tv The Communicators CSPAN October 3, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
dickering who heads cop tell. then education secretary arne he uncan discusses a proposal that would allow states more money to spend on teachers and school. later, a discussion on i'm a change and its effect on national security and >> c-span created 35 years ago and brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> you served for 11 years in the congress. prior to that, he served as a member of senator lott's staff and congressman pickering, what is comptel. mr. pickering: it is the longest standing telecommunications association. it was founded 35 years ago. host: what was happening.
mr. pickering: a huge debate, ma bell should we open it up to competition. comptel was the founding voice for competitive policy. and when in 1984, the reagan justice department broke up at&t, and you had at&t, sprint, and worldco mmp. and as you went into 1996. and -- comptel was bringing the competition there and today, we continue to be the voice for new network builders, innovators, internet companies, cable companies, business competitors, 200 member companies. the one thing across platforms we have in common, we are the voice for maintaining whatever the technology, whatever the network, whatever the platform,
a competitive market, interconnection, more innovation, more investment and for the consumer and for the business, lower prices and greater service. host: on one of the burning telecommunication issues of our day, net neutrality, where was comptel. mr. pickering: it supported the f.c.c. and we were looking at multiple ways to get there and we believe there were paths to protect an open internet which has been a great success story for our economy and maintaining what all of our country and the consumers around the country have become accustomed to, they have equal access to go anywhere on the internet, have any commercial transaction, without having a preference or a priority or being blocked or throatled. we were very much in support of
that. we think for new starts and new businesses and new business models, the open internet is critical to the economic deproth and continued success. host: were you off the reservation of being a former republican representative on that position? mr. pickering: i was in today's world, but back in 1996 and 2000 when the open internet first started it was republican-led and there was bipartisan consensus. chairman michael powell communicated a set of principles around net neutrality and kevin martin, chairman, was the first to enforce the principles. and when i was in congress, there were a number of republicans and democrats who continued to support the principles of an open internet. part of my job is not onlt to be a voice for the openness to try to bring enough of a consensus
in the industry around those issues and principles so the bipartisan consensus that we once enjoyed on these issues can be restored and renewed. host: joining our conversation s the senior editor. guest: obviously no one has a perfect crystal ball, but what's your best guess how it's going to play out? mr. pickering: the chairman used the best possible legal authority to sustain an open internet rule. as you may know and for the audience, it has been struck down twice in the courts. once comcast challenged the rules and the other times, verizon and they were using title i or other authorities. now with the authorities that the f.c.c. chose, we believe it is the most legally sustainable,
which will create the predictability and the certainty. the chairman used what was very successful in the wireless model. he could only apply a light touch whether wireless or internet are the modern market. we believe that he crafted strong rules, balanced rules and a light touch, framework. and the courts, we believe, probably -- i don't know if there may be some exceptions, but at the core of what the chairman did at the f.c.c., we think it will be upheld and sustained. guest: have you seen any changes since the order that was about to take effect or any problems developing to give you some concern? mr. pickering: when i took the position as c.e.o. of comptel, part of what i was wanting to do
is build a coalition that was broad enough and deep enough to win the competitive policies or battles at the f.c.c. or in congress. and part of that was to broaden the coalition, having been a member of congress, coalitions are extremely important and winning the votes and we wanted to make sure the second generation of competition sustained. companies like net licks flicks have joined comptel and what you are seeing is the internet business model which is the most efficient, innovative, compared to existing or the older telecom and cable business models, you are seeing tremendous value in the economy and continuing to see high investment and networks. if you look at the most recent wireless auction, historic numbers were used or invested,
over $40 billion in the wireless networks. you are seeing new wireless networks in at&t and verizon as well. so we continue to see investments and continue to see growth and the internet economy i think is going to flourish because of the predictability and certainty of these rules. guest: so far so good. you have addressed this in general terms, but what are your top or legislative priorities specifically? mr. pickering: we had tech transitions, what does that mean? if you look at the last mile network or what our audience may know as the wire comes into their home, local telephone company or cable company, legacy telephone companies transitions
from copper and something called p.b.m., circuit switch to i.t. and new networks, how do we make sure our public safety and make sure that competition that has taken root in the business marketplace continues and thrives and how do we make sure that our critical institutions, our schools, libraries, hospitals, our first responders, the services that they depend on those networks, how do they go into the next technology, this transition with everything being sustained and improved? because i see is what we all want. more efficient, and lowers the prices. we all want and competitors have deployed i.t. networks. we will continue and maintain
