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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 9, 2016 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT

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most famous opinions was gideon versus wainwright, the one that requires that if a state appointed counsel for defendants are to puerto -- to a 40 lawyer. i'm wondering whether in your judgment have we in our time fulfilled the promise of gideon? >> many would submit that we have not. who was ayoung lawyer major participant in that case and wrote the bulk of the brief, in a recent statement -- gideon was in 1963i believe. anniversary he stated very publicly and forcefully that many criminal are not adequately and confidently represented and he described this as the unfulfilled promise of gideon. in the last couple of months there has been another u.s. supreme court decision, the
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luis versus united states. in that case justice breyer acknowledged a sixth amendment standard for adequate counsel. he cited a recent department of justice report noting that only 27% of county-based public defender offices have sufficient attorneys to meet caseload standards. this is in the same context where we see budgets being cut in public defenders offices across the country. in the most recent budget proposal in the state of to cutna the proposal is the budget of the public defender office by 61%. question becomes will underfunding of public defender offices and excessive caseloads become a greater issue in sixth amendment cases going forward? >> is another chapter in magna carta that is also important. that is chapter 20.
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and that decrees that punishment should fit the crime. punishment should not be disproportionate and outlandish. there's a good deal of debate in america over sentencing, whether our sentencing laws are consistent with this maxim of chapter 20 of the magna carta. what do you see as prospects for proposals of reform? >> in south carolina we adopted sentencing reform. other states have done so as well. in 2010 it was adopted at the state level. the number of admissions to the state prison system have decreased 24% in that time, saving the taxpayers $5 million in out-of-pocket expenses. interestingly the percentages of nonviolent and violent prisoners has flipped so that now the majority of the prisoners in south carolina have been convicted for a violent offense
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rather than a nonviolent offense. sentencing reform under the federal criminal laws, they have been at it for several years and it hasn't moved. there seems to be some optimism this year that it may pass. you tie a lot of this back to magna carta. chapter 20 stated that a free exceptnot to be fined in proportion to the nature of the offense. saving to him his livelihood. this goes directly to the question of excessive fines and penalties, which have been used recently in many famous situations to support the court system. perniciousa
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incentive and something we need to be very careful of. we must note that in many circumstances particularly at the state and local level there is incarceration of those who cannot pay these fines. are not beinghose saved the opportunity to provide a livelihood which is inconsistent with chapter 20. >> when you realize there are 63 chapters in magna carta and if we wanted to try the patience of our audience we would walk through -- >> we will leverage her. you can see the rest at technology and consumer analysts will discuss access to free data plans. also very happy that c-span is able to join us for this
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important policy discussion. we are hoping this event because free data is a key emerging issue in discussions of net neutrality and how to help more americans gain access to the internet. the inside sources technology editor has been following this very closely and it is great to have him here moderating today. everybody for coming. i'm going to give a brief summary of the issue. zero rating or free data offerings are terms often used to describe the practice of an internet service provider partnering with certain edge providers -- essentially zero their data used by charging the edge provider or content provider instead. one of the most popular examples is t-mobile's binge on which has partnered with netflix, who, hbo
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to offer customers unlimited data on their apps. verizon, sprint and facebook offer zero rated services now. the fcc began examining it from the neutrality rulemaking which bans prioritizing certain content over others online. a number of groups have urged the commission to ban zero rating as a violation of those rules. proponents of these offerings argue they are consumer friendly and part of the necessary market evolution that meets consumer demand. while it remains unclear what action the fcc will take in regards to free data it is clear the programs will be a point of debate as the fcc moves forward. during the most recent fcc open
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meeting in august in questions following the meeting itself tom wheeler was still noncommittal on where the fcc is going to come down on that issue. we will go to our panel who i will introduce now. to my right is dead. ed. second is wayne. third is kim. reinhardt -- will reinhardt. john if you guys want to go down the line and give an opening statement. for action is a national nonprofit neck word of volunteer staff consumer health hotline. we partner with 27 media outlets
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to provide consumer education and mediation-based dispute resolution services. year we recovered $15 million in goods and services through our hotline that is. -- network for consumers. we have yet to field a call complaining about free data or zero rated content. consumers tend not to complain about free stuff as long as it's clear how it works and why they are getting it. call for action is supportive of competition in the wireless and home broadband spaces as well as other consumer markets. torently zero rating appears be a way for companies in an already competitive space to create distinction and gain market share. just like the long-distance wars of old consumers can benefit from this type of competition.
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people used to get checks in the mail. and could keep the money switch service providers and move on to a different service provider down the road with another check. paymentstead of direct it's free streaming video or programs like data rewards. as long as there is a net consumer benefit clear and open rules for both company and consumer participation and it's easy for consumers to know what's included zero rating has a lot of potential in the market place. consumers should be able to choose the services and features they value. on free data would not be good for consumers. while these offerings can provide potential benefits -- benefits there are downsides as well. established competitors will result in a net consumer benefit. the fcc and others should play an active role in monitoring for
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this type of activity and take appropriate actions of it is occurring. i am jeff with the application developers alliance. we are a 4-year-old trade association representing the interests of software developers. we look at the issue of zero rating strictly through the developers lens which is to say is a good for the developer. an age in which data is the lifeblood of innovation it is a currency that consumers use to buy the cool new products and services developers are creating. we believe zero rating is a win-win for the consumer and the developer.
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>> thank you to inside sources for having me. i love this issue. i think of all the things i get to advocate about. it's like i'm advocating for free. age and for digital all those people who are not the digital leaders -- i have two devices with me just sitting in front of you. there are lots of people in america who don't have a device in every room and the goal should be to get every american connected. i went on tour because all of you know we are here, we are on the hill, we are in washington. to each other and when we meet people from the heartland we aren't even speaking the same language with them. it's because they are living this day today. they are not living in a city where most of the people are connected because they don't
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have the opportunity. this is an innovation that creates an opportunity to connect the rest of the citizens to an age that is not going away. i love having this discussion. aboute with my colleagues the importance of how it will not only help americans be connected but it will make us be connected in a way that moves america to a better place. if youcan't get a job, can't get health care at a high level, if you can't do your homework and you are not really living in america anymore. this is an innovative opportunity for all of us to be for to participate and those people being left behind to be part of this digital enterprise. >> i would also like to thank inside sources for having me today. my name is will reinhardt. i'm at the american action forum.
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i have been studying this issue for quite some time and i have been pretty involved in the network neutrality fight. abroad, i hope what you get from this is there has been a lot of exaggeration and not much empirics. of theto go through some things we know are actually occurring. there is only really one great survey that studies these issues abroad. it comes from usaid. about 1000 users in eight different countries. they found for people who actually use zero rating them combine it with another service. they are not just using these free plans at least abroad. what we really gain from this and what we should probably
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understand is that individuals are using this as a subsidy for content. what exactly are they subsidizing? this study found that individuals were subsidizing both mood and transport costs. is reason this is important about half the world is not online. there's various means to get them online. one is through cheap access and the other is through subsidized access. so what about the united states? we are interested in domestic policy so what is it that we really care about here in the united states. example is t-mobile is been john program. a bit of a variant on the traditional zero rating. who you look at analysts have tracked the difference in subscriber rates they have found
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it has been one of the contributing factors to t-mobile becoming -- having more subscribers. they also have a lower churn rate. subscribers are actually leaving. it also puts t-mobile in his position to be competitive to the other major players. what is further interesting is the binge on program has allowed for twice as much video content to go over t-mobile's networks. what this means is something very practical. most people think of zero rating as this zero-sum game but it really isn't that. what you actually see with zero rating is that consumers are consuming more with zero rating services. we have seen this abroad as well. that's what i think we should
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remember. i think the important part here is to rely on in. -- rely on them. and not exaggeration. to be ann't have elected official to represent the american people. you can just be an everyday average person. i have 25 years experience in financial services domestically and internationally. i am also a columnist. i have written about consumer tech issues. for the most part i like to write about things that intersect at the corner of business policy and politics. one of those is free data. i also did my feet into the realm of politics. i am a strategic advisor for the new york gop. here's something you will
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probably never hear a republican say. free is good when it comes to free data. and today's lunch. when it comes to a civil rights thee in today's society digital divide is definitely a civil rights issue. i think that free data can serve the less fortunate both in rural areas and metropolitan cities. i think it's extremely important that we embrace a new concept which is affirmative access to make sure that everyone can be a part of the internet. everyone can be a part of the date of the world in terms of accessing information whether it is for school, looking for a job , entertainment or anything else that the everyday average person needs access to.
