tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN October 28, 2015 5:00pm-7:01pm EDT
of our nation's rural carriers through a technical and legal quirk today, we will only offer them universal service support if they order voice and broadband service. that does not reflect modern communications and it is time for us to fix it. so if reconfirmed,ly continue to press my colleagues to get this done like you, i'd like no this done by the end of the year. >> i hope that you will make that goal and make that deadline. that's important to a lot of us here on the committee and to a lot of people across the country that we represent. you serve as chair of the joint board on universal service, last year the board was asked of recommendations by april of 2015 to modify the way the fees are assessed to funding universal service programs. for nearly seven months now passed that deadline and the joint board has yet to act. why has the joint board failed on the universal service contribution reform? >> you're right, that i served
senator as chair of the joint board in the february open internet decision, the commission expressly extended the referral to the joint board. as you probably know under section 254 of the law, assessment for universal service is on the basis of interstate telecommunication services. and we are charged with making sure that that fund has specific, predictable, and sufficient support. the joint board is tasked with trying to figure out how to update that support mechanism, but the underlying terminology associated with telecommunication service is now the subject of litigation in the court of appeals. so the commission decided that it would defer decision-making on that until the legal environment is more stable. but -- >> pardon. are you concerned that the title two order is not going to withstand litigation fully intact? >> well, i have no crystal ball when it comes to the decisions
of the dc circuit, i have confidence in our decision as it was made. we are resource-constrained, it would not be smart or prudent for the agency or our state colleagues to work on this matter until we have greater legal certainty. >> if you are comfortable that the order is lawful, it seems ironic that you would be concerned that it won't be upheld in court. and that is that the order then is lawful in your opinion. it doesn't seem like the litigation ought to be used an excuse to delay what are important universal service contribution reforms. and so, i guess i would ask why the litigation should, if in your judgment, the commission acted in a lawful way consistent with the statutes, why you wouldn't want to proceed with that process. >> well, i think we could continue to have conversations about it, but i would like us to produce a decision that we have confidence will be something that the agency can take up and
vote on at some point in the future. sop we want to be certain that the statutory terminology is not evolving, but sufficiently stiebl support our decision-making. >> have you given your views about the title two order delaying this process? considered asking congress for guidance on offering or offering recommendations, i would say, to congress that might point to a way of resolving potential questions of commission authority regarding universal service contributions. >> thank you, senator, that's a very good point. obviously the universal service program, we have is in large part of creation of this committee back in the 1996 telecommunications act. and i think any guidance that you'd like to offer us with respect to both contribution and distribution, it would be absolutely welcome. >> well, and we would welcome your looking to us for that direction as well.
and perhaps giving us your thoughts about that. i want to ask one final question, of call completion. it's something that consumer groups and rural customers continue to report problems and receiving long distance wireless calls on their home telephones and to address a lot of these problems, as you know, the fcc adopted new rules last dwreer in november -- year in november that were designed to monitor delivery of long distance calls to aid in the prosecution of violations of the communication's act. what has the fcc monitored? >> thank you, senator, for the question. rural call completion has unfortunately been a big problem and it's distressing to know that people will reach out to friends and family in rural areas or try to make a business connection or worse, reach out for public safety call and find
that the call does not go through. so the agency has issued a declare tear ruling to make clear that failure is a violation of the law. we've also gone after some bad acto actors, as you knowledged, the most important thing we did is updated our data collection so that carriers have a responsibility to report to us on these matters. our hope subpoena with more data and more reports we'll be able to track failures to complete calls and go after bad actors more aggressively. the first filings with that new did that collection were just made, and we are reviewing them right now. my hope is we can identify some patterns over time, figure out where the problem is, and that we'll have the record to bring this to a stop. >> senator. >> the emerging budget deal asked to identify federal spectrum to be made available for commercial use by some accounts, that's about one tenth of what the private sector will
need. i think this is a pretty good start, but i'm interest in the your thoughts about what more the commission can do, what more the congress can do to free up more spectrum and possibly generate more revenue for the treasury. >> thank you, senator, the wireless economy is growing fast, we all know that intuitively knowing just how often we reach for our phones and mobile devices. we have so much more activity in our air waives and if we want the growth to continue, we are going to have to mind nor spectrum for it to do so. that continues to provide us with air waves for licensed and unleensed services to make sure the wireless economy continues to grow. >> thank you. i want to thank you the home work gap, i know you're passionate about this. what i'd like for you to do is describe it in as simple terms
as you possibly can on a human level if you wouldn't mind. then talk about what the fcc is doing, can be doing, and what the committee could be doing to address this because i find it frankly shocking that we are in the public and private school systems assigning home work that depends on the internet, and then not providing access to enable kids to do their homework. >> thank you. so when i was growing up, when i wanted to do my homework, requires paper, pencil, and my brother leaving me alone. today, more often than not, it requires the internet. there are studies that suggest that seven and ten teachers assign homework that requires internet access. the data from the fcc suggests that one in three households do not have that access. and the survey found that there are five million households with school-aged children in this country that do not have
internet access. so just imagine what it's like to be a kid in one of those households, getting your basic school work done is hard, applying far scholarship or job is challenging this strikes me as the cruellest part of the divide, but it's within our power to fix it and bridge it. there are programs that we have that support low income right now and householding that we could update, we could clear more of our skies for wi-fi services, which is an easy way to get more people online, then we should support public and private sector partnerships that help get broadband access and commuting power into student's hands at home. >> right now there is a connect home initiative, connect ed is designed to help support connectivity in schools, connect ed is an effort, excuse me, connect ed is an effort to designed to support connectivity in schools, connect home is an
effort that is designed to support it at home. it is a new element we should all be on guard for ways to solve and fix. >> we want you to be relentless on this and we look forward to working with you on this. thank you. >> and senator. >> commissioner, i bet your brother got out of the way when you told him to. and i hope he's doing well, also. let's talk about the universal service fund. it's wireless component, the mobility fund, as those relate to rural america and specifically precision agriculture. we had a representative from john deere a few days ago testify before the economy about precision akture technology, and
he said supports expansion of fcc's mobility fund. in your judgment, is existing rural wireless coverage at risk of being substantialed or even reduced without continued usf support? >> yes. >> and what needs to be done in response to that risk of this important segment of our economy? >> well, to date, the fcc has proceeded with the first element of its mobility fund. we've made available roughly $300 million in that fund to support deployment in rural areas. but we need to move on to the second phase of the fund, and what i'd like that second phase to do is focus with laser-like accuracy on areas of the country, rural areas, that do not have service today. because we know that areas that are better broadband and wireless service are better equipped to compete, that's true
for urban america and rural america alike. >> and actually, i think you, you used that very term laser-like focus earlier this year when you appeared for this panel to talk about spectrum and wireless broadband. how is that issue proceeding now among the five members of the commission? and what concrete steps should the commission take in mobility fund too to preserve existing levels of wireless coverage? what concrete steps should the commission take in areas such as remote patient monitoring, which is a huge concern of mine, precision aktugriculture and puc safety. and what should congress do? what can congress do? >> well, the examples you just gave are examples of how useful
wireless is. remote patient monitoring can help with health care, particularly for the elderly or individuals who live in rural areas where traveling to a hospital or health clinic takes a long time. monitoring at home is incredibly efficient and cost-effective. precision -- >> you could even monitor in ambulances now. >> uh-huh. >> do we not? >> yes. >> go ahead. >> agriculture too, underappreciated how important wireless technology is to help support our nation's farms. and then of course public safety. so, when you contemplate the breath of what wireless services can do, we need to make sure that our mobility fund, the second phase of it moves ahead. and focuses on the benefits that we could provide in rural america. i think that we should find, make sure that we put the remainder of our universal service work on a timeline so we can commit that we will have the second phase of the mobility fund in place in short order. >> and how is that debate proceeding among the five members of the commission in
