which i think the first time i've ever known a chairman has ever come -- >> second time. i was there last year. >> i missed you. >> i was right behind you. >> so he's got a record for
12:32 pm
being there twice. >> that's not the point. i want to know about the money. >> y we have to live with the number congress gives us. it's that simple. >> have you in response to what the appropriators have done, and i don't know, mr. chairman were you there to support the appropriators in cutting the budget or against it? >> i was there to listen to the appropriator. >> oh, you didn't testify? >> no. i was there to hear what they had to say. >> i see. have you come up with -- you know what i'd like to ask you to do, two things. what you will be able to do with a budget that is reduced by $25 million. >> yes, ma'am. >> and also -- and the top line things that you have to do. we've got to move forward with the auction with the voluntary auction and all the top line items, and also if we have an
12:33 pm
omnibus bill, what that does. and i look forward to reviewing that. i think it should be sent to everyone on the committee. i'd like to see that. we're walking into something that i think the members of this subcommittee that have oversight responsibility are going to have to understand that we have to cash our appetite for giving the fcc assignments that if they don't have the dollars to carry them out, then they don't have the dollars to carry them out. something's going to go. something's going to go. >> one interesting thing, we are currently at the lowest number of full-time employees in modern history for the agency. >> thank you. >> now to the gentleman from missouri, mr. long. >> i was very pleased i got to follow the chairman for the first time. i felt like sally field, they
12:34 pm
really do like me and then i looked around and nobody else was here. it's been reported the chief of the enforcement bureau has acknowledged many of his cases fall into the legal gray area where companies might not even realize they are doing anything wrong. i know you've raised concerns about this. can you explain your concerns and what can be done to address them? >> thanks for the question. unfortunately many of the fcc's more high profile initiatives have betrayed due process. that's going back to the signing of the magna carta. and part of the reason i've been outspoken is if private actors from companies to individuals don't know the rules of conduct, then they have no way to know they are violating what the fcc thinks should be the rule.
12:35 pm
and it's almost more a quest for headluns first and we'll figure out the law later, if at all. we should look at the facts, look at what the law is. if there's a gap in the law, change it to make sure people are abiding by what we think is proper conduct. we can't cite people for not abiding by a law they don't know exists. >> i'm curious about the broadcasters relocation fund and how thoisse monies are going to be spent. the money is $1.75 million and it was set up to pay for all the relocation costs of the broadcasters to move to a new channel as a part of the auction. has the fcc determined how many stations it is able to repack with that $1.75 billion fund?
12:36 pm
>> it is -- thank you, congressman. it's a moving target depending upon the characteristics of who participates in the auction. do you have to move an antenna, build a taller antenna. >> can you give me a ballpark on the number? >> i can get back to you with one. what we've tried to do is develop a set of rules that can live inside of that and so let me get you the number we use for a denominator in that. >> i appreciate it. commissioner pai, same question to you. >> i've heard estimates it will cost north of $3 billion to relocate all broadcasters. if that figure is correct and we only have $1.75 billion in the fund then broadcasters will be out of pocket for the extra $1.25 billion. that's something i hope to avoid and am willing to work with you
12:37 pm
and the chairman and my colleagues to make sure that doesn't happen. >> any estimate on the number the $1.75 billion, how many that would -- >> no, unfortunately, i don't. there are a lot of moving parts and every broadcaster is unique. >> i've heard some figures and i have difficulty believing that $1.75 billion will cover the estimated number that they're talking about. if both of you can get back to me on that i would appreciate it. i'm going to yield back with 1:37 to go. >> chair recognizes the gentleman from new mexico, mr. lujan. >> i'd like to associate myself with the questions that chairman walden was asking which appears to be our inability to reach out to the american people to be able to get feed back from them. as we talk about the telephone
12:38 pm
town halls. when i travel to rural communities, one of the things i hear from members is we sometimes have to travel three or four hours to get to town centers. not even city centers. how much they appreciate beingable to weigh in. if the rule requires to opt into this program, how would we reach out to 700,000, 800,000 constituents for them to opt in? we can't send them an e-mail because based on a 2015 press release from the fcc, only 48% of those making less than $25,000 have broadband service at home. and so if we can't reach out to them to opt in do i send them a letter which is what the fcc is working against. you don't want to be sending forms and get the letter back in. i certainly hope we can look at this to see how to address this. it's something that i visited