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i think when it comes to our federal government we should have rules and regulations that not just help the supply side but also help the consumer which is on the demand side. we will get into a lot of discussion with respect to the rising usage of mobile devices. we will get into a lot of information and key data points with respect to how each and every person in america and all over the globe is heavily dependent on the internet. we should actually reduce barriers to access so that when we can create an opportunity for everyone. great. so before we get into the ,ack-and-forth pros and cons
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today a lot of free data offerings in the u.s. are based around streaming services. but the concept can be applied to various other uses. how do you see these services evolving here in the u.s., abroad and how can they be adopted to provide other worthwhile services and arthur cases you are most excited about? that's for anyone who wants to take it. >> first of all i believe we set the tone. i believe we are leaders in this space. innovativee more things and ultimately we will be the leaders in how these things develop. the reality is it's not just about how much the service costs. it's about adopting the service. you need a combination of them both. theyif somebody has money
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have to decide how they are going to a lot of that money. if you are a non-loser or somebody who hasn't really thened this digital world you are going to have to be convinced that it's valuable. so the free data is like an on-ramp. it's like a way of come in and see what we have here. you may start out with just entertainment. you may start out with entertainment but ultimately someone is going to lean over to you and say, there's ways you can predict your traffic run to the office. so you are going to add that. it's going to build because there are a lot of jobs nowadays , basic jobs that you can't get unless you can do them online. you can do them on your phone and it takes longer and if that's the only way you can do
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it, i know a lot of americans who will sit there and field by field do it on their phone. the more we expand this the more those people who really have not just said, let's go by the stuff and do it. you know people that if you come out with a new box tomorrow to do something they will pay $500 to get the newest thing. we have millions of americans who really can't do that. -- ise they can't do that think there is a cost for all of us because the world of digital is here. it's going to be here. the prism of how somebody has -- who has fewer resources and really doesn't understand why this is the best thing and has the opportunity now to get that on-ramp to be a part of the digital world that is here. it's not going anywhere.
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there may be nuances. these programs are innovative. they are in flux. on today is not what it was. it's true for all of these companies. as they see the innovation and how people adopt it they make changes to what they are doing. facebookrst went to and they talked about their program i was like, how come we don't have it here? ithave people who don't have just like in india and africa. what's wrong that we would take it abroad and not do it here? it's because you have these elite people saying, we are going to create a walled garden. i'm very perplexed by that. if i don't have grass a walled garden is dam good.
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if there's a bigger pastor out there i'm going to the pasture. if i don't even have grass -- that's the problem we want to solve and we have all these other problems? there's a lot more important stuff that we could be solving. thank you. >> one of the things i think is most interesting is -- there's the united states context which clearly in the next couple years of all theike 3/4 mobile traffic is going to be video related. towe can allow individuals have some subsidy of that, i am very pro whatever those forms may look like. i personally don't want to necessarily limit that and i would like to see where those programs go but also when there
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are problems we deal with it through the process that should exist. there are processes to actually deal with this. the second which i think has been hit already is the united is a key driver as policy is concerned especially when it comes to these sorts of issues. free basics is a great example with facebook in india. the ability to export our ideas abroad is a very powerful responsibility and we need to be very clear in understanding how this can affect individuals. i think is very interesting with regards to facebook's free basics -- sorry, .acebook's there is one service that i think is very interesting. is basically the craigslist of everywhere that is not the
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united states. when you think about what is actually happening on these apps abroad, individuals are using their mobile phones to buy and sell goods and process mobile payments. it's a very important thing within the united states and we under banked in the united states but it's relatively easy to open a bank account in the united states. it is not the case elsewhere. it is very difficult. allowing the services that individuals can use to actually build a business, process payment. these things are very basic but at the end of the day's other things that will actually help other individuals. that's what we should really be focusing on. what services are actually helping individuals? from a consumer perspective one of the big issues when
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widespread smartphones use started was bill shock and overage charges. every consumer is well aware that streaming either video or music can quickly push you over into an overage charge. thatg an enticing program clearly takes that off of your mind is attractive and i think that's one of the places where we started in this country was free video and music streaming. widely used and also leading to angst about possibly going over your allotment of data and use. these freeou foresee data offerings affecting your member companies? day data isd of the the lifeblood of innovation. it is driving everything in the marketplace right now. the more data that is in the hands of consumers the more
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opportunities consumers have to tinker with apps and other products and services the better. have a number of companies who don't have zero rating agreements with any carriers but because consumers have extra data they can go out and use these still growing at. -- apps. a big argument that has been made against zero rating is it's going to squeeze out the content providers that are not part of these free offerings. you are saying in fact it is going to help them because consumers will have data left over to access content they normally wouldn't. all rising tide lifts boats. more data lifts more products. members --ed for members from advocacy groups who oppose zero rating. they argue that the programs
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undermine the spirit of the .rder how do you think regulators like the fcc should treat these offerings? >> can i make one comment about the previous question? most people forget the beginnings of netflix. goodix first got a really -- a firm footing week as got into a number of deals with ups in their dvd sales. essentially they bought a huge amount of what you might call marketing of some sort. this allowed them to have a their consumers. what this means is they were able to send the dvds much cheaper in a batch rate than they would have had otherwise.
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the point is that netflix is now one of the big content players in this space and is butting up against hbo. is start of netflix something akin to what we are talking about with free basics or free data. you are subsidizing some portion of the cost for consumers such that they consume more. this is really what happened at the beginning of netflix. now it seems like hbo for are numerous others copying the netflix formula and offering apps. do you see more at >> firstly, yes, i have seen that. >> sure. >> that is right.
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can i circle back to the sec? herenk we need to level and make note of the fact that your rating is not throttling or speeding up slowing down. -- slowing down how you consume data. this is helping to grow the internet. it is opening up doors in underserved communities and helping to open up doors in far-flung places like africa and laces like india. looks at this, it is important they maintained a case-by-case approach and let this market develop before they start to issue any heavy-handed regulation that might stifle the growth in this space. that. me just add to they do have a general conduct role. no one here is saying, let everybody do it they want, do not care what the impact might be on the internet. what we are saying is that these
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programs have demonstrated that they are an opportunity to increase the use of apps and the use of betad not and as an on-ramp for the people who can really not afford to have this sort of open, free ranging forever data and that this is an opportunity for them to say, i only paid for this much, but i can make this much holler because i can do all these different things. i think that is really important. i think the case by case basis review allows the sec does say, this fits right in with what we are doing or it does not, so no one is asking for unfettered approaches. what we are saying is as you look at it now, as you look at the data, commissions have studied that suggests two thirds of 67% of the respondents were more likely to choose a provider who offered content that did not count against the data cap.