your judgment? >> in my candid judgment, we have some differences of opinion on that. i would like however us to follow through. we committed in 2011 to having a second phase of the mobility fund, and i'd like to see us put in it in place as soon as we can. >> i wonder when the commission might be moving toward a consensus in that, on that question. >> well, i can tell you, senator, if reconfirmed, i will press my colleagues to work to consensus on that, i think it's important to do so. >> duch recommendations as to what congress can do to encourage more rural broadband? >> i do. i think there's actually legislation before this committee from two senators, the rural wireless accessibility act, and in fact, it recommends that in areas of the country where large carriers might own licenses to deploy, but are not deploys, they make sure they
lease that out to smaller rural carriers so they can deploy in rural communities. and in order to make them more inclined to do that, it gives license extension. and i think that kind of incentive-based system is a way to push secondary markets to work well and better serve rural america. >> so you're endorsing the fisher clover charter bill, is that correct? >> i think they're going to want me to say yes. i believe the fundamental idea in there is spot on and could be particularly helpful for rural communities. >> thank you very much. >> senator markey. >> thank you mr. chairman, very much. big decision earlier this year at the fcc, and i appreciate the fact that your decision on net neutrality titled two is in the courts, but i also believe that the contract that we have today under your new regulation is the correct one. it's a good balance between the
broadband companies on the one hand, and on the other hand, you have all these start-ups, the software and internet-specific companies all across the country, all these smart, smart young people who are listening to guster right now, who really do, you know, make the difference to change in our society. and right now, they're drawing 65% of all venture capital in america are going to software and internet specific new companies. sop it's a good balance. and that's really the change in our society. so i wanted to compliment you on that because i do think that there's a high probability of that decision being uphead, i think it's on very strong, legal grounds. but i'd like it turn, if i could, to your decision of just a year ago, which was to increase the contribution that is inside of the education rate to make sure that we're wiring
schools that we wire the libraries, that we give the young people in our country the access to the technology, which they need, in order to compete. and so, you know, we've got wi-fi in starbucks, and people go in there now, and that's a constitutional right people have to go to a starbucks and to use their wi-fi, but not so much in schools or classrooms. kid doesn't automatically, you know, guaranteed that that's the case. and you talked about the kids that don't have the internet, even at home. and i guess that's kind of what i'd like you to elaborate a little bit more on, because when i was a kid, you know, my father was a milkman, but if i took my books home, i could compete with the school superintendent's son. we all do that. people on this panel. but in a modern era, the school superintendent son has access to all these incredible technologies, and the poorer you
are, the less likely you're going to have it. in a way that's going to allow you to compete in a world where businesses and schools are going to be looking towards your familiarity, your ability to be able to use that skillset. so that's kind of a big divide that continues to be out there. and you really led the charge to increase it up to $3.4 billion a year. the funding that's going into that, and wi-fi is a big part of that. could you elaborate a little bit more about how you see that unfolding and what the fcc is doing to monitor that to make sure it gets implemented properly? >> right. thank you, senator. it is the nation's largest education technology program, as you know. when i got to the fcc, what i found was it was frozen in the era of dial-up. and if you think about that, that just makes no sense. we know that half the jobs today require some level of digital skill, and by the end of the decade, it's going to be 77%. we need to make sure that every student and every school and
every community has the ability to participate in the new economy. >> thank you. and you are right, this was a program that was put in place just as the 1996 act was passed. and it was a dial-up era, not one home had broadband when we passed that in 1996, and center rockefeller and i created this e rate program back then, and its now spent 36, $38 billion making sure that kids have access to it, but the modernization just has to continue. and if you could just elaborate a little bit more an just how you see wi-fi, spaeskically as a technology, you know, unfolding at, in its role to give the kids the cools they need. >> it's so important, students use to march down the hall once a week where a computer lab
showed up in shrinked wrapped packages. that's no longer the way it has today. they need to be capable of device learning, that requires wi-fi. and one of the best things about what we did is we updated what's known as category two in the e rate program to make sure that wi-fi support is available for schools. and many more schools are going to be able to get support from this program to not only get broadband through the front door, but move it around the school and to every classroom as a result. >> well, in december, we celebrate the first anniversary of that change in the law, and you were a real driving force in doing that. so i want to congratulate you on what you have done for the children of our country. it's a great accomplishment. >> thank you senator markey. >> thank you, chairman. and commissioner, it's great to have you here and thanks for your work on the spectrum auction that comes up next year. it now looks like maybe as many as 1,000 local broadcast stations will have to move where
they are to somewhere new and if that's going to cost twice as much as the estimate of what it would cost, i think the cost comes out of the proceeds of the auction. you can correct me if i'm wrong on that. but, what kind of preparations are you all making at the fcc for 1,000 stations to have to find a new place to be and for that cost to be twice as high as you initially thought it was going to be? >> thank you, senator. you're right, we have a very big auction coming up next year, we have the world's first spectrum incentive auctions, and that'll put more mobile broadband into commercial carrier's hands. we'll make more on licensed opportunities available. and it will give broadcasters an opportunity to participate by getting out of the business of broadcasting, or continue to stay in. some segment of the broadcast lers need to relocate their stations. i can't tell you right now if the number you have is correct because until we're in the middle of the auction, i don't think we're actually boing to know how many stations need to
relocate. under the middle class tax relief and job creation act, congress set aside $1.75 billion from the auction proceeds to assist those stations with relocation. i think it is important that we make sure that those funds are ample every decision that's being relocated should have the ability to access those funds. the present time, i think the money that we have before us that congress tasked us with setting aside is adequate, but i think we should stay on guard because if we find out that it is not, we'll have to come back to congress and ask for your assistance. >> on the thousand number, do you all have an estimate that you're looking at? surely there's some estimate over there as to how many stations you think will take the relocation as opposed to the go out of business option? >> i don't think we have a specific estimate. i think that's because we won't have one until closer to the date of the auction. we are certainly socializing these opportunities with broadcasters all across the country. we are finding some are interested and some are not, but
we won't ultimately know until we start the forward auction. and when we have signs from each of the broadcasters before that auction begins about whether or not they'll participate. >> and at some point, if you believe you don't have enough money to make those relocations work, what will you do? >> i believe the minute, if we determine that we do not have enough funds the first thing we should do is come to this committee and come to the congress. i think broadcasters should not be undually charged for having to manage this spectrum of relocation. >> all right. on one other topic, and i think nobody has ever been on the commission who understands this committee better than you do who went to the commission with a better relationships than you do. and then, and again today, you promised to work with the committee to get back to the committee, promptly, i know there are at least two occasions where i was part of a group that
contacted the commission, you, as a member of the commission, not just you individually, one five members of the committee including senator wicker who was the ranking republican of the communications subcommittee, expressing strong concerns about the fcc's upcoming vote on retroactively changing their mind on joint sales agreements, another, senator thune and i and others have contacted the commission on our concern that we shouldn't try to apply the anti-monopoly title two regulations to the broadband marketplace. neither of those letters ever had a response. not even a response, we got your letter and we're not going to respond. so how does that work? doll these letters go to the commission and collectively you and the chairman just decide
you're not going to answer? how does that work and how do you think it should work? >> well, senator, i apologize if you did not get an official response to those letters. most of those letters do in fact go to the chairman's office, i'd be perfectly happy to offer responses myself. i think it is important we continue to work with this committee and you're the folks that created the law that created the agency. so i want to make sure that our relationships are actually improved and we're more responsive. >> well, i think maybe, maybe in the future, i'll see that you for sure are copied in because if the letter goes to the chairman's office, the chairman is not responding, and i look forward to talking to the chairman wheeler about that the next time i see him. though i personally talked to him about both of these letters and he wasn't particularly responsive even in person on the views that the committee or the congress had on these issues. thank you. >> thank you, senator.