12:39 pm
with chairman walden and ranking member eshu about. some additional questions about broadband penetration there's been a little bit of conversation today about broadband. and chairman pai do you see broadband penetration or accessibility in rural parts to the country as a necessity or luxury. >> as i said earlier, my goal has been to make sure any american anywhere, whether it's on a tribe in new mexico or somewhere in my home state of kansas, anyone who wants digital opportunity in terms of broadband connection should be able to get it. i've laid out proposals on broadband, erate, five gigahertz spectrum to make sure we have competitors out there competing to provide every american with that opportunity. as far as the semantic
12:40 pm
classification, i'll leave to wiser minds. >> how would you characterize the importance of accessibility to broadband in rural parts of the country? >> i think it's critical. i've enjoyed traveling to small towns to be able to see how people have used broadband to get opportunities they otherwise wouldn't have. i've seen in a lot of rural districts if people don't get that high-speed connection, they'll move somewhere else to another state or bigger city to get it. that's unfortunate. there are a lot of ideas in rural america that are withering on the vine for lack of that broadband connection. that's something i'm passionate about. >> i would characterize it as a necessity, not a luxury. i appreciate you characterizing it as absolutely critical. i'd agree with that assessment. with that, commissioner pai, as
12:41 pm
we look to the lifeline program as well and in the testimony that -- or your dissend to the 2015 order, in it there were some concerns associated with the cost to the program to date. and in your dissent you did recognize there have been some reforms that we look back to 2012. understanding in 2005 and 2008 we saw a transformation that went from rotary land lines and now into smartphone apparatus. since 2012 the commission came forward with a unanimous opinion which resulted in a reduction of $214 million in savings in 2012 with substantial projection going into 2014. i'm trying to still get the numbers on what the realized savings were as well. in your dissent you listed a concern where there were providers that were signing people up fraudulently, which we
12:42 pm
need to crack down on and we share that concern. but in the 2015 order that you dissented, there was a reform in there that did state that we would -- that the fcc would remove the ability for providers to sign people up for verification. is that something that -- would that principle is that something you'd agree with and other areas you disagreed with in the issue that we could work on together? >> verification is one of the issues. fly by night operators like icon tillcom in oklahoma created lifeline customers got a lot of money for doing it and the ceo pocketed $20 million and spent it on his own private expenses. that's something we need to weed out. we need to reform the rules and have that conversation about having a fiscally responsible program. >> the last question i have is
12:43 pm
$1.6 billion is that the right cap? you and i share a concern with broadband availability in communities. i would hope we both would agree it's not just accessibility from an infrastructure. it's also an affordability question in many rural parts of the country. what's the right number for a cap? should it be arbitrary or based on data? >> it should be fact based. i suggested a cap or budget of $1.6 billion. the program was $800 million in 2009. now 1.6. it's the only one of the universal service fund programs that isn't capped. we need to have a balance here and make sure we target the people that are offline and make sure we're responsible stewards of the consumer tax dollars. this is paid for by consumers. 1.6 seems to be a good starting point. >> 1.6 is based on last year's
12:44 pm
numbers. year to year that number changes understanding inflation from 2008 to 2012 was because reforms were necessarily in place that helped us back that number down. mr. chairman this scenario where we can work on together as well. but i look forward to having more conversations in this space as well. thank you for the time, mr. chairman. >> we appreciate your participation. speaking of outdated data, just in closing the quadrennial review i referenced in my opening statement i think that's probably eight years old. i hope the commission will deal with the quadrennial ownership report. modernization is still high on a number of our priorities. and on the d-stack issue we ask in stellar that the commission deal with the downloadable security issues and tarks peers that committee was given
12:45 pm
direction to work on disaggregation of data on a video stream. again, we're after the downloadable issue. i have one letter to put in the record from care payment. without objection. you heard mr. chairman, bipartisan concerns on tpca. you're implementing the law. the law created in 1991 when you got charged for incoming phone calls. no one is talking about robocalls for cell phones but there's an issue we need to take a look at that call. thank you for your diligence and patient and with that, subcommittee stands adjourned.