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if you look at industries, sometimes when i am concerned about his we treat this industry like it is modern and something new, but in some ways, it is like any other new industry that we ever had. there has always been free data, free shipping, nobody is calling up and saying, well, neiman marcus, if you do not give me free shipping that that free shipping is somehow a problem for all of america. i think sometimes we had intellectualized -- i think that was the big when i came to mmtc -- i get that we have to have the economic analysis. i get that we have to be able to discuss it in a wonky way, but for real americans who are struggling and to do not have the money to pay for anything unlimited, this is an opportunity and the sec, if they stay on this course, will allow an evolution that will take us where we need to go because i am telling you, when we leave
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people behind, there is the cost of the people in the digital age for not being a part of the digital age. if your grandmother does not have internet but all the kids go to grandma's house, there is a lot of homework not being done. i think that is what people are not thinking about, the havevations that do not this, some of these urban communities -- if you need something more close to home, look at detroit. they have such a lack of connection, even cellular, which is the booming place for people of color. guess what else they have? the highest unemployment, the that health care. -- the bad health care. but if they are more connected and do better, that is better for us as a country. we cannot leave people behind because leaving them behind his leaving us behind. >> i want to add to that. u.s. havelts in the smartphone or access to mobile
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device. that means one third is still left out. when you look at the usage, , hispanics ands blacks had a similar usage in terms of accessing information on the mobile device. --panics after 2% dependent , so whene 4% dependent you look at communities of color, they depend on mobile access at a rate of three times .s much as a white counterpart extremely data is important. as said before in this case, more is better with respect to having data left over to do what they want to do, whether it be through entertainment, through
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doing your homework, whether it be to search for new job or other things that everyday americans love and enjoy. i think it is extremely important and anything that creates a barrier to access is extremely detrimental within our american society. speaking specifically with the sec, i commend them for on awing the situation case-by-case basis. i hope that they really understand the pivotal role because the whole world is watching, not just everyone in america, but the whole world is watching, and what we do here could influence the entire world. >> i would add that free basics is not too different of a program that would a lot of early adopting households in the united states views to get onto the internet. it was a cd and it came from aol and it had this limited scope of
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access, or you could do certain things, and instead of dean charged by the data you are using, you were charged by the hour, so that a certain number of free hours when the cd showed up and that is how households got used to the concept of the internet and saw the value and that tro adoption as better options came out and people decided to leave that garden and use the full internet. why is it good then and should be banned now is something i have trouble justifying. >> i went to add an international point, they recently sent a letter to the body of european regulators for electronic communications, and they are like that sec of europe. we have a free data paper and my director of communications is here with it talking about the importance of free data and the impact on society and we sent our paper to them to say, while you are doing this, think about .ow this could do a difference
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they need it more than we needed, so we are a leader for the world. people do watch us and i think we need to use that pulpit to let people know that these are the things people can expect to gain by being a part of making sure that all of their citizens are connected. i used to make a joke that if you build a gm plant across the and that the people cannot use it, there would be a march, but now, people do not get up in arms over the fact that there is one third of our communities that are not connected. that affects all of us and it is that important and i think in many ways the civil rights issue. comment.ick i do kind of boy about the general conduct rule, but that is probably because there is a whole bunch of questions that have not been answered. the general conduct rules, which is what we are talking about
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here on a case-by-case basis, that users can maket content and to content and that is the basic gist of the general conduct rule. the big question that a lot of policy wonks, like myself have been asking, is what does that mean in practice? what does that mean for t-mobile, which in the fall of last year, the chairman wheeler had said very positive things, that it was highly innovative and later, t-mobile was brought in for an of the commission for the program, so this is what worries me the most about the general conduct rule. we do not know what we are getting into. with the sec, and i have been quite critical with them on other fronts, but that is what worries me the most about using the general conduct rule.
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know, especially innovative services do not know, what is included in unreasonable practices, and that potentially could limit innovative services or wanting to get out into the marketplace. >> to agree with will, another way to say is there is no rule that impacts the ability of companies to provide free data. companies all over the country in every aspect and industry do this all the time, so why is this different? thats, so to come back to and a report that was put out about this, you said that one side of the debate is offering paternalistic elitist arguments against the rating and many americans are left between, quote, bread and broadband because of the data, so this is a question about how to best expand access to poor minority consumers -- does it surprise you that the debate is so
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ideologically driven with the strongest opposition from the left? it seems that republicans are standing up for civil rights in this instance. of thes general counsel naacp and there was a motto -- no permanent enemies, no permanent enemies, and a permanent friends, just permanent issues, and this is a permanent issue. but if you're focused on what permanent issues are, you will come out in the right place. you have to choose and in washington, you have to say, well, who decides who has a cheaper data program? well, those of the people i met in indiana, oklahoma, in detroit, and they are real people, and for them, sitting and using their phone in the parking lot of mcdonald's, and when somebody said that to me, to say, you, had
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too, are living in an elitist world and i did not even realize mcdonald's had wi-fi because i do not have to use their wi-fi, but i met lots of people from different parts of the country and that is how they get it and i don't get any money from mcdonald's at all. that people place so weirst and foremost, but there caught up are real people not to use it and behind those ideologues use and we have the spectrum crisis. there is not unlimited, unfettered spectrum, so that everybody can use it, 25 hours a you eight days a week, so cannot compare people based on usage. my mom is on my phone bill and her data is like zero and i am
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like, mom, i sent you a book. i am trying to get their to adopt -- get her to adopt but she does not use anything. meanwhile, i am using 80 or something because i have teenagers. it is not even tighter -- it is not a budget where you spend a little more on starbucks, so maybe you do not shop that week. it is a real budget, where it is red or broadband or rants or whatever that real thing is, so --o not spend my time going i cannot believe it is the left people and not the right people? i spend my time say, someone got it wrong, we need to figure out how to get it right and this is an issue that should not be a democrat and republican thing, .his is an american thing
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q you are, a person of color, but these people of color cannot even get to the index and then you have these young kids who cannot get access to it at all and then the same thing with the .eniors digital health care is this far away. imagine you are a person with parents and they live somewhere and so youy far away are not worried that something bad will happen because nobody is there or you were not there to take the more you do not have the ability to drop what you are .oing and fly home indeed that -- fly home to do that. it will be cheaper. and if it is cheaper for some people, it will be cheaper for all of us.