>> we have many rural areas on the state and we've been left behind on this program. so if you look at the history in new hampshire, we've been 50th out of 50th for many years, and in 2014, i think we moved up a little bit, but we're still at the bottom of the list unfortunately toward the bottom. and of course we're a net donor state. so my constituents are paying into this, but not getting back even the full value of their dollar and quite a diminished value if you look at the overall fund. and so, in rural areas, what i'd like to know, we've had this discussion about others to increase the cap to $1.5 billion on e rate, but i would like to know what are we going to do to address adequate distribution of e ray?
because your role at the fcc, we can't leave rural students behind in all of this, and so i'd like to get your impressions on that, and in turn with it, one of the issues that i see with it is prioritizing instructional facilities. like schools and libraries because right now, administrative offices are also eligible, but as we look at the priorities, it seems to me that direct student services, while i don't diminish the role of administrators when we have to prioriti prioritize, let's get it directly to those interactions with the students. so can you give me some impressions on what are we going to do on distribution? what are we don't efficiently with this program. i'm going ask the sed kwekd, one of the big complaints i get from my constituents about why, why more of them aren't applying for erate dollars, let me be straightforward, there's six forms, and we don't have an army of people in new hampshire to be
able to -- we can't hire, you know, all this group of people to be able to put this application in, maybe other larger school district districts can do that. and we need to simplify this application. and i think that's something because i've been reaching out to schools and libraries, how can we get more dollars to you? get more access to our students. so i want to hear more about distribution, how do we direct it better? and how can we get this done to a very simplified application so that we don't disadvantage smaller states and rural areas based on bureaucracy. >> thank you, senator. those are good points, you might be surprised i agree with just about all you said, and as a new englander, there are prts of new hampshire that very rural and not traditionally been the beneficiary of most of our universal service programs. that's why i think the reform of the e rate program is so substantial because by reforming our category two services, we are making wi-fi more available
in more schools and new hampshire is among them. for the first time, new hampshire as a state has been eligible for that support in several years. so we are going to find that more funds are actually going to flow to rural communities for wi-fi support, which i think is terrific and helpful. i take your point that schools and libraries and student-centered activities should be the focus, i'd be happy to follow up on your concern about administrative offices. and then finally -- >> not that i don't think they should be available, but i think if we prioritize that, that should be the last priority as we look forward to serving students. >> that's a fair point. i don't know enough about that today to get back to you on that. but your point about streamlining the application, i've gone around the country and spoken to lots of schools and staunt groups and state technology directors, and they all say the same thing. we streamlined the application, and our reforms last year, but i will be the first to tell you, it is not enough. it is a continuous process and we need to have our ear to the
ground and listen to the schools that apply and find out. >> my state is so critical. and i just wanted to follow-up briefly on the issue of the open internet order. and one of the things that in my view was lacking in it was this idea of a independent cost benefit analysis where many, you know, minority members on the station had called for an independent cost analysis and given obviously the directive to act and necessity, do you think it's important for the commission to include an
independent cost benefit analysis of its rules to ensure that it does meet the public's interest, convenience for the broader purpose. >> that's right, the president had an executive order back in 2011, directing to the extent feasible that agencies engage in cost benefit analysis when they make major decisions, and i fully support that. in 2010, when we first came up with the policies, we had a fairly extensive cost benefit analysis. it is candidly less extensive in the decision because that is a response to an opinion from the court of appeals, but i take your point that that should be a part of our analysis going forward, and i could commit to doing that for you. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator. senator fisher. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome, commissioner. you've talked about opening up more unlicensed spectrum for wi-fi, even highlighting your concerns with the way the cbo has scored the license spectrum over the unlicensed. so what are the potential implications of releasing more
spectrum for that unlicensed use? >> thank you. unlicensed spectrum is incredibly important for our economy, think of it like wi-fi, dmoktizes internet access, it is the source of $140 billion of economic activity every year. and even our licensed carriers rely on it with when they offlo offload. >> it grinds it through an analysis that sometimes produces results that are odds with some of the committee and the congress. and one of the channels is that the congressional budget office prefers licensed spectrum to unlicensed spectrum, and that's because licensed spectrum raises revenue when we auction it off to commercial carriers. but what it misses is that unlicensed spectrum is a source of so much economic activity as i mentioned, $140 billion every
year, so it's my hope that going forward, spectrum legislation and job creation. when it's set aside e and for unlicensed service. in other words, every time that there is an instruction to auction licensed air waves, there's a cut for unlicensed or a wi-fi dividend. i think if we get the right mix of licensed and unlicensed services. our wire leless economy. >> you would suggest that we be cleared in the proposals that we put forward. >> yes. >> thank you. >> also, in march the senate passed bipartisan resolution on the internet of things that senator ayotte, booker, and others put out and it stressed the importance of developing a national strategy so that we can
encourage the internet of things. as the resolution states innovation is the key to the united states remaining a world leader in technology, however, to move forward with these creative ideas, i think we have to have some clear rules, and some clear expectations, so i am concerned that the proposed net neutrality rule moves in less than, i would say a market-driven direction. so what can the fcc do to foster innovation so that the united states continues to be a world leader in technology and also in telecommunications? >> thank you. the internet of things is exciting, by the end of the decade, we could have as many as $50 billion devices with wire lessen or sos making us more efficient and effective, everything we do, people talking to machines and machines talking to machines. the possibilities are really big.
i think there are four fundamental policy areas on the internet of things, not all of which fall under the fcc's jurisdiction, but we have to be concerned about security. we have to be concerned about privacy. we have to be concerned about the adequacy of ip addresses for all of those devices and we need to be concerned about spectrum. and back to your prior question, making more unlicensed spectrum could help the internet of things really flourish. >> do you think that would be the main thing then that the fcc can do is to maybe step back to offer more encouragement in many of those areas? >> yes, i don't think we should be overly aggressive at this point. i believe we should allow experimentation with the internet of things. and i think that's how we'll see its possibilities grow. >> okay. thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator fisher. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's good to see you here today, commissioner. and good to see your family here as well.
caroline francis is one of my favorite's girl name. we have a girl named caroline as well, she's now a big girl. and emmet joseph, that's a sharp-looking tie as well. thanks for coming to montana last month to participate in the telehill workshop, where i'm sure you saw firsthand the opportunities that technology truly can bring to rural america. in your statement, the committee, you mentioned one of your top priorities is securing access to communication services for all people, no matter where you live. and i couldn't agree more. access to technology is allowing us to remove geography as a constraint and allows montanans and those who live in rural areas to start and grow world class companies, but we still have got a lot of work to do. a lot of issues to overcome and serve the underserved communities.
the communications act tasks the fcc with providing services to rural consumers that are reasonably comparable to services in urban areas. now some areas are about to get 5g service in many areas of montana don't know what g is. we'd love to see g anything. can we really say that this is comparable service? >> thank you, senator, for the question. and thank you for acknowledging my family. i think we have work to do. you can travel in rural america and rural montana and know that connectivity is not yet everywhere. and we are continuingly adjusting, tweaking, and evolve lg our universal service policies to make sure that we reach those areas with more precision. that is not something we can do one time, we have to constantly identify those areas that do not have service and making sure we direct our funds towards those areas. >> what, what is the fcc doing to incentivize buildout and bring rural states up to levels?
i think it comes down to the senate? >> senator, i agree with you. i think it is important we use our licensed terms as inincenti inincentive. they should be longer if you meet buildout requirements. buildout requirements that are specific to rural areas, we should also think about how during our auctions we auction off small enough sizes that small carriers compete. and finally in redoing our entities rules recently, we created new providers. and i think the mix of policies like that and incentives built into them, we have a chance of actually providing better service. >> you brought up the issue of spectrum, and as you know, we have plenty of spectrum in montana, the problem is deployment. we have companies in montana who want to build out infrastructure, but the spectrum is owned by companies that aren't using it. so i'd like to get your thoughts on what are some ways to
encourage companies that have spectrum in rural areas, in rural states, to build out or at least lease the spectrum to rural providers? >> thank you. i guess this is where i'm going to give a plug to the bill i mentioned earlier, which i think thoughtfully suggests that companies, large companies that have spectrum licenses in rural areas to the extent they're not deploying there, should be given an incentive to lease it out to small companies that are willing to do so. and that incentive could be an extension of their underlying license. >> could you explain how the fcc determines the buildout rierms for spectrum holders. . a rural state like montana, company could meet its buildout requirements by only serving two or three small communities, but still leave 70% of the state's population unserved. what could the fcc do to ensure buildout so that everyone's served? >> you're right. traditionally, i believe most of our buildout requirements have been on a population-basis.