competition in the business market. we will provide these services that are central to the well-being of the country and that's a big thing. the incentive auction, rules that have been adopted continues to promote competition in the wireless market, so at least a third of the auction will be end reserve for either the new entrant or companies like t-mobile and sprint and the small regional companies. so that was a big thing. guest: interconnection at the edge of the internet. mr. pickering: there is a first amendment of speech. first amendment of competition policy and interconnection at the edge. and it is the last mile network and make sure it is open and competitive. we were able to open internet with the at&t merger and
conditioned by the charter merger with time warner. they are saying they will have an interconnection policy that basically exchanges traffic among all the networks. something called settlement free. and it is the most economically efficient and most competitive. we are seeing gains in all areas for competition under this administration. and we are very pleased that we worked in a coalition with consumer groups and business industry groups to sustain what has been probably the most successful economic policy in our lifetime. host: when you talk about the incentive auctions, are you happy with all the rules? is there enough set aside in your view? and will your member companies be participating? mr. pickering: we advocated for more but to get 30% was the best that could be done and it is sufficient to promote
competition. in the end in politics, you may not get all you want, but we got progress. i tell many people, i have met progress in politics, but never perfection. the order, i think, was a good balance that the chairman put together to make sure that all of his objectives is a successful auction, broadcast participation, competitive, promotion of new entrants and existing challengeses to the encouple bants and high revenue that we think will benefit the taxpayer. host: who are some of your member companies? mr. pickering: t-mobile. u.s. cellular. there could be a surprise of new entrants. we are entering into an age that we have had, because of the old monopoly policies, networks that we can control the market, hold
it captive and have scarcity in networks, capacity or speed andmon advertise that. because of the internet model and all of the layers of the application, the internet of things, the internet of medicine, all of these new ways to do business over the networks, the ability to do wi-fii we are about to intera new age of networks being driven by the internet networks and economy. guest: you are a former congressman. undoubtedly, you have a lot of contacts up there. give us the state of play on the hill to rewrite the telecom act and come up with broadband legislation? mr. pickering: they had a great hearing in recent months.
and their emphasis which is the right emphasis, how do you remove barriers in deploying new networks. existing network and emerging network are a completely new start. how do you have access to polls and con did you its. how do you streamline the permitting process, whether it is a mini cell or tower or fiber deployment, one of ours is in michigan and deployed a new fiber network as part of the restoration in deloit. -- detroit. wherever they go, competitors respond and build faster speeds, higher capacity and lower prices. this hearing on the hill about how do you deploy new networks and have competition, mike
doyle, the congressman from pennsylvania, he said my gig service in pittsburgh is $400, but in austin or provo or wherever the new entrants go is less than $100 at the higher speed. what the hearing focused upon is w do we incentive -- incentivize possible. the second thing we can do on a rewrite which is emerging consensus is video reform, retransmission reform and how do we make video pricing more competitive, because what we have learned is that as video prices are high, it slows down the investment in new networks and it inhibits or impairs or
new competition in a market. video reform, and new infrastructure deployment, a possible restructuring of the f.c.c. that would reflect the market. available.to be made that is where consensus is emerging. d reform that are modernizes or broadband services can be made available to low-income individuals. host: how do you restructure the f.c.c.? mr. pickering: they have the commentary and the broadcast and the cable, and really, we are going to emerge to all broadband world and having those silos may not make sense in today's world.
but whatever is done, i think the 1996 act has been again a great success. the fundamentals of interconnection and competitive access to networks and last mile access is extremely important. maintaining that while reforming the structure, making sure that the structure is as transparent as possible and accountable as possible and timely as possible. those are things that i think a congress probably not this congress, but 2016 and into the next presidency and administration, we may look at. guest: you mentioned the charter situation. you all opposed the cacks contacts on warner time cable that was blocked. you had concerns that was
approved. d cable networks, how do you all view the pending charter proposal to take over time warner cable and brighthouse network? mr. pickering: it could be a force for greater competition or innovation or they could have anticompetitive effects. one step they took that we applauded and commended was that they announced they would have an interconnection policy at the edge, that would be the settlement three. over the top companies like netflix, one of our member companies, will have the ability to interconnect, provide the content to the end user without a toll or a fee. that was very important that charter did. and we continue to hope that charter will see itself as a disrupter and innovator in the
marketplace and make commitments as they go through the merger. host: i'm sure you saw the "new york times" recent editorial on cable boxes and whether they should be opened up or gotten rid of. what do you say to the cable companies that have invested in the cable box that have provided the video and what do you say to them when you want to open up their competition? mr. pickering: as we have seen the progression on the telephone side, the cutting of the cord and going to the wireless or the cellular voice end service. verizon, who sometimes we disagree with, but they recently made a big push to bake the bundle so they can be more competitive in video and we applauded that.