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it is these kinds of arguments, yes, i could sit around and go, the left people are supposed to do this -- i do not really care. to me, it is about no permanent friends and it is people to get that there is a real issue and it impacts everybody and we can butd on the side ultimately, it is all us. >> i think it is a matter of what is right. no pun intended. i think that i was also another bubble. the data usage bubble. i do not have to be concerned about it when i am on shore. years ago, i took an international global job over the country and when i came back , i did not care about the corporate mobile device. the company pays for that. home, i had ak $250 bill and i begin to open my
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w, the average person has to look at what data they are using on a monthly basis and make sure that they do not go over. what would that feel like if i on a daily basis check and see, how much data do i have left? and try to estimate, make a decision between accessing this app or downloading this and figuring that stuff out? that is a nightmare?. who wants to look like that -- that is a nightmare. wants to live like that? i know we do not. i know everyone in this room can afford unlimited data because you can afford the plan, but we should look at what will maximize data usage, what will maximize connecting people to the internet? that is hopefully the case-by-case analysis that the
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sec will reveal and search and make sure we can actually do something that is not only diverse but inclusive and make sure every american actually has access to the data that can enrich their lives. idea, theref that is this idea that has been , wend since the decline have seen them do away with data or artificial scarcity. you do not think these programs will drive consumers towards theapps they know will not count against the data plans? >> in the future, that may be when they get more and more this currency in their startocket, and as they to use the currency to explore other options, i really believe that some of these new companies are going to take fruit and grow
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and to meet the consumer demand, you will see a response by developers to continue to use their growth to improve their products and create new ones. >> on that point about unlimited data, the one thing i find -- i don't know if it is interesting as much as a wonky statistic. trafficr, 2015, mobile increased by 15%. there are constraints locally for each of the different cell phone towers in a way that most people do not recognize. i remember talking with a colleague the couple of weeks back and he pointed out that i think maybe four or five netflix streams will overload, typically, a local antenna. there are serious constraints that exist in the system. when it comes to mobile, that is truly the case. when you look at -- i think one of the most interesting parts
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that occurred recently on a podcast is that since 2008, 2008ish, at&t' is network has increased over 1000% and it will increase 150,000%. the companies tend to be among the biggest domestic investors in the united states, so i think when we had this conversation, this idea that unlimited is always easy and can always be done, i don't think that is really the case. when you look at statistics, i think it does their it out -- -- it does spread it out. >> and it is not free. you have to pay for it. >> coming back to t-mobile, when their program cannot, -- came out, they claim that the network was slowing down or degrading
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video quality to what i think they referred to it as dvd quality. areou think consumers providers are being transparent enough with consumers about what the services to in the aggregate -- due in the aggregate? >> i think transparency is an important element and i think that is what companies, who are looking at either a type of offering, need to focus on, being clear, transparent and direct in front with what they will be delivering and what is included in the package, and making it easier for consumers to know that right away. and theyll up results are sponsored options, you clearly need to identify what is sponsored and what isn't so consumers are not left shocked if they get charged on the back end for something they thought would be free. i think as long as companies who are in this state are being clear and transparent with consumers -- and i think they
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have the responsibility to be clean -- clear with the content creator and the other side of the coin, so to speak, as with what the requirements are to be dissipate in a program and to supply the content in that way, so i think transparency is crucial. >> i want to add to that. the net neutrality debate started -- at the heart of the debate was we did not want people to be buying something and then in fact not be getting the thing that they bought. when you are transparent and say, look, for all you guys that use free data at the same time, -- i do not know whether it is dvd quality are not -- but you will have to get this other quality. you cannot in or opt out. that is -- isn't that why we did all of this? so that people could choose? promotes choices. ultimately, it is funny. that is my tag on my car, too, to choose because it is about
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the opportunity to make a choice that is right for you because one size does not fit all. at whatnk when you look helps the business to survive, two things come to mind. one of which is creativity, and the second is technology innovation. for newcomers, new content providers, how did they distinguish using strategy and how do you distinguish your data that would prompt someone to be interested in your data over someone else? that is the key driver to business survival. that on freewe put market to make sure that businesses are innovating and to the point that the consumer will say, you know what? thingske a couple of
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over here, so i will take it manage of free data over here and then look at the content provider regarding this one particular thing. businesseses to how make decisions, consumers make the same type of decisions. we are all economists. did you know that? we all make decisions that way. you are middle income, family or low income family, they are all making decisions based upon the resources and what is available to them. unfortunately, there is a lot of low income individuals, whether areas aren rural metropolitan areas, they make decisions based upon how much that they can maximize their usage, and i think free data offers that opportunity. another thing is that one of the things, one of the main topics during this year's election and it will probably survive after november 8 is the quality.
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i think free data offers infinite access the quality to balance things out. long, been in d.c. too etc. i am turning purple pair. when you balance things out, it kim --eat equalizer like equalizer. like kim said, you have to pay for data and some people do not have the wherewithal to pay. government, they subsidize the major corporations. what is wrong with subsidizing the every day, average mobile user? there's nothing wrong with it. about thing i would say then john, you can turn it off if you would like. whether or not that is easy or what that entails is a different question, but you can still turn the service if you do not want to use it and there have
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been concerns about it for other reasons. is a technical round, which is how they select which services that put down to hd quality, so having experienced that, it does not seem to me to be very different between the ben john video, especially on the smartphone. smartphone said basically gotten to the point where year eye cannot see anything that is more clear than what is currently on video, which is interesting. >> i would add on the transparency point and in a marketplace that is competitive as wireless, people are paying your etf if you want to switch. if one consumer feels they have been misled or do not turn out the way they expected them to, they can transition to another provider to take their phone number with them and go somewhere else. i believe some statistics were mentioned that that has not been
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happening with t-mobile. they have had a higher retention rate and it has stopped on significantly over the last couple of years. it is a little bit higher than at&t and verizon, but still lower than when it typically was. it went down 13 basis points last i checked in may, the last time a lot of the q1 data cannot. >> we are back to the economics, people get to choose. are and that companies that have wireless service, talked about some of the big ones, but there are small ones. there are some companies with wireless service and i think some people who are making some of these digital arguments are living in a world where there is only one provider, but we really do not live there anymore. there are so many more other options that people will choose, and they are. and overwhelmingly so. while would the interviewer that when that has led to our success it is soy rounds, so
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funny. i keep mentioning that i came from naacp and you see people trying to fix things that are not broken and i am troubled by that. be easier to come over and break things and it just seems to me that this is not broken, so why are we interfering? for will, proponents have argued that your rating is sort of the contemporary equivalent opponentsumbers and countered the internet never had a toll to begin with. has the internet always been "toll-free" and we touch on this earlier with the aol thing, but should the internet use be taken into account when comparing it with relatively low cost? issue, as i hope you would probably recognize, it is fairly complex, at least the
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development of the internet and different services. i am old enough to remember when e-mail actually cost $10 a month , and an yahoo! and aol and gmail came on the scene and you did not have to pay for e-mail anymore. i remember that was exactly the same time when there was a number of concerns about gmail completely taking over the world. that being said, -- [laughter] they have, i guess. ,ahoo! is still of the provider but i guess the general point is downthe costs are going and that really is what is interesting about this. look at cpi index, consumer price index for the services and they have been going down. they have been going down for the last five years. when you look at data prices, they have gone down pretty precipitously for the last years, so there has been or there was and has been money exchanged among networks for
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many years now. what that looks like to the consumer is a little bit different. personally, i would like to see that evolution continue to develop. who knows what kind of services we would see. one of the big things i think in the networking debate and what they did not do a good job of highlighting was the services that you could potentially onerous rulesse that existed. we talked about branded iphones, phones along lines of espn and this was in the discussion. you had maybe your mlb or and a cell phone, and you cannot really do this anymore, specifically, gamers. i have a number of friends who are gamers and they are interested in having a low latency connection so they can quickly engage in multi-or online multiplayer's. you cannot have those services on there, so to me ideas see this as part of a larger arguments. personally, i would much rather
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-- cc, buto the ftc use a different sort of standard and look at consumers and how consumers benefiting or how are they leasing with the services? >> i want to add to that. the example of using toll-free calls is about revolution and innovation. -- evolution of innovation. it is different, but if you do the analogy the same way, it is just another example. you do not have to use toll-free. you can use free shipping because it is the same, the way of giving people something extra to use your service versus amazon or versus using some other place, where they can go what?ng because, guess they have choices and because we are all economists at heart -- i love that, i love feeling like i'm an economist at heart -- my mother will be happy because they pay for that degree. [laughter] i am hoping i really did learn something. the point is, if we are all the
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economist at hearts, we are going to vote where people are doing something good for us and free has typically meant something good for us, so whether you call it a toll-free call or free shipping, it is just an analogy that people are using. no industry is exactly the same. callss it you have 10 10.0, -- if you have phone calls 10.0, so people lose out on the really big picture, which is we live in a world that is no dial-up world. we live in a digital world and we need for everybody to be digital. >> everyone is looking for a good deal, no matter what they are in the market for buying. whether it be a house, car, food, clothing, it could be anything. you want to go somewhere where .ou maximize the deal on the merchant's side, they do
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everything possible to attract you in the store, right? -- why we do a discount do they give you a discount? one, they want you to come in the store to buy their product, but they want to be able to tell you other things, so that the market dictate how to position themselves to the consumer. , thoseaid repeatedly outside of the free data, that will be more disposable data, so to speak, just like we want to boost disposable income for everyone. they will be more disposable data that they have the full discretion over to use however they want. that decision should not be taken from their everyday individual. >> i think it is important to remember that this is a business response to consumers and their
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insatiable demand for content in this day and age, and it benefits both businesses who continue to innovate, as well as consumers closing the digital divide in helping to grow the internet. that, i also think it is important to point out that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. before folks in washington start leveling the regulations that would disrupt this, i think it is prudent to take a step back and let's see how this develops and plays out. >> i was telling you about people using mcdonald's, and i forgot to tell you that they have small businesses and it is internet driven. this makes a difference for them. i meant one woman and she had a button for every kind of internet business. i don't know if people have heard of [indiscernible] she sold like 10 different things over the internet.