which means in a vast state like montana, you could service a handful of towns and succeed in reaching that milestone. i think the question is can we come up with a system that is more geographic-based or road-mile based so we can make sure service goes more places because people of course travel through those place to do their business to move through the state and to get to work. >> we just had a situation, in fact there was a bow hunter attacked by a grizzly bear, i met him last week back home. amazing story of survival, but it was his cell phone that saved his life. as he was in a pretty remote area, was able to get a signal and get help and probably save the young man's life. last question, universal service, many companies in montana rely on universal service funds, but there's issues with the fund include overbuilding and duplication. you mentioned the importance for all americans, what's the fcc doing to make sure usf funds are
bringing connectivity to unserved communities, back to the same drum beat here, rather than communities who already have access? >> you're right, senator. we have got $4.5 billion that we can make available annually for high cost areas of this country. rural communities. we would be wasteful if we chose to continue to allow those funds to support areas where the private sector has already provided broadband services. we are making efforts to make sure that if there is a private sector supplier we no longer provide funding. we're going to have to continue to work on that. our funds are not infinite. >> couldn't agree more, thanks, commissioner. >> thank you, senator. and reminder to check your bars of service before going into bear country. i would think would be a good -- and bring your bear spray. and perhaps some other fire power along with you, senator. >> thank you. commissioner i -- back in 2013,
2014, there was announcements made about fining being levied against those carriers who had abused the lifeline program. as you know, this has been a area of great interest for me for many years trying to get at the waste and abuse and fraud that was inherently emed bied in that program because of a lack of programming. when it began during the bush administration. i thought it was great when more than $94 million in fines was announced. okay, we're making progress. i am beyond confused as to why not one dime of that has been collected. >> um, and i look at the list of the people that owe money on these fines, one of them is track phone. well, they're getting a big check from us every month. i believe all of these people that owe millions of dollars are still part of the program.
and i think it's really important, and i mean like, now, that i get some kind of answer from the commission, why not one dime of these -- i mean, this is like a big -- we might as well have a big flashing sign that says, doesn't matter, do whatever you want in the lifeline program because we're not going to bother to collect the money. and we're going to keep paying you. i mean, do you have any explanation as to why none of these fines have been collected? >> senator, i agree with you, that sounds problematic. $100 million in fines during the last two years for bad actors who have played fast and loose with this program. we have absolutely got to make sure that they are paying up, and if they are defrauding the program, they should absolutely no reason to continue to participate. i agree, but on the specifics of their payment schedule, i would need to get back to you. >> there's no payment schedule because there's no payment. i'm foot in aware of any major fines levied since february of 2014. i would like to know
specifically if you all have the tools to cut off their participation in the program until they pay the fines. i see no reason why they should be allowed to participate until they've paid. >> we do have a debarment program and we need to make sure we apply that. the challenge with applying it of course is we don't want to the cut off the consumer. we have to figure out -- >> believe me, there's plenty of people out there to pick them up. they're soliciting for folks on every street corner. i can assure you. it is not hard to get a lifeline phone. this is not a difficult challenge. and believe me, everybody who has them knows how to get them. so i'm not as worried about that. about them getting cut off, especially if you give them notice or direct them to a different carrier which should not be that hard if we're keeping the records we should be keeping around this program. >> that's what i'm tauning though. we need to give them notice, find a way to get them to a new carrier so they are not cut off from basic service. >> well, i'm going to be paying really close attention to see if
some money comes in on that. i was confused when i looked at the budget deal, i don't know this provision got in there, and if anybody knows, i would love to find out. i just think it's a really bad idea that we've put something in this budget deal that's going to allow the federal government to participate in robocalls to collect debt. and the interesting thing is when i looked at the back-up for this, for the changes in direct spending and outlays, cbo doesn't say we're going to get any money from it. so i'm not, i'm against that provision. ly probably vote for the deal because i can't see something this important compromise because of that, but you're going to have the power to issue regulations with nine months dictating the frequency and duration of such calls. after i hard time imagining if someone has got debt collectors coming after them, have a hard time imagining that robocalls are very effective.
you know, i don't think robocalls are effective for anything, including politics, but i'm pretty sure if you owe money to a bunch of people, including the federal government, you're not maying attention to robocalls. so i would like to see really aggressive regulations around this. if this actually does become the law. about how frequent these calls could be and the duration of these calls. i just think there is a stupid idea. robocalls, we should be getting rid of them, not empowering the federal government to make them. i would appreciate your feedback and the commission's feedback on the regulations that you'd be willing to put in place if we go down this, i think, nutty path of -- >> so like you, i detest robocalls and i know i'm not alone -- >> america detests robocalls. >> it is the largest single category of complaints that the fcc gets year in and year out. our friends at the ftc get even more. so i am proud of the work the agency has done to try to
improve the possibilities of do not disturb technology, give consumers the right to revoke consent and when and if we have to proceed with the legislation, you just described would be perfectly happy to work with your office to make sure that american consumers get a little more of that privacy they deserve. >> i'd like to see a rule that could make one robocall a year for ten seconds. thank you, mr. chairman. >> claire mccaskill, and my understanding is that i think that provision that's in the budget agreement is something that the administration proposed in the budget in previous years. i think that's something they put on the table in this current discussion as well. i figured you would say that. thank you senator mccaskill, next up is senator bloomenthal. >> i agree with senator mccaskill, we have had discussed hers and mine at length and i know that you agree that
consumer complaints about this intrusive, invasive practice are very well justified. the fact that consumer's union conservatively estimates that $350 million are lost annually to phone scams, generally a lot of them the result of robocalls and the good news is advanced technology's available. and affordable to stop these very intrusive and invasive machine-driven calls and telephone companies ought to make locking options available right away. even advanced over the rule, the telephone companies have the ability to offer that service. and so, i agree with senator mccaskill about the inadvisability of the suggestion made in the budget agreement, but more broadly, i would like to ask what the next steps are
that you would view as most likely and most achievable to address this scourge of robocalls, both have seen across the country. >> thank you, senator. like most people, i'm not a fan of rachel from card member services, and i'd like to make sure that more people don't hear her voice. i know that one of the things we did this past summer was we made very clear that if possible, for telecommunication providers to offer do not disturb technology. in other words, technology that helps block robocalls. we recognize that the do not call list itself is far from fool-proof, we're looking for technological solutions, and so that end, every week now, the fcc will be issuing information about its complaints under the telephone consumer protection act. and it's our hope that by putting more data out there, we will get more innovators to create more technology thanks be
easily adopted by telecom providers and also ultimately available to them at no cost. >> i want to, since my time is limited talk a little bit about cramming. as you know, that is the unscrupulous practice by phone companies and wireless carriers who allow third party to place charges on monthly bills, without the authorization of them, without the knowledge of consumers, and often without consumers receiving anything in return for those charges. our report on this committee found wireline and wireless cramming was a serious issue, which caused as much as $2 billion a year in fraud, you're well aware of our details. the carriers -- conspicuous
for refunds. and that's a good thing. but if you really think about fixing this problem after the fact we should be making sure it doesn't occur in the first place. it would be smart to take what we know from the settlements and make sure the scams and fees don't show up on your wireless bill from the start. >> i agree. just one last question. have all the refunds been completed and are there additional settlements? >> i don't know the answer to that question right now, but i would be happy to get back to you. >> thank you, very much. >> new jersey, nevada axis. first of all, it's great to see you. incredible to see your family. your kids probably think this is the most boring experienced of their lives.