12:46 pm
the republican presidential candidates are in manchester new hampshire, for the voters first presidential forum. and c-span's road to the white house is providing live coverage of the two-hour forum on c-span, c-span radio and c-span.org. the new hampshire union leader along with media organizations from the early cacus and primary states are sponsoring this forum. following the live forum, you can provide your input by joining our call-in program or addingior comments on facebook and twitter. road to thes who on c-span, c-span radio and c-span.org. the c-span cities tour working with our cable affiliates visits cities across the country. we're joined by comcast to learn more about augusta, georgia. jimmy dias was awarded the medal
12:47 pm
of honor posthumously for actions in world war ii. >> we're in the augusta museum of history. about ten years ago a decision was made to do a permanent military display to honor jimmy dias. when i did my research i went through over 9,000 carnegie medal recipients and the medal of honor recipients since the civil war and he's the only one to have earned both awards. >> he'd almost for sure say he doesn't deserve it. he might point out someone more heroic than he was. he was very humble. he never talked about the carnegie medal. when i interviewed people that knew him people knew him well. i said what about the carnegie medal that he earned when he was
12:48 pm
19. they never knew about it. most of them will tell you i didn't deserve this medal. it should have been given to somebody else. it's a piece of humility we all can learn from and i think he would have been in that category. >> we also visit the boyhood home of our 28th president, woodrow wilson. >> he moved to augusta when he was just 1 year old and then moved to this house when he -- before he was 4 years old. he was standing on the front gate out in front of the house and two men came by in a hurry with very excited tones of voice and said abraham lincoln has just been elected president and there's going to be a war. so young tommy ran inside to ask his father what was war. what did that mean? why were they so excited?
12:49 pm
we think it's remarkable that his very first member was about another president. abraham lincoln. and about another war, the civil war. of course wilson would have to lead the cannotountry through world war i. >> see all of our programs from augusta saturday at noon eastern on c-span 2's "book tv" and sunday afternoon on american iday m history on c-span3. a very good friday morning its o to you. beijing celebrating on its of olympic bid but plenty of olympic headlines already this he due week inli this country. here's the dueling front pages from the "boston globe" from were tuesdayab noting the games were over after boston organizers f werable to halt the bid in that city for the 2024 olympic games. on the same r day that headline ran, here's the front page of the "los angeles times." the headline is 2024 games.
12:50 pm
los angeles is a player again ashe boston ends its bid to host the olympics. los angeles appears the favorite to become a u.s. candidate. th other headlines about those st. bids. this from the front page of the sports section of "the washington post." economic benefits no longer ring true for host cities of pos olympics. one more headlines. to show you. cities are shying away from post. hosting games. you can see that headline also in "the washington post." we're asking our viewers to call in this morning, get your es. thoughts on hosting the olympics in the united states. do you think it's worth the cost to taxpayers?want t our phone lineso are open. numbers are on the screen if youry and want to call in. for more on the boston story and its fallout, we bring in george washington university professor of sports management. lisa delpy neirotti. thanks for joining us this morning. >> thank you. >> talk about the financialf ites disagreement which led to boston pulling out of its bid. o th >> i think the citizens are
12:51 pm
concerned due to the media hype sochi cost. they were up to $50 billion, but half of that was grasped -- the sochi costs were up to $50 billion. half was to build basic infrastructures that cities in united states already have. they already have hotels, sewer systems, electricity, road systems. yes, there are going to be some improvements that needs to be made in boston, for example but those were needed anyway so the cost of improving your infrastructure should not be lef age leveraged -- amortized over the 150 years that infrastructure will be used and needed. >> professor has attended 16 olympics since the 1992 olympics in barcelona. she's led groups of students and
12:52 pm
spectators and researchers to study these issues at the olympic games. going back to the -- at least the 1960 olympics all olympics have been two to possibly three times over their budget estimates. why is budgeting for an olympics so hard to do? >> well like any construction project, they usually have cost overruns. and if the person making the budget doesn't account for this, then there are probably going to be cost overruns. they come in with an unrealistic expectation. in london, i know the people on the bid and they honestly knew they were coming in under. and they just said, we'd put it out there. because they didn't really go out and get the contract bids and all this before bidding. >> for the boston olympic bid,
12:53 pm
there's estimates of anywhere from $5 billion in costs to $20 billion on the high side. can you talk about what the taxpayers were being asked to pick up and what the ioc and what private donors were expecting to pick up before that bid was pulled out? >> right. well, just to put in perspective, london brought in over $7 billion of revenue just from its organizing committee, plus about another $1 billion from the international olympic committee. and then they had the excess that they weren't using for their infrastructure to help offset public infrastructure. so, they covered the cost of their games, running the games but they just -- in london they built east london. so, the up. of these games they didn't need it to bring more tourists to
12:54 pm
london. they didn't need it to increase their image. london has a great image. so, what they used it for was to have a deadline where they would rebuild -- a purpose and a deadline to rebuild east london. in that case, they built -- they extended their infrastructure, metro public transportation. they built housing. they built a new park. they cleaned up an area that was still from world war ii bombed out. so there was purposes and the money they spent was not all on the olympic games. >> i want to ask you about this news this morning of beijing being picked to host the 2022 winter olympics. "the washington post," in their story about the economic benefits no longer ringing true for host cities of olympics noted the only countries left standing in the 2022 olympic
12:55 pm
bidding process were authoritarian countries where dissent could not crush the bid, talking about kazakhstan and china being the two left. your thoughts on that? >> i don't think you need a dictator. you just need a good leader. we had billy payne, mitt romney, these are businessmen that really understand cost analysis and saying no. you have to -- in the united states, we have a history of being able to say, that's a nice idea but, no. you want gold on our olympic stadium? that would be beautiful, but we have a budget and we need to stay within this budget. they also have a history of being able to be very commercial and selling out our venues and selling our sponsorship. so, we have not had a problem that other cities around the world have in terms of going over budget.