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she was like the data matters to her. it really, really matters, so that is how she makes her living . it is not just surfing the net or making videos, she is living her livelihood and it is based on what she can get to and how much that access she has. >> it has been a pleasant surprise that the example that we have seen so far has been easy on consumers. there is not really a lot of burden. we talk about these other kinds of discounts and rebates remember we cannot mailing out the form, waiting for what we are supposed to get later, and this has been upfront, instantaneous, and to that extent, that is a positive. come off sort of the future applications we were talking about, we cannot get there talking about this without mentioning pokemon go, which t-mobile just added to the program. in addition, the fec just had
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part of that order and a big part of that order was expanding things like virtual reality, augmented reality health care, these like that, but what is the impact on the employment of those high-bandwidth and if it gets the hands-on or hands-off approach? >> one of the big things we're whatg in this is that these programs allows the subsidization of content. it will be really interesting because the industry has not become saturated, but significant portion of consumers have smartphones. a lot of the increases are leveling off in a way that you typically seen a more mature market, so as these new services really come online, it will be interesting to see how they react to that and whether or not they adopt these or demand these
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new services or demand the new data intensive services. that being said, but i think this really means for the sec, especially for people in this room who are interested in policy and working on these policy issues, i think at least right now, i am glad that we did not have -- i would hope we do not have a large ban on zero rating for cellular services for any fixed broadband service as well, but i think that it also means that going forward -- these may be the way that the consumption of high-bandwidth services actually continued to develop and i think we should be really sensitive to that area . is coming. i do not know how soon. butdepends on the day, they are coming and to the
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extent that we can get more people to adopt now and they will be ready when they come. for me, the biggest new thing that is coming is people will receive the digital space as being a place for health care. you talk about the people who do policy, this is going to be huge, it will cut cost, up to reach people who cannot be responded to, the ambulance that never makes it an sun communities, and we may be able to find ways to make it faster or pilot faster. call it faster. it would be able to detect if you have fallen and your broadband at home would call for you, to talk about how many more minutes he would save. i believe it is coming. i am optimistic and i believe this is a train that will not be stopped because people are demanding more. if your network is being used 150,000 times more than it was a few years ago, you can only
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imagine this trend is not backing up. maybe we are leveling off the use, but the trend of buying some things and in terms of use, we are ramping it up and there has got to be somewhere to go and live g is that place. i have been two of these peoplerations now where of goggles on, and i did that thing where it is like, do not text and drive, and you are so terrified after you do it in virtual and you are like, i cannot text and drive. i think that stuff is coming and i think some of it will be so amazing that we will not want to put the brakes on it because it is where we are going and it is inevitable. seeing thate are all services are moving to internet protocol, so phone calls now get translated to internet traffic. video delivery services are getting translated to internet traffic. comcast and stream takes is
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another example of what has been talked about. one of the things listed as part of my packages extreme picks, so if i am paying for that as part of my package but also paying for the data that it takes to take advantage of an included service, get the impression i am being double billed. i think you could carry that forward. if your phone calls are moving over your wireless network in and ip way, that should not count across -- cap against your data package. part of what you are paying for is unlimited calling, however delivered. as more and more things moved to the internet, you have all these kind of connected devices. it a kindle 3g, where amazon is prepaid for the data for you to get that book, is that neutrality violation because it is a pay for play situation? they pre-bought the internet traffic and more and more connected devices will have
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those scenarios, where you pay a flat price and it works because the internet connection has been figured out on the back end by thebody else, so that is direction we are heading and i think we need to have a reasonable environment for consumers can expect certain things to happen. what is happening meets the consumer expectation, so they are not confused and being double billed and cost to not keep ratcheting up for them. >> we cannot talk about 5g without mentioning spectrum. a lot of the carriers, what we have heard, and what tom wheeler in pushing for the incentive auction is that a lot of them are saying we are on the verge of running out of spectrum. we will run out of this big emergency scenario. t-mobile is pushed back hard to get spectrum and specifically they do not want at&t, does this seem like a mixed message from providers like you is all this free data and we are running out
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of spectrum? >> i do not think there is any that their procession highways are getting clogged, but i would say that is not a reason to slow down innovation. we should not look at that as an excuse to say we have no more room for growth, we will slow down our business process and slow down making the products and a making all of our lives healthier, more prosperous and improving our stations in life. i also think spectrum .vailability is a policy issue it is important to be thoughtful the higheste using best use and really looking at taking that portfolio and using what a way that reflects
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the consumer uses but also reflects the other needs that we so they'reovernment, waiting to see what other medications policy they can go back to. >> before we run out of time, i want to open it up to audience questions. i think c-span has a microphone. maybe not. here it comes. >> great, thank you. you guys all seem to be in favor and benefitsg
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directly to consumers and other businesses. to think the role of the government goes beyond simply not banning it but subsidizing it in the future? are already doing that to a certain extent, so you are subsidy services. yes, we are already doing that. i have had my critical points about it. primarily, there have not actually been really good analysis of that evaluation to the programs, but to a certain degree, it already exists. when you look at your phone bill , there is a universal fund the attached to the very bottom that goes into a pot and that is divvied up among programs. the two biggest tend to be for individuals who are lower income and also for libraries and
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schools, so for individuals that are low income, that has been -- there has been a number of perform efforts for that and that is going to the sec, but to answer your question directly, that is already occurring to a certain extent. it should be noted that for the longest time, did not apply to broadband and this last year, it will not be applied to broadband. the general point is there has been subsidy of phone service is quite sometime and that is attached onto wireless phones recently. >> that is a lifelong program. >> yes. >> thank you. >> at the beginning, it was mentioned that we talked about evidence from conclusions of
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this. i was wondering how -- you have mentioned a few times how having the free rate for a lot of specific services like facebook, espn streaming sort of have the rising tide, and i was wondering, how much evidence actually suggests that this is benefiting the whole marketplace in the sense of having new businesses emerging and not sort of extending the advantage of the few services in the markets? i would go back to what i said a few minutes ago. i think we are in the early stages of this, which is why would encourage regulators to press pause on heavy-handed regulations and let the market kind of crow a little bit -- grow a little bit to see what plays out and develops. ofthere are not a whole lot super studies on this.