>> thank you for the hearing. thank you for coming back and spending time with us. i appreciate your families being here also. and also the rest of your family that's on tour. i have a son and daughter on tour right now. i don't know if you have any jurisdiction over tour buses. but i still to this day do not know how 16 people can live in a tour bus for 30 days. no hotels. 16 people, 30 days. anyway, do you have any -- >> no. i'm with you on that. >> i think you have to be under the age of 25 to enjoy and appreciate something like that. but anyway, thank you for being here. thanks for tiking time. i want to talk about reform. there has been a lack of
transparency. several years ago you came before the committee for your first nomination hearing. i laid out at that time some of those concerns. and i think many of them still remain today. you are probably wear of the process reform act. and it is my push for greater transparently in the commission. you have actually spoken on some of them. the appropriate comment time period. providing a shot clock for items pending review. specific languages of rules before a voting amendment. four is commissioners's ability to collaborate. and a cost analysis. it has passed the house. it has not yet passed in the senate. i urge my chairman to continue to work on that.
is there anything else, any other common sense measures that can be addressed by this commission and yourself personally that you believe would bring greater transparency to the commission? >> thank you, senator. obviously transparency is important. not sure they require congressional action. but i think it would be valuable for the public to have a list of the decisions that are presently before the commissioners along with with a brief description so that it surprises no one when a vote emerges from the agency. it would also be valuable to have a systemic way to petition for relief to find out where it stands in the process. >> yeah. i think there's some concern for that. a priority you identified. promoting innovation, creating
jobs. do you believe it would provide more services to these companies if a shot clock was available? specifically what are you thinking from that? >> the statement against interest where i work. i think shot clocks and deadlines are really important. they have a way of motivating us towards action. any legislation that emerges from the committee or oversight of the fcc i would encourage you to have more deadlines in the work that we do. if i can bring up another piece of legislation, the consolidated reform act is something you're familiar with, especially with the time that you were working with them at chairman rockefeller. looking at this piece of legislation as i see here, this report, i think the chairman did a great job trying to meet some of the values on both sides of the aisle here. it has passed the house. we're at a stand still right
now. that is unfortunate. i'm talking two houses. we need to come together to try to work this out. can you speak to the importance of having a single report like th this. >> sure. we have some reports that are wasted commission resources. >> is this? >> all the reports are not. there are ways in which longitudinal data -- >> some of us do read them. >> yeah. >> i think it was every other year. the only point i would make is the internet age moves really fast. we want to make sure our decisions are informed by data. maybe having an intermediate effort would give us the kind of
data that would support better decision making. that would be the only pause i would have. so i don't think the legislation would preclude us, for instance, from doing those kinds of things. >> if i could encourage you to work with us, move forward, and continue to grapple with this particular issue. you make a good point on how often reports should be available. having consolidated reports for us here trying to do our job is i think very, very helpful. >> let me say your good work has been a good foundation for us to build on. earlier today we talked about responsiveness. and i just think that having more regular reauthorization process is perhaps bring the commission up here and get them to respond to a more regular
basis. which might address some of the concerns raised earlier as well, the transparency for the public that they expect. the commission will be a partner in that. the senator from viking company is here. >> thank you, commissioner for being here. i know a lot of have been discussed. it continues to be a problem. i just did a forum with colin peterson a few months ago about the dropped call. i will let your answer on that stand. spectrum bill i appreciate with senator fisher. the work that senator thune and
i are doing about getting more services for a broadband, which i think is the number one thing i have been hearing. it feels like a complete resurgence of issue. i attribute it to, one, the economy is better. number two, technology has shifted. this is no longer do we have broadband. and also the great opportunities. gardener and i introduced the streamlining and infrastructure
act. federal highway construction project and streamline gsa policies. what else do you think congress can do to promote more efficient permits procedures to reduce construction costs and speed up the process. >> senator, thank you. i think the policies are terrific. they should be put in place a all across the country. less than 1% for the price of the project. we get lots of rewards. i think there are other things we can do. i think we have particular problems on federal lands in this country. one-third of our lands is federal. we should come up with deployment practices -- or practices that make deployment on those lands easier. we should have a shot clock for the federal government to respond just like we do for
municipalities. we should have a regular gsa schedule to make sure everybody knows how to deploy and gets a standard contract. we should have a list of federal assets that could be used to help with deployment on federal lands. if i combine those things we would have a much greater deployment on the ground. >> can you talk about investing in broadband adoption. >> historically focused on broadband deployment. adoption is just as important. if you want people to take full advantage of the commercial opportunities. i focused extensively on the homework gap. because we are finding there are 5 million households in this country that don't have broadband a at home. their kids have to go to that mcdonald's parking lot or line up where there is a wi-fi center. that is a cruel part of the digital divide and something i
think we should fix. >> smartphone left doesn't work on this. kill switches. do you have any updates? >> yes. . one in three is the theft of a smartphone device. carriers are working with us for remote lock capabilities, in other words, they're available on newhan sets. we are starting to get that in place. we have to improve the data bates for stolen phones. not just nationally but internationally so we reduce the opportunity of thieves making money off the devices. >> speaking of internationally, a different issue, when it comes to wireless service or broadcast service along our northern border, as you know, i can see canada from my porch. we need to make sure there are no problems with interference. this is an issue i discussed many times in the past.
i'm glad to see the fcc announced the statement of intent with coordination in the upcoming incentive action. are you committed to continuing to work with canada throughout the action process and beyond to ensure that there are no interference problems? >> yes. senator. >> thank you. lastly, the fcc asked to take action. i introduced that. i know the fcc took action and committing wireless carriers to unlock consumer phones. and they have met this commitment. do you think there is a further role for the fcc or it has pretty much been done. >> yesterday the librarian of congress announced its most recent set of exemptions under the copyright act and made clear that the tablets and cell phones are eligible for unlocking. >> thank you. and last, i want to thank you
for your extreme amount of preparation for this history. we were amused you could reel off these statistics without looking at one. er all impressed by that. and also having a woman in your role has been great. i know you have been working on getting more women in technology. and we head up the diversifying tech pocket. we will have you speak at one of our meetings. >> thank you. >> certain advantages to knowing what certain members of this committee is going to ask having been up here all those years. good preparation. now the gentleman wearing his kansas city royals blue today. >> thank you for this opportunity. let me express my gratitude to
you and other members who have been attentive. i appreciate the relationship that we have and your responsiveness. so thank you very much. it's valued. let me ask just a few questions. you addressed the issue of call completion. i was not certain of that. i didn't hear what you said is maybe a better way of saying that. it seems to me you have taken steps, but i am not sure you have seen the evidence that call completion rates have improved. is my impression wrong? >> no. you're right, senator. i, too, am not yet satisfied with the situation we found ourselves in. we know this is a real problem for carriers and residents of rural america. it is not acceptable when calls don't go through. now, what we have done is issued a declaratory ruling to make clear there is a violation under the law to not transmit and complete those calls. we had some enforcement actions.