12:56 pm
yes, in the united states we went over budget, but we were able to cut our costs. so, you know, there's always the income versus expenditures you have to watch. >> what are your expectations for los angeles trying to reassert itself in the 2024 summer olympic games bid. >> they are very well positioned. i know they'll do an excellent job and make money for the olympic movement and for the southern california area just like they did in 1984. they had a $250 million surplus. and the foundation continues to give money to the local youth organizations. and many of the national governing bodies still have money they receive from 1984, in which they are benefiting from. now, i think washington, d.c. is the only nation's capital of a
12:57 pm
developed country that has yet to host an olympic games. we're very well positioned in terms of having the infrastructure, having the security already in place so there's a number of benefits of having it in washington, d.c. some people believe the political aura of washington, d.c. may not help our chances but i think the infrastructure, the beauty and all the other cultural elements of washington d.c. would be a real asset. we have free museums. it is a beautiful city. >> professor neirotti we're asking our viewers to call in on this morning, their thoughts on hosting an olympic city in the united states. we've got lines for specifically boston and l.a. residents, also for regions around the country. i wanted to read one facebook comment we already got on this topic from jacob on our facebook page. i wanted to get your response. jacob wrooits, if the ioc wasn't
12:58 pm
so corrupt, i would be more than happy to seat olympics stateside. however the purpose and spirit of the games has been lost thanks to the greedy opportunists and corporations. i hope some day the olympics will mean what they used to. what would be your response to that? >> yes, i think there's so much misunderstanding that the international committee is not forcing these organizing committees to build what they're building. it's the organizing committees that are playing this you know -- you know this game where we have to one-up the previous host. or they're using the olympic games to build something that is not really needed for the olympics. so in the case of the united states, we use existing venues. we're not there to build a white elephant just for the purpose of the games. so, you know, fifa, i'm going to go back to the brazil games.
12:59 pm
fifa gets blamed for brazil building the 12 venues that they did. in actuality fifa has a minimum of eight venues and kept telling brazil, don't build 12 venues. so, i'm not sure you're supposed to be blaming the international committee. whether it's ioc or fifa. it's keeping intact -- or in check the local organizing committees that just go crazy when they get these games and just keep building. now, i'm really happy that tokyo has actually cut out a lot of what they had put in their initial bid. and it's showing an organizing committee that's fiscally responsible and saying you know, we put in this big stadium, but it's coming in way too high when we went and actually got the cost. and so we're not going to do that. and that is good leadership.
1:00 pm
>> professor lisa delpy neirotti studies these position at george washington university. appreciate your time this morning on "the washington journal". >> thank you. the senate yesterday approved $8 billion in federal spending for the nation's highways and mass transit programs, sending it on to president obama's desk just before current funding expire today. this temporary spending measure extends funding until october 29th. the senate also passed a six-year extension, but house republicans refused to take up that bill and they left town wednesday, forcing the senate to accept their three-month stopgap. a short time ago president obama signed the bill at the white house. >> everybody all set? >> all set. >> well i'm about to sign a three-month extension of our highway funding.

8 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on