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it is not like some scientific discovery, where people have been studying. it is an innovation and real time, but there is a cbi i wireless study about how consumers feel, and there is a mobile future study about how these kinds of programs impact adoptions and the more people know, the more knowledgeable they are about how they are and how they work and the more it changes how they pattern their usage. we had our paper on free data and we cite a number of studies that show different things that and as timethat goes on, it is a topically will revisit. none of these programs is they offer,e what none of them, so as they evolve and innovate, i think then you will start to see people look at
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where they started and how they wound up. when we give you data about how these plans got started, but they're keeping it plans because of the free data and not because the services are somehow different. >> another question on the right. >> can i answer that quickly? >> go for it. the can get the name of company that uses t-mobile's sponsor data, but some are trying to use this in the market . reports and news articles and journalists looking at this issue generally and i believe one of the guys that i meant that actually does this is getting an opportunity to try to get marketing around this business. larger it hits at a point. first, it is difficult to have the company and develop at the networks and company and
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services. cane in that app world speak to this far better than i can, but i do know having the number of friends in this space is difficult and i think it will take some time for as to see from the beginning how these services potential he could be beneficial to the companies in the future, but i am positive in that regard and i think there are some cases, but will it completely changed the marketplace? i do not necessarily think it will now. you are seeing with individuals consuming a lot more "and and they are consuming more video content and a significant portion is getting carved out of their data plans. thathat probably means is new sorts of services, which it does seem to suggest, new sorts of services or different kinds and different ends of content are being chosen. it will take a while for us to
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really get the empirical side of that. milton taught me there is no such thing as free, so i like to thank inside sources for the launch, but i have three questions and i realize you guys are on the same side of this issue, so any of you take the shot, but the first one pertains to that and the clarification of the cost, so if i want to change my fantasy football lineup, would it be espn that foots the bill, sprint or the government? this deviceere is barrier that two of you referenced. there were two things that caught my attention. the first one being 68% of american adults have smartphones, and with that comes the data plan because of the smartphone, but what it doesn't say is that 100% of americans have a smart phone and only 68% can afford a 20 gigabyte data plan, so how do we address the device issue problem?
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and it was a reference that a lot of individuals cannot really apply correctly to jobs because they have to do it on the mobile -- free datas doesn't necessarily impact wireless connectivity accessibility, so unless they use the phone as a mobile hotspot wi-fi hotspot, this really doesn't do anything for computers. i was wondering about clarification on that. if it is espn or sprint or whoever is footing the bill, can we get them to sign off on it? are they going to be up to take this up the topic that is being discussed in the room? will they take on the new cost of data charges, and if so, would it decrease competition within the cell phone provider? thank you for your time. [laughter]
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>> can we get companies to agree to this? >> you reminded me of capitol hill. with respect to the device, similar to any business, a lot of the cell phone companies actually offer certain plans when you sign up and when you want to upgrade in the give you an option and whether you want, let's say the port in terms of the iphone or the basic economy car, in terms of the phone, and depending on where you are makemically, i think you that decision accordingly, so i think there are solutions that already exist in the marketplace for the one third that is still on the path of smartphones and hopefully entices them to get them to the digital highway. that are already
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accounted for in the 68%, they still have that option in terms of continue with the same type of phone they have been using for a while, or if they do better economically, they can move their way up from toyota to acura. i am going to try to answer that and i will start from her you started because i agree with you. isn i was a kid, all that free is not really free, so when we talk about free or sponsor data, we are saying someone else's paying for it. we are saying the provider and someone else, some third party has agreed that when you use this data, we are paying for it, so when you say, can we get the companies to agree, the people in these programs of the people who have agreed and we have a copy of it and hard copy of it here, and it is about understanding free data and it talks about the differences whyeen who pays for it and
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they pay for it and when, so that is ultimately what it is. the companies that are participating have already agreed that that is the part of it. there is a device issue. i agree with you that there is a device issue. i was reference comcast. when they tried to get low income families to adopt rock band in the home, part of that process is not just education and not just having them a cheap -- it is the device. they are giving them low-cost devices, so in some communities, to me, this is about having a big tool kits not everything will work for everybody. that program will not apply to every american, but the object is to move the dial forward so that that number is getting smaller and smaller, and smaller. to me, the hope zero rating free data thing is about this sort of mild-- i would not say it
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-- but last hundred miles getting us there and these are opportunities, so we do not want to interfere with them in the sense of making them onerous and having a lot of rules because we are trying to figure out what they are, but it is the competition that it creates between the providers that spurs them on to create more creative ways, innovative ways to get more people on board, so i think that answers it very i had that natural skepticism, but i think it is not that, it is not free, it is free to the consumer -- it is not that it is free, but it is free to the consumer. and then it is about who is providing them with the best version of "free," and if you look at it that way -- i am telling you, i am looking for we are really trying to find it because people will be asking now we need to be able to answer, but i think that is the distinction. it is being paid for but being
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paid by another. >> the united states typically does have, compared to the rest countries, there is relatively low adoption of desktop computers or broadband connections. that is an interesting question and how we deal with that should be a discussion or of wider discussion for policy. that is something i did in chicago and the west side of chicago. the big question about giving people online is a bit different because you have this cost issue, which seems to be about 20% of people who are not online because of cost, but a significant portion our online because they do not think there is benefit for them to get online. this relevancy issue, which have had a lot of interesting studies, i highly suggest you look at some of those studies, that i think is probably the
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biggest chunk of individuals. last i checked, i think it is larger than 60%. the point is that individuals have to think and know the internet will be beneficial to them. one thing our dimension is age. the united states has an older population. and you look at younger populations in the united states, even for those individuals that do not have much money, they still have a relatively high amount of broadband that they use, but it changes dramatically, and the reason is that especially older individuals, 65 and plus, to not have the same income. in some ways, we need to separate the issue between the income issue that exist, the age issue that exist, and similarly this agency and how it intersects with those demographics. the one thingd, interesting over the last years is that every single demographic, even those making over $100,000 a year, those
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individuals, everyone is going itard mobile broadband, so is not just -- it is a massive shift for everyone involved. who isind of bad to paying for the free finger, i think in this country, consumers are used to the concept of sponsors. anybody was watched five minutes of the olympics those there is 100 people that this is brought to us by and there are one million official partners and they want to tell us about all of them. to the extent that that would happen on a mobile interface, that is savvy and that is something they are well aware of . if it is an opportunity to alleviate the burden, i think there are a lot of studies showing that consumers are not as willing anymore to pay for content and to pay to access things, so this is an opportunity for companies who are shuttling to try to get over the hurdle of how to get people to pay or to look at me and see when i have to give them a chance to give that away in a trial offer or ongoing as a way
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to attract a customer base. i first came in contact with .nderstanding free versus paid when i was nine years old, i used to bake oatmeal cookies and i share them with my mom -- and i would sell them to my mom and sisters and i made a ton of money at nine years old until i had supply chain disruption. my mom said i had to continue and i had to start paying for my oatmeal, my brother tom -- bu tter and other things, and i thought, this is not economically viable and at nine years old, i did not say that, but people make decisions based on those things, so it was good and it was subsidized. when it is not subsidized, i do not do it. there is an element that we
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should consider with respect without free market capitalism operates. it puts the owners of the business on how they are going to attract new business and maintain customers. .t is creativity and innovation the government should not be making decisions in that regard. they should push that back on the businesses to make sure that they are determining how they survive and how they provide content to customers. one of the strategies -- again, we are all economists -- went to the stores due to get you inside the store? they will say it, "free this when you buy this," or they will handle products to get you in the store. it is subsidized, so this is not a new concept. it is engraved throughout our
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entire economy. this about all we have time for today. i went to thank our panel -- i want to thank our panelists for coming. you will have more as the issue progresses. thank you for coming, everyone. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its
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caption content and accuracy. visit] >> you can see this event a time online, you can watch it and .hare it at
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live coverage this afternoon from the wilson center. they will be hosting a discussion this afternoon talking about how various partners can work together on sustainable development goals. live coverage at 4:00 on c-span. it :00 tonight, it is the clinton global initiative. bill clinton and jimmy carter discussing public service. policy changes since they both left the white house. they will also look at local politics and polarization at the polls and the supreme court decisions, from the clinton global initiative conference held back in mid june in atlanta. it is primary day in several states across the nation.