but what we realized is that we lacked the data to really go after bad actors. so we put in place new reporting obligations for originating long-distance providers. those obligations just kicked in. we have our first set of reports. we are going to comb through them. not just look for bad actors you for patterns to make sure we get rid of this problem once and for all. >> there is a way to develop the evidence necessary to determine where the problem lies? >> that is exactly right. >> that is very encouraging. you indicated you understand it is important and i would only reiterate that one of my focuses and as a member of congress has been trying to keep rural america alive and well. it is so discouraging to talk to a business owner who knows of failures of call completions, failures of the call. there is no completion. but they don't know how many others they're missing. the lost opportunity. and my guess is if you make that
we also have a process for our rate of return -- >> the phone company -- there is a process by which the phone can company can make this fact known. >> absolutely. it's a challenge process. >> is that something that is affordable to a small rural telephone. >> the goal of that process is pointed out to us and then we go investigate. >> so they don't have to develop the case to present to you. they present the allegation. >> it allows us to get our investigation under way. >> on a broader issue about spectrum, senator udall and i a
a number of members of this committee had solicited information from the administration, from omv with regard to the spectrum relocation fund. and omb, to their credit, was very specific with policy recommendations, legislative changes. that legislation has been introduced. i can fortunately it's been included in the budget agreement. and so is potentially on the path to becoming law. i'm happy to have any general comments you might want to make about their recommendations. but i wanted to specifically raise the question with you about unlicensed spectrum. there really isn't any effort i can see under way to increase the chances that unlicensed spectrum that as we relocate federal spectrum to someone else that it seems to me there is no emphasis on unlicensed spectrum. and i welcome your input if there are policy suggestions you
would have how we enhance the chances that that might occur. >> i think this committee's response was terrific. we're already seeing benefits and that we are rethinking the possibility of adding incentives to the spectrum relocation fund. i think that's exciting and is going to yield more spectrum for commercial markets down the road. your point on unlicensed is well taken. the budget office traditionally values licensed spectrum over unlicensed by virtue of the fact that by all spectrum that raises funds. but what they miss in that acting is it is tremendously beneficial for our economy at large. we have over $140 billion of economic activity every year that relies on unlicensed spectrum. so it would be my host if you did produce more spectrum legislation down the road, you will consider doing what you did in the past, which is making sure in every piece of legislation that has commercial auctions there's also a cut for
unlicensed or wi-fi dividend. >> i appreciate you reminding us of that. i assume one of the challenges, perhaps the congressional nature, administration nature is when we are looking for an off set, you are looking for something that raises revenue. it would be a short-sighted decision to focus solely -- it would be a short-sighted economic decision to focus solely on spectrum. >> i agree with you completely. >> thank you very much. thank you, chairman. >> thank you, senator rand. senator peters. >> thank you so much for being here. and answering all of our questions. and actually just to pick up on comments by senator moran on the unlicensed wi-fi use and how we want to expand on that and thank you for your work that you have done for the 5.9 gigahertz area
in which you have been committed and said you are committed to opening up a process to do testing to know the auto industry, which has that portion of the spectrum can operate effectively and safely. particularly given the technological breakthroughs. you were in michigan. i was able to see vehicle-to-vehicle road time. in the community on the road. if you are blinded by a car in front of you, it swerves out of the way because of vehicle-to-vehicle technology you know the car is slowing. you're able to stop. that is a major cause of accidents. suddenly you find a stopped car in front of you.
you are able to know that or your systems know that. it is incredible stuff that's happening. i know you saw some of that in michigan. i just wanted to remind everybody that these technologies are expected to eliminate 80% of all crashes in this country at a time when 30,000 people die on our highways, this is a big deal. this is about safety. the m city place that you visited at the university of michigan is a 32-acre test track. that allows us to fully test and put together the systems in order to deploy this on a wide basis. you will see thousands of vehicles throughout the southeast michigan that will be testing these systems as well in the short-term, in the months ahead and in the years ahead. chairman wheeler was also able
to visit m city yesterday he was there. tell me about your reelection. what was your takeaway from m city and what they are doing with this 5.9 gigahertz. >> the future of connected cars is big, really big. by the end of the decade it is that 97% of the cars are going to be internet connected. they are going to be in effect mobile phones on wheels. m city, which i was privileged to see just before it was open and you probably cut the yellow ribbon. >> i did. >> is the test ground for all of that next general is raeugz connected car activity. it is exciting that it is there in the backyard of the auto industry. and i think it is going to be an incredible00 of economic activity. i would like to actually go back and see as new developments arise. as far as 5.9 gigahertz, i think you know i have smoking about how it is possible for the auto industry to share that spectrum
with unlicensed services. the most important thing is at the direction of this committee we are working with the department of transportation and the department of commerce to set up testing. and it is vitally important that when we test we make sure safety is intact. >> i appreciate that. it will be the traditional companies and all the innovators that want a piece of that. how do you see that not of the auto industry but others that are innovating the a rapid pace and facing new innovators with disruptive technology as well? >> i think technologies are going to be a part of every industry going forward. wireless in particular. the car industry is one that embodies that more than any other. while there are challenges i think the opportunities are
enormous. >> one last question in my time remaining here. i heard you respond to questions on the homework app. and i wanted to thank you for an op ed you wrote in one of the detroit newspapers talking about that gap where it is clear when roughly 7 in 10 teachers assign homework to their students that require the internet access. yet in detroit, for example, it's almost a complete opposite. 7 in 10 students do not have access to the internet. so it is a significant issue. i know you have been very supportive of updating the fcc's lifeline program to allow consumers to choose between supporting the broadband service rather than voice service. can you give us an update on that front and where tkpouz that going? >> yes, senator. we have an open proceeding on that. i think moving forward, if you want to modernize lifeline it
has to be a program run without any abuse. we have to make sure it reflects modern services. . it is my hope we will have another tool to help support households that do not have internet access, and particularly those who have is kids that simply need to do their homework. >> thank you so much. >> senator peters, i wanted to recall when i went to your city, detroit. pause of the allocation of spectrum, i'm in a car going to a blind corner that there is another car. all of a sudden this car that can't see this car coming through that intersection stops. stops on its own. were that was impress.
i know sure as i'm ready to get into a car that drives itself but that application was instructive and optimistic how we might use it in the future. mr. chairman, if i may, since i was engaged a earlier in the morning, sper into the record an opening statement. at the request of senator schumer, i want to enter a letter from the general council of the mayor of new york. and i would like to just quote, speaking of commissioner rosen worsal. championship of modernization of the e rate and lifeline programs are two examples of fierce, determined commitment to expanding public access to
high-speed broadband for working families. and it goes on in another paragraph to say, her work is not only helping families and children access the internet but also helping communities like ours to build stronger schools, improve city services, and unleash more entrepreneurial and creative potential. and that's from the city of new york. if we could enter that into the record. >> without objection. >> and speaking on of that, commissioner, on e rate, just talk generally to add to what you said about he rate to students, teachers, librarians and communities. >> sure. thank you, senator. knowledge, jobs and cal a tal are going to flow to communities that are more connected and more educated. we can use the e rate program to
update education in our schools and give more students the skills to participate in the digital age economy. that's exciting. it also offers other benefits. pause had we deploy to schools, infrastructure improves at large. >> may i, on another subject, make a plea on behalf of telephone consumers that when they get and sign up for the do not call list, it's not working, people are still calling. and i hear this all the time. even to the point at which i have some friends, former member of congress they only take out
the hard line. even they they put it on. anything we can do about that? >> thank you, senator. as i said earlier, i can't stand robo calls either. i don't think there's anyone who likes them very much. the do not call list only works so much. it is not tool proof. the fcc this past summer made clear that do not disturb technologies are lawful in order to provide a solution to reduce the number of calls. but you also asked if there is anything congress can do. i will just point to this. the telephone consumer protection act is a law from 1991. it is old. it treats wireless phones and wired phones differently. and given that 40% of our households are wireless only, i'm not sure that differential treatment anymore makes sense. it might be something that is worth while for this committee to address.
>> and of course the trend of the future is we're going to have these tablets with us. and that's how we're going to continue to communicate. and i see that among many of our friends. they don't even have a wire line coming in to their house for a telephone. do not call is one thing. but spoofing is another thing. since the spoofing technology has evolved, since the law that we passed in 2010, scammers are getting more sophisticated. cnn reported the story of albert
poland, an 81-year-old who received nonstop calls from a person claiming to be part of a jamaican lottery. that he had won the lottery. this 81-year-old ended up giving away thousands of dollars until he realized he had been had. and that drove him to suicide. a number of us have introduced a phone scam act. it would improve the 2010 on law by going after off-shore spoofing criminals. and those who try to pull off these scams. but it would also encourage the fcc to work with the private sector on new technologies that could protect consumers. do you agree with all of this? >> yes, i do, senator.
>> and finally, any further comment on spectrum, of what role congress can play to support your efforts and to ensure adequate spectrum availability for all the wireless services? >> thank you, senator. i think two things. first, while i recognize that in the most recent budget deal, there is opportunity for more airwaves to be pushed to the fcc for commercial option. i would just say we need a steady and strong spectrum pipeline and that you not stop that pipeline effort. so continue your work on the spectrum pipeline. second, the most of our focus is on the airwaves. coming up with better deployment policies for cell towers, for small cells, making sure that our practices are modern is also worth your time and effort.