the box, we would like to -- and we have started a campaign to unlock the box, much like the phone and the wireless industry. what we would like to see and the reason you have so much android, the he iphone, the laptops, each individual could get his subscription and by whatever phone he wanted and that would be interoperable. and because of that you had tremendous innovation in the device market. we want to do the same thing in the cable, set-top box market. new companies, new innovations. we believe the cable industry at this point is going to oppose this and this is something we expect. but five years from now, 10 years from now, if we are
successful, cable will have a larger market and more services and you'll have a very innovative ecosystem of devices. just like competition has ended up being good in the wireless market, the more competition we bring, markets getting bigger, growth gets higher, investments increases and everyone benefits. when i was a congressman, i didn't want competition. i didn't want an opponent. the one time i had a challenger, i invested 30 times more in my campaign. my constituent service was never higher. my legislative productivity was never greater, and i was a better congressman as a result. and it strengthened my ability to represent the district, not weaken it. whether it is a political incumbent or cable incumbent,
more competition makes it better. heast host what is the future of video? how are we going to be watching? mr. pickering: vastly different. moreover the top, more streaming, more internet. the bundle as we know it today will possibly exist in some form, but very differently. it may be a skinny bundle. the option you could have a fat bundle. ver the top. a-la-carte and the choices are going to be be multiplied. i think you'll see more markets, more applications that will then go over the cable with many, many different applications laid
over them, with a much larger market that everyone grows and benefits from. host: at what point does congress draw the line and say ok we are going to start new legislation today with all this technology that just keeps moving? mr. pickering: we are going to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1996 act next year, february. hard for me to imagine, i was a young staffer, as we formed, trained and established the principles and the actual legislation. i think it has been a great success. are there some things we can build upon or improve upon or markets that have not tasted the full fruit of vibrant competition? the answer is yes. whatever we can do to bring more competition and in the video market, greater competition. and the streamlining to
reforming. you will probably not be able to start in the middle of congress in the middle of a presidential-congressional election. but the hearings that are being held now and somewhat setting the table for the next congress, i think you will see more and more talk of reform as we go forward and there are some things that can be done that brings competition to the last mile. right now, 85% of the country has a choice of one or two providers in the last mile wide service. and i think we can do better than that as a country and that should be our focus on any new rewrite. guest: you mentioned the election year coming up. are you seeing any signals coming out of the presidential candidates on communications policy? and if you aren't, are there any issues that should be part of
the conversation? mr. pickering: i would argue and most people when they associate ronald reagan and his legacy, they don't think of breaking up at&t and don't think how that led to sprint building the first fiber network and m.c.i. and worldcom. in 1992, when we had the 1992 cable line, no one thought that satellite with 300 channels and digit tals would force them to go digital. and then laid the last broadband cable structure. and the policies started in 1993 saying we won't have two wireless companies but up to seven. and the 1996 act, those things have more of an effect on our lives, and economy than any
other domestic economic impacts more than tax. so when the presidential candidates look at what works, what doesn't, hopefully they'll re-establish this bipartisan consensus that to be pro-business and pro-growth and pro-consumer, increasing competition in all markets works extremely effectively. bush ve had from rubio, and kasich and secretary clinton, even donald trump, talking around the edges and the innovation economy and the innovation agenda gets a lot of attention right now. but i hope they will give the tech economy the focus that it needs because it really enables everything in health care,
energy, the business community, manufacturing. it really multiplies across every sector of our economy. host: time for one more question. guest: how about put on your vacationary hat here. we talked about video. the two big waves we have seen is internet and mobile communication that has engulfed the economy at large. do you see anything that is going to hit us in the communications space or kind of an incremental evolution? mr. pickering: i look at different historical periods, 1984 to 1986 period was competition. prior to that was all monopoly. huge changes that enabled all the things that you just talked about. from 2000 to 2010, it was the
loss decade of competition to a certain degree because we reviewed less competition as more of the norm. in the last five years, competition has stabilized and under chairman wheeler, we are in the new generation of competition, open internet. he said with comcast, we are going to maintain a competitive industry structure. and he is incentivizing more in the license as well as in the unlicensed and setting interconnection policy for the internet age. now that is the new foundation for another 10 to 20 years of sustaining competition, very vibrant. this commission has taken a lot so ots, because they have active. these are huge decisions with
great consequences. i commend chairman wheeler and sustain what we have started 30 years ago and now can continue for the next decade or 20 years. there is always work to be done and improvements to be made. but i think these early decisions over the chairman's tenure have set a good course going into the future. st: chip picker ringing -- pickering. gentlemen, thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> c-span brought to you as a ublic service. on the next "washington journal," west wing reports founder discusses the obama administrations response to
russian air strikes in syria. the "christian science monitor," previews the house g.o.p. leadership elections and has the latest on the spending deadlines. and former russia intelligence officer for the national intelligence counsel looks at the russia's military actions in syria. join the conversation, ashington journal" live on c-span. >> this week, education secretary duncan unveiled a proposal that would divert incarceration costs to states willing to spend more money op teachers and school staff. this event occurred two days prior to secretary duncan announcing he will be stepping down at the end of the year. from the national press club. this is an hour.
>> in addition to our guest, i want to welcome c-span and public radio audiences as well as those watching on the live stream. you can follow the auction on twitter as well. npclive.hash tag # arne duncan grew up in chicago. his mother started an urban tutoring program for kids from low-income families on chicago's south side. young arnie was there, tutoring, playing basketball, and learning the value of a good education. later, he would head the chicago school system. he became friends with the future president, barack obama.