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paul ryan there with his opponent in the primary. they face off today in the chicago tribune saying this figure had nearly $10 million in the bank and a primary opponent nobody had heard of. then donald trump got involved. after 9:00 eastern, we look forward to your comments and phone calls for that primary on paul ryan. in connecticut, chris murphy tweeting about that. primary day. if there is a primary in your town, don't forget to cast your vote. minnesota, keith ellison, congressman from minnesota. those are some of the tweets in several states. if you want to follow what members are up to in the august recess, [video clip] ,
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chronicling his tour around the state of new jersey. today,ary in new jersey but he is continuing to post some of the video of his tour across new jersey, this time joined by robert menendez. >> standing on my block in newark, new jersey, getting ready to recommence our 21 counties in eight days after a great workout. here with bob menendez and our u.s. surgeon general to talk about our opioid crisis. thank you for being here in new jersey. >> pleased to be here. >> [indiscernible] >> just to make it clear, every state and our country is
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affected by this crisis. .very community the prescription opioid egg but to make people to heroin use and contribute into the spread of hiv and hepatitis c. many doctors may not recognize the connection between their opioid prescribing practices and the epidemic we are seeing. want to thank you again for being here, the surgeon general. >> thank you for being a champion on this issue. new jersey, 21 counties, eight days. >> [indiscernible] >> sorry, i am busy.
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>> [indiscernible] sworn in a federal judge. for now, we are doing what? >> we are going to fly drones with the bergen county oem. why are we flying drones? flying with first responders who send them into a scene come in at a first scoping it out. >> [inaudible] we use these were aerial photography. >> push forward a little.
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>> [indiscernible] >> in my home county of bergen county. thank you for all you do to keep us safe. booker'sn watch cory postings and all the things that the members tweet, this afternooned on c-span. 4:00 eastern, a discussion looking at sustainable development goals for women and girls. that is at the wilson center. next, a debate on genetic engineering and synthetic biology. the panelists include a synthetic biologist who founded a community hackers biotech in
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his garage. this talk is about synthetic biology. diy meets big capital is the title we gave it. it is born out of a long interest i had, in some ways the roots of shaping san francisco, which has a community participatory project, but rooted in a critical relationship to technology. mid-90'sd in the during the big boom interactive multimedia, before there was web 1.0. we have all lived through this endless round of hysteria about technology saving us and taking us to the promised land and so on.
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one of the interesting topics for me is to try to think about what is the moment in history you are living through. it is difficult to wrap your head around that. tonight's topic was a chance to take a pause and invite people who are thinking about this, who are busy working on it in critical capacities from various points of view, to help us get a grip on a big part of the current tech boom. we talk about it in terms of social media, google, but the big mystery here in san francisco is that a huge part of the economy is medical. a large part of that is rooted in biological sciences. we have this phenomenon of investment going into that world , changing everything we know about longevity and health and so on. that is what we will get into tonight. there is also this underground that is claiming that same world from a hacking point of view. we have somebody tonight to give
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us a handle on that as well. perhaps some of you in the audience will be able to advance one or more of those threads in the conversation of follows. all of our talks start with people who give us their expertise, and then we open it up to you to participate in the conversation. night,ond hour of the everyone here has an equal chance to participate. we will bring a microphone out to you. we record these and save them online. all of our talks going back 10 years, the ones that successfully recorded anyway, our online at this will be online within a day or two. i will review quick bios of the speakers in the order they will appear. hoffman, have elliot who is a staffer at the center for genetics and society, graduated from san francisco's uc hastings college of law 2015.
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his adding risky work includes money, bill reform, and a job campaign and ella baker human center for human rights. legal aid a transgender law center. ellie's research focuses on vulnerable bodies and populations under surveillance and apartheid. queer, trans, intersex, narrow diverse, disabled, and racialized youth. to2015, he was the invited attend the international summit on gene editing and live tweeted the event. elliott will be first, followed by teedo. the file does not start with his name. bill gates words quoted as saying, if he would start his career today, he would be a bio hacker. five years ago, we opened up the
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first committee biotech lab in the world. the motto, experiment with friends. we are a community of amateurs, sciences, engineers curious about biotechnology. come learn about how this new model for innovation is reinventing the field of biotechnology and how you can apply this creative approach to your own work. he is one of the cofounders of by a curious and is now the ecosystem manager at the runway incubator, a startup incubator home to 84 startups downtown in san francisco in the twitter building, our favorite place in town. studied pete tang, who philosophy and economics at oxford university and moved to caliph one you in the mid- 1970's. he has been active in a range of political movements while making a living in the publishing industry, especially on the production side. appalled by the eugenic possibilities of bio technology, he works as a scientists with
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the center for genetic society. he is the author of "human ."netic engineering he is a regular contributor to bio political times. we are excited to have all three of you. elliott, if you don't mind, take it away. >> thank you all for coming. >> i am so excited to be here, thank you for having us. i am really glad we're having this conversation, not only in the city but in this neighborhood. the last week we have seen a brutal police violence a few streets from here. i don't know if you are following in the news, but i think we need to think about not only -- i will talk about imperialism, a little bit about the pioneering values that are
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driving a lot of technological innovation today, but also how that violence manifests and how we make space for more to come into this city, and what that looks like. we are at the center for genetics and society. i want to talk specifically about putting biotechnology in this idea of the empire of technological innovation. does anyone know what this is? this is not the death star. >> [inaudible] is a rendering on a computer, not the real thing. more more like a hangar right now. the economists say it could be the most extensive quarters in history. what does manifest destiny look like in this current moment?
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as we are clearing space and this is about -- cupertino, but his is also sacred land. moving from this idea of manifest destiny toward the west and then through the web and big data, and now looking at the manifest destiny of the genome? frontiers we are looking at, what does innovation look like from this vantage point. together try to piece a lot of the strands that i see happening in our city. want to work through this idea of solutions through technological innovation and for that from the app economy, tied them to what we witnessed at the center, which is genetic determinism, this idea that the g&a is the code of our bodies, and try to pull out some of the assumptions in the reductionism of that.