>> i was encouraged when we started talking about cell towers the other day. i noticed the technology is getting very sophisticated where these towers can be very small. they can go on the arms that come out for stop lights at intersections. and also reminded in many other foreign countries you can be in the middle of the desert in somalia and get cell service, which we are continue to go lack in many places in this country. you keep that in mind. finally, i want to thank the
chairman publicly for his willingness and the willingness of his staff to continue the dialogue as we work on the issue of net neutrality. we have come a long way, baby. since the beginning of this congress. since the end of the last congress. and we are narrowing the differences. so whether it is title x or something else, the chairman has certainly been willing to dive in. and i want him to know how much i appreciate that. >> thank you, senator nelson. if it's title x or we give it a floor designation in your honor. as long as we can get to the finish line, that will be great. providing certainty, clarity and clear rules for an open internet would be something that would be a worth while effort of this
congress. we appreciate you and your staff's continued discussions and participation with ours in trying to reach a solution. commissioner, i wanted to ask one last question. you answered several questioned. it was a significant increase in the cap. $2.3 billion to $3.9 billion a year. so the question i have, does the new e rate program guarantee those schools which currently lack adequate communications or receive support ahead of schools that already have quality facilities. the goal of this ought to be to extend that access to the schools that currently lack it. >> yes, senator. thank you. the e rate system has
prioritization built in for the lowest income and most rural for the most benefit. that is the proxy by which you described. i would say our reforms are generally designed to make sure the benefits are available more broadly. we got rid of old services, legacy services. we put new incentives in for efficiency. and the goal behind all of that modernization was to make sure the benefits touched schools that had not historically been touched by this program. and category 2, which involves wi-fi. >> it a ought to be a priority. those paying the fees i would would want to use those in a way that use connectivity. with that, i think we have reached the end of the line, i'm sure you will be glad to hear.
and your 8-year-old daughter, i'm sure when she and her classmates are talking about unlicensed spectrum will be way ahead of the game. but we thank you again for being here today. and we'll look forward to processing your nomination. we will keep the record open for an additional two weeks for members to submit questions and asked that you be as proms as possible. >> of course. >> thank you. >> this hearing is adjourned. >> thank you. >> the house passes two-year
budget, clearing it for the president's signature. republicans nominated congressman paul ryan to be the next speaker of the house. wisconsin republican, who was the 2012 vice presidential nominee, easily defeated his only rival for the job, daniel wester. 200-43 vote during a closed door conference in the cavernous ways and means hearing room. house majority leader kevin mccarthy received one vote. as did marcia blackburn of tennessee. the "full house" will hold a speaker election tomorrow. you can see that live on c-span, our companion network. >> all persons having business before the honorable supreme court of the united states to draw near and give their attention. >> this week on c-span's
landmark cases, we'll discuss the historic supreme court case of schenck verses the united states. in 1917, the united states entered world war i. patriotism was high. some forms of criticism of the government were a federal offense. charles schenck of the philadelphia socialist party handed out a and mailed leaflets against the draft. >> was a flyer produced by charles in 1915. the point was to encourage men who were liable for the draft to not register. the language was fiery. it equates it with slavery and calls on every citizen of the united states. >> he was arrested, tried, and found guilty under the espionage act. he then appealed and the case went directly to the supreme court. find out how the court ruled, weighing the issues of clear and
present danger, and freedom of space. attorney thomas goldstein, and beverly gauge, professor of history at yale university. that's coming up on the next "landmark cases," monday, 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, c-span3, and c-span radio. for background, order your copy of the landmark cases companion book for $8.95 plus shipping. c-span.org/landmarkcases. now, the air force gives congressional lawmakers an update on the f-35 joint strike fighter program, including software developments and deficiencies in the fuel system and ejection seats. this house subcommittee hearing is an hour, 20 minutes.
>> call the hearing to order. the subcommittee meets in open session to receive testimony of the current status of the f-35 joint strike fighter program. i would like to welcome our witnesses. lieutenant general christopher bogdon, executive officer and major general jeffrey l. hear nguyen. thank you both for your service. and we look forward to your testimony today. this hearing continues the committee's ongoing oversight of the f-35 program since the program officially began in 2001. we all know that the f-35 is a complex program. it has experienced issues with cost, schedule, and performance throughout its development. the subcommittee has hold numerous hearings to understand the critical need for the fifth generation strike fighter capability and to understand the issues facing the program.
most recently, the subcommittee where we were able to meet with pilots and maintenance personnel. this ongoing committee oversight have identified issues and worked to help ensure the program remains on track. for example, in the fiscal year 2014, the subcommittee learned of software development problems and recommended legislation that would establish a team to review the f-35 software development program and make recommendations to fix these problems. for fiscal year 2015, the committee recommended legislation would continue and analysis of the testing, development, and production of the f-35 program. during our visit at egeland, we learned of issues with the f-35 maintenance system known as the awe topic alis.
as a result, they included a provision in the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2016 that would require the gao to review alis and provide a report for april 1, 2016. the committee also recommended a provision that would require a review of the f-35 engine program by a federally funded research and development center to ensure that future engines will not be subject to the failure that caused an f-35 engine fire on takeoff just last june. each of the subcommittee's recommendations have been adopted. in the past month, the subcommittee has learned it does not meet the design specifications for lighter weight pilots. the specification for the ejection seat is that it needs to be able to accommodate a safe escape and pilot weight of 103 to 245 pounds.
we understand until this deficiency is corrected, pilots under 136 pounds will not be able to fly. in closing, while strong oversight of the if i-35 remains necessarily, the seattle aircraft is absolutely assured. like the f-35, in future conflicts is absolutely critical to successfully address these emerging threats and remain air dominance in any overseas dominance. i look forward to our witnesses today. before we begin, i would also like to thank all of our colleagues. as ranking member, when she returns if she would like at that point to offer her opening statement, we will get to her opening statement.
with that, we will begin then. >> thank you, sir. distinguished members of the committee, thank you for this opportunity to address you regarding the f-35 lightning 2 program. joined the integration office lead. the f-35 lightning 2 is of vital importance. as program director, i'm committed to delivering an affordable, reliable, and sustainable fifth generation fighter to our war fighters. the f-35 will form the backbone of combat superiority for decades to come. it will replace legacy with a dominant multirole fifth generation aircraft capable of projecting u.s. power and deterring potential adversaries. for foreign military sales who
future. since the last time i appeared before this committee, the program successfully completed a important events, not the least of which was helping the u.s. marine corps. declare initial capability this summer. a few of this year's accomplishments include the beginning of our p-f, our final version of software in flight test. two successful chip trials. one for the u.s. marine corps. and one for the u.s. navy on the uss eisenhower. we delivered the first three ioc aircraft to the air force at hill air force base last month. and delivery of the u can k and dutch aircraft at edwards air force base for participation in operational tests this summer. the rollout of the first flight of the italian f-35 a from our fabrication and checkout facility in italy last month. we also rolled out our first
norwegian aircraft. we have completed the qualification of australian and iowa tal yann tankers with the f-35. we have started the grouped testing of our 25 millimeter cannon months a earlier than we planned. just recently we started u. s. air force at luke air force base. these are a few accomplishments since the last time i spoke with you. overall, the program has made good development in development and flight tests. we are now 75% complete with the entire test flight program. we still have technical deficiencies to correct, including the ejection seat, which we will talk about today. the logistics information system or alis, which i plan on talking about today. various shortfalls in the fuel system. but we have corrections in place for all these issues. we will be able to implement the solutions in the near future. with respect to aircraft
production, the production line is becoming more efficient each and every day. and the price of all three continues to drop lot after lot. i expect this trend to continue well into the 2020s and still believe we can achieve our price target of an f-35 a model with an engine, with tee, and fy $19 of $80 to $85 million. we are closely monitoring the supply base as we prepare for a ramp-up in production from 59 airplanes in lot 8 to 104 in lot 9, to 123 airplanes in lock 10, up to a final production rate of nearly 170 airplanes per year in the early 2020s. we are also seeing some improvements in the reliability and maintainability of the aircraft. as a result of focused efforts on the supply chain. repair cycle time of spare
parts. spare part availability and improved maintenance procedures. we are also on track with our organic standups in the united states and in the pa pacific and european regions. the requirement validations and the initial acquisition planning for a follow-on modernization program that will will begin at the ends of our current development program in october of 2017. i am committed to establishing aline, effective modernization program with the appropriate government control and oversight to ensure that it remains both affordable and transparent while at the same time effectively enhancing the f-35 capability for decades to come. with respect to risks and challenges, i see the completion of mission system software development, alis development, and the previously mentioned fuel system and ejection seat deficiencies as our most prominent current technical
risks. our ability to set up data mission files in time for all of our customers and our ability to complete all the weapons envelope testing for lock 3f, as well as our ability to start o.t. on time are the major scheduled risks to the program today. i'll close by saying i believe the program is in a better position today than it was one, two, or three years ago. it is a growing and accelerating program and is making solid progress. the weapon design is sound. it is fundamentally on track. we remain confident we will be able to deliver in the time and money we have been given. as with any big complex program, new discoveries challenges and obstacles will occur. we believe the combined government industry team has the ability to overcome our current deficiencies and deal with future issues should they arise in order to successfully deliver on our commitments.
the program office will continue to executing with integrity, discipline, transparency, and accountability. holding ourselves accountable for the outcomes on this program. we recognize the responsibility that the program has been given to provide the backbone of future u.s. allied fighter capability for generations to come. we also recognize that our sons and daughters and our grandsons and granddaughters may some day take this weapons systems into harm's way. it is the responsibility that we never forget in the prom office. thank you again for this opportunity. i look forward to answering all of your questions. >> thank you, sir. >> chairman turner, distinguished member of the tactical air and land subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to provide an update on the united states air force's progress for delivering initial
operating capability, ioc, for the f-35a. survivability, and adaptability make it our platform of choice for operations in highly operations in highly contested threat environment. the aircraft's state of the art sensor fusion, networked interoperability and broad array of advanced air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions have unmatched lethality well into the 21st century. the f-35's exceptional survivability is achieved with a combination of observable technologies and advanced electron atook and protection and shared situational awareness. it will form the backbone of future joint and combined air operations enabling future joint force commander's success. today, sir, we have 79 f-35as delivered and they have flown over 21,000 hours in our air
force. the program is on the road to ioc for the air force. specifically within the last two months we received our first three aircraft at hill air force base and are flying them now at a high rate. this month air force operational testers are flying with our ioc software load and building f-35 tactics, techniques and procedures. we have work to be done, though, specifically we're concerned about the software capability we will get in our ioc load, alis software delivery, and the modification schedule for our jets at hill. all that notwithstanding, we expect to declare ioc as planned in 2016. however, this is still a program in development and challenges remain. we will continue to work closely with the joint program office, lockheed martin, to assure we achieve full war fighting capability. while ioc's an important milestone for the program, we must not lose sight of the goal of full war fighting capability.
the program must develop and deliver 3-f software on time and we need to invest now in block four follow-on modernization to provide the war fighter with the most current and relevant capabilities required to meet the future threat. the capability closing fast many and modern warfare, if the air force fails, the joint force fails. thank you for this opportunity. >> we have a number of members who have questions and want to make sure we get to everyone. general bogdan, the ejection seat. obviously, this is not performing, supposed to be life saving, not life-threatening. could you share information on this? what is the problem and how is it being fixed and what does it take to implement that correction? >> yes, congressman.
if you'll indulge me, it's a complex problem and will spend a little bit of time to try to clear up the misinformation you might have. first and foremost safety irs paramount for me and my team. i would never ask a pilot to do anything i wouldn't do myself. the air worthiness authorities that work with me on the navy and air force side feel and act the same way. so we take this deficiency with the ejection and safe escape very seriously. let me explain what the problem is and what we're doing about it. as we begin, as you said, congressman, the ejection seat we had in this airplane was designed to cover the widest range of pilot weights and sizes we've ever had in a fighter airplane.
the seat is -- the seat and the ejection system is designed to deal with pilots down to 103 pounds all the way up to 245 pounds, as you said. but it is also designed for different sized pilots from the smallest pilots to the largest pilots. the combination of the weight and the size means that we will be able to put more pilots in this airplane than any other legacy airplane before it. we do have deficiencies. we have fun to those deficiencies through the normal testing process. we have a number of deficiencies with the ejection seat, not all found just recently. we have been testing the ejection seat for many many years. when you start testing a system
like the ejection seat, what you do is start from the center of the envelope of the ejection seat and work your way outside to the edges of that envelope and as you get outside to the edges of the envelope in terms of speed and weight of the pilots, things become more severe and are harder to achieve in terms of safety. the test that occurred 027 august this year that resulted in the air force and navy restricting pilots below 136 pounds was a test at the very edge of that envelope. it was a low speed test with the lowest weight pilots we have. if you drew that envelope, it would be on the corner of it. it's a difficult place to design the ejection seat for. having said that, after that test, we recognized there was a deficiency. that is a different deficiency than a few of the other
deficiencies i will talk about that e-mail encompass all the problems we're having with the ejection seat. let me start and talk about a few of the other issues we had on the seat we're in the process of fixing and then get to the last problem, the one that resulted in restricting pilots less than 136 pounds because all the other problems i'm going to talk about came with no restrictions. we continued to fly with all sizes and all weights of pilots. in the ejection sequence there are three portions of that. the first is catapult, when the seat gets blasted out of the airplane. for a lightweight pilot today less than 136 pounds when he or she goes up the rails of the airplane in that catapult, his or her neck gets pushed down like that. when we originally did the testing on that condition, what we found was if the pilot has
the helmet on his head or her head and that helmet weighs more than 4.8 pounds, then the neck loads for that lightweight pilot, by a very little bit exceed what we would consider to be perfectly safe. so what did we do? the first thing we did was we began taking weight out of the helmet to insure every helmet we have is going to be weighing less than 4.8 pounds. today, our helmets weigh about 5.1 pounds. we're talking about 6 ounces of weight to get out of the helmet. we are developing that new helmet that weighs lace than 4.8 pounds today. we never had to restrict lightweight pilots for that catapult phase because the neck loads they would experience with the heavy helmet were so close to the safety limits the air worthiness authorities that that was acceptable. i agreed with that. i give to it my assistants and they decide.
and we're fixing that with a lightweight helmet today that results in no restrictions who could fly the airplane. the second problem once the ejection seat leaves the airplane, you get wind blast. that's because it's moving at hundreds of miles an hour and it's almost as if you put your hand out of your car while driving and feel the wind blast. in this instance here, the pilot's head gets forced backwards instead of forward. we found if a lightweight pilot, less than 136 pounds has a helmet that weighs more than 4.8 pounds that neck stress going backwards is higher than what we'd like it to be but not so high we needed to restrict pilots from flying the airplane. the solution to both those problems are to reduce the
weight of the helmet. we have been ongoing with the development of the new helmet and new weight about six months. it will take about another year for us to finish that to make sure every helmet is less than 4.8 pounds. we did have one pilot at this period of time that was flying the airplane that was less than 136 pounds. the reason why that pilot could continue to fly, even with those known risks was because we hand built him a helmet that weighed 4.7 pounds. we cannot manufacture today on the production line in any mass quantity a helmet that weighs less than 4.8 pounds. but for that particular pilot we created and manufactured a helmet that weighed less than 4.8 pounds and that's why that pilot with this known risk area can continue to fly. those are two problems with one solution should be done in about
a year. the third problem we found in testing is what we call the opening shock phase of ejection when the parachute on the back of the seat comes out. in this instance here, when that parachute comes out, once again, the pilot's head moves forward. in this instance here, the only pilots affected by the opening shock being too strong and causing the neck loads to be above what we consider safe is once again that lightweight pilot. the risk of that happening was low enough the air worthiness authorities thought it was not significant enough to restrict anybody from flying the airplane when we found that problem. when we did find that problem about eight or nine months ago in normal testing we already started a solution. the solution is to delay that parachute coming out