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is this new moment of technology something where we look at organisms? orgs ford new different solutions of our lives? is -- applot of this for that has been in the news but there are similar values. one of the pieces that is is one of the underlying values of the app for could onlyy, if we have this critical mass of bright rooms in a room somewhere, and if they were working on our hotter problems, they would come up with innovation and we would all be ok. i think there is this hopefulness, optimism, unilateral solutions of certain
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very smart mines would work on a global scale. some of this use a lot of language of empowerment, democratizing, revolutionary, that we are sharing thing. but we also know a lot of this prioritizes customers and convenience and certain classes over the rights of workers and over the social consequences ,hat flow from venture capital and thinking that high risk is very normal. and then the gene for that. when i was growing up, it was very not ok to be gay. i did not come out until i was 24. when i heard about this idea of the gay gene, i thought, that makes sense. funnily my parents will listen to me. it is not my fault, there is a genetic basis for why i am who i am. on the flipside, what we found that jean, what if we thought we
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found that jean? what could be the flipside, what are the other consequences? a lot of things we have seen at absurdter has been super . we used to have a column on our gene ofat was called the the week. there is a gene for being liberal, or being promiscuous. has also taken a interesting turn with regards to behavioral genetics. we see this idea that not only is there a gay gene potentially. it comes out of the scientific journals every year or so. we also see it in toxic ways, like when that comes to criminality. scientists say there is a gangster gene. that,s the implication of
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what would we do if we thought we had found the gangster gene? when we go into low-income schools and start screening kids? maybe we just segregate them away from the other students. we need to be careful when we use metaphors like code and weeprint and mapping when talk about dna. this is again a car reference. there is no gene for the human spirit and we are not our genes. this idea that even if we thought there was a genetic link, it could be really toxic. orgs for that. this ami in cheese is something that tito has been working on. i want to let this together with his idea of technological solutions.
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this idea of glowing trees has been interesting. i have seen this in the news the last few years. what if we could use these really exciting new organisms to replace the environmentally toxic things we have in our lives? trees could replace streetlamps. i find that fascinating. cheese, that we can take the animal out of the animal product and not only get away from the utilitarianism of using animals, but the moral implications that a lot of people have with animal products. to the biotech sphere to see how some of these things can become really toxic. golden rice. the food writer michael pollan has an interesting comparison on this. i don't know if you have seen the netflix series, it is really good. he has this idea, postwar, we are in america, we have moved from this idea of all grain flours found a local stone nails
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into a more commercially processed one. haveve use the food we created for soldiers overseas and brought it back to america. we have this pretty shady flower now. we have done it in a commercial way, not as much nutrients as the other flowers. but we are going to add vitamins back into it. we are going to call it enriched flour and we are going to sell it to the american people like it is better than the old and stuff. rice has vitamin a added to it, and it is sold as a biotech solution to malnutrition in developing countries. of harmlesss idea cows, which he see davis is working on. they have used this genetic technology that will come up a lot tonight. one of the things they have been doing in agriculture, we cut off the horns of the cow while they are living because it makes it
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less likely that able core farmers. but what if we could make this easier and less painful for the cows? so we will genetically modify cows do not have horns. there is a variety away that these things are popping up in agriculture. how can we make animals more convenient for the industrial farming we do? we think a lot about animals as biomedical models in medicine, and i think it's important to think about how we are treating animals, various lifeforms, and is there a precursor to how we are treating humans down the line? i want to talk about eugenics history of fixing life. tools,e new gene editing this is new on the scene in the cheaper,years, quicker, easier to use than previous generations of genome editing tools. a lot of people have wondered, if we have the capacity to genetically modify a lot of
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organisms, should we do it with humans before they are born? maybe the same metaphor as the cow. that daniel comfort has a good point on this. we cannot separate gene editing in the current moment from this long history of trying to engineer life in various ways. what he is saying is, as opposed to the forced sterilizations for the ways that we segregated will vulnerable or stigmatized away from society, now we are able to do this. seemingly sterile molecular level. taking away some of the violence of what appears to be happening. , this isically saying a disturbing tendency to view our children as specimens to be improved and he is also bringing in the point that i will whichate another person, is the idea that we assumed biotechnology is the most effective tool or social problems.
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i want to interrogate that with you tonight because i'm not sure that it is. add to person that would the gene editing technology is -- you can watch the videos, they are lovely at the national academy of sciences site. study where lovely she interrogates equity, pushing back on the fact that there were scientific categories for humans. she wanted us to think about life in human as much more malleable, that our identities interface with the scientific categories in harsh ways. one of the things that she said recently was, rather than dealing with the underlying social conditions that affect us inequality,poverty, housing andration, food shortages that we see all over san francisco and oakland. rather than dealing with the problem, we create short-term
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solutions.hnological not only does this give people the ability to opt out of the social nontreatment, if they have the access or the resources , but it also tries to get the issue out of sight, so we don't think of it as a problem we are invested in solving. so i will just end with some questions to ask you. this is tying back to the idea a think tankhave of bright minds in a room to solve the worlds problems would be ok. who is a citizen scientist? is diy democratizing? what does participatory democracy look like in these new spaces, particularly when they by this context of science, the market, these billion-dollar patent battles. i want to think through how we can start thinking about the ethics of bio hacking. are we going to rely upon this idea of?freedom of expression
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? how do we define respect for the environment, thinking about that apple ring in the beginning. how do we respect the environment in these spaces? are we engaging in a model of public deficit participation? who is the expert in these settings, who is the observer, who is the teacher, who is the observer? thely, i want to go back to idea of interrogating equity, access. is this the equivalent of trickle-down biotechnology? who is designing the elder rhythms user platform, and what is being mechanized by bringing bio hacking to the market, and who stands to profit despite our best intentions? thank you so much.
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>> next we have tito. >> hi, everybody.
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biocurious, a hackers biotech. when we started five years ago, our goal was to get more people doing science stuff. we started labs in our garages and apartments, and then we got a kick starter and said we want to make this bigger. we raised $35,000 to make this happen. we bought all the equipment, we got a warehouse, mailing list of a few thousand people who were interested, and something happened. five years later, i wanted to ask the question, is bio curious successful? what does success mean?
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in silicon valley, it is pretty easy to define. success, for a place of ,nnovation, means startups inventions, an idea that is spreading. is bio curious successful in that way? first of all, we have the glowing plant roger, which started bio curious. this idea that, isn't it neat that things in biology glow? living things can go in the dark, whether it is jellyfish or mushrooms. plantf we could make a that glowed in the dark? how would that work? together andot started thinking about it, put together a kick starter, and it took off. we have had other startups come out of bio curious like that.
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one, reald can cheese. they are using genetically engineered yeast to make cows milk without cows. it is like brewing beer, but of the wheat you are using milk and cheese. how about inventions? we had a group that came together to create a free printer. a long-term idea was to be able to print living things. electronicsed basic to make a kit that is now being used in universities around the world because this is the type of thing that normally would cost millions of dollars. it allows more people around the world in universities to try idea.
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startups, yes. inventions, yes. when we first started, biocurious was the first kind -- of its kind in the world. who wants to go back to high school and take a biology class? nobody is going to want to do this and it is too expensive and it will never work. later, therears are all these other people around the world that have doingd calling themselves girl -- do-it-yourself bio hackers or biocurious. even some show up on a place where there is not any google land. are there startups? yes. are there inventions around the world? yes. are these ideas running around the world? looks like it to me. but that is not what i came here to talk about. when war


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