tv International Programming CSPAN March 13, 2013 7:00am-7:30am EDT
i do believe this is a good government bill. would you agree with that? >> i've survived in part by not endorsing specific legislation in my time here, but the ideas of reform are something we're happy to work with you on and the committee on, certainly consolidating reports is something we would appreciate. we been trying to do some of that on our own. so i do think that working with committee to continue to reform is a very healthy thing. >> commissioner mcdowell any common? >> absolute. i think there's very meritorious ideas and that legislation. i also would hope that in the coming months and years this committee would seriously consider the daunting task of a comprehensive statutory rewrites to erase those silos, look at all of these services and technologies through the lens of consumers like my children who don't care if it comes through
wireless in one way or broadcast which is wireless and another, or fiber. let's look at how consumers are benefiting and also harmed, and if there's concentrations and abuses and market power. that's a daunting task, i think if we all work together it doesn't have to be partisan, it could be unanimous. >> commissioner pai, thank you for your recent visit. do you have any common? >> i do think it would go a long way to streamlining the effort of the commission to report back to congress. i think it would to congress much better service because you get in one place comprehensive snapshot of exactly what is going on in the marketplace. the endeavor to reform our business from legislative standpoint should not -- what we can do ourselves. to keep the trains running on time. so a number of the proposal i've put forward which i don't believe are politically beneficial to anybody that are just a matter of good government involved, setting deadlines,
creating a dashboard where the public can monitor exactly how the nation is performing like a number of -- how long it takes ius to issue license renewals ad those kinds of things. all of which speak to the valley of accountability. i think too often what we've heard over the last number of years, not limited to any particular agency is that image doesn't mr. respond as quickly to the industry as the msha is moving on its own. so i think that's one of the things i know my colleagues agree with, as we move into the 21st century, deeper into the 20% we need to make sure we are acting at the same pace as the private sector. >> i'm running out of time. thank you i plan on introducing, reproducing the fcc consolidated reports act this year. certainly hope to get the support of the committee. thank you very much. >> let me just for the convenience of misery, members,
senator warner will be next, senator klobuchar, some guy named senator nelson, senator begich and senator cruz. so show your love for the committee. senator warner? >> great to see all the commission members here. one of the things that senator wicker and i and senator snowe before that worked on at some length was trying to make sure we just got a good inventory of spectrum, and another commission has been generally supportive of this. we've got to get her other colleagues and the federal government, on the dod and intel side help you get there on that because some of the most valuable commodities we have, we don't have good information about how not only private sector but much of the public sector is using the existing
spectrum. relate to that aspect and gets more and more valuable, somebody who benefited from the increase in value in a prior life, we've got to make sure we get as much utilization as possible. i want to talk a little bit about interoperability and maybe start with the chairman, but any other commission would like to mention this, i understand that as a look at all of the new technologies coming on, particularly in the wireless space, if you would like to comment on how you're looking at the whole question of receiver standards and whether this is going to be a mandatory system or now looking at potentially a voluntary buy-in, he goes we're continuing to see new opportunity, otto industries and others who want to think about smarter cars as well as smarter phones, yet there is constant question that interference issues which is it a couple of your other actions invest.
mr. chairman, to want to start? >> there was a time when people thought that spectrum wasn't scared anymore and we had all we would ever need and there were no issues. now, of course, we know that the opposite is the case and have some real challenges on freeing up more and more spectrum. part of what we've learned is that where we have spectrum that is being inefficiently used, sometimes because of restrictions like satellite restrictions, we will see receivers come on the market that it interfered with as we remove unnecessary restrictions. and we have to tackle the. we are running a process that the commission to determine the best way to do that. i know the committee has looking at it, but we need to alter the incentive structure so that we don't see that kind of issue. >> anyone else want to make a comment on that? >> i would adopted by reference with the chairman just said, and receiver standards are very important. we hope that there could be a
private sector consensus here, so let's push towards that. it should be part of an overall goal to increase the spectral efficiency because even if we could identify all of the 500 megahertz of the national brought plan called for to bring the auction or to bring to market, that's going to take the better part of a decade to actually get into the hands of consumers. what do we do in the meantime? we have to adopt policies that promote spectral efficiency in a variety of ways, but also one thing we should avoid is with the upcoming instead of auction is making it too complex, too complicated. having been part of a 700 megahertz auction, my first dissent was cast. that encumbrance among other, unforeseen shouldn't say this, probably resulted in an interoperability problem which we now face and its a mess we had to untangle. let's be careful trying to outguess the market, because we can't. >> speaking of interoperability, in general, i think i missed them when i've been talking about a lot is as lower
700 megahertz whether our issues as it relates to interoperability. there's been engagement for almost a year, i'm still hopeful for a voluntary solution, but the fcc in its history has either mandated or encouraged interoperability across the board, rural and urban areas might benefit from and where we can we should. either mandate, encourage strongly voluntary engagement. >> i agree with a voluntary component, although i know in the past it's not always been successful. at the end of the day, pushing out new technologies, we're going to use all the spectrum we can. i know my time is running down. i just am concerned as well that holsters of questions i'll submit for the record, mr. chairman, but there seems to be a bit of backsliding on usf reform, and i just believe that
this is a not a problem. this is obviously a change of technologies, but it's going to get the kind of rural broadband deployment that i think many of us all want to see, this is going to have to be a component. >> what i heard you say is that there shouldn't be any backsliding. >> yes, that's right. >> and i completely agree spend my time is up. i just want to also echo comments i think so my other colleagues at me, and i know it opens up an enormous can of worms, but with the marketplace and technology moving so quickly, at some point a broader-based, looking at reworking of -- i think not to be the subject of this committee, at least starting down that path. it may not happen overnight, but great, great potential so i think the chairman and thank the committee and the commission members for being here.
>> senator klobuchar. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you to the commissioners have come to minnesota in the last year or so, including the chairman and commissioner rosenworcel, as well as commissioner clyburn, and you're invited as well, commissioner mcdowell. thank you, commissioner pai, thank you so much for your work. i want to for start out with unlocking. i appreciate the leadership the fcc is taking on this issue. -reduce the wireless consumer choice act with senator leahy and senator blumenthal, and we are taking this very system. we think this is a great opportunity to open us up for competition. i think you know that there's been a lot of outrage over the recent decision by the library of congress, not a, for for people but that is if it creates uncertainty for consumers who want to unlock their phones from one network to switch to another. and again i see this as an opportunity and i wondered, i guess thank you if you would commit to work with us on this
to addressing concerns and to take action and do you agree unlocking is an impediment for consumers choosing to switch carriers and, therefore, is a barrier to competition? >> i do. i think that decision from the library of congress raise real competition and innovation concerns. i was happy see the legislation introduced, and thank you for your leadership. it appears to be bipartisan issue. we need to address it because right now there are criminal penalties for someone to get a new phone and unlocks it. doesn't make sense. >> no, it doesn't to does anyone want to add anything more? >> i think it's important to get past the headlines a little bit on this issue, and while we need to quickly dispel the image of consumers being hauled off in handcuffs, if they try to unlock your cell phone -- >> without their phone. >> exactly. and we also need to understand that we need to protect intellectual property rights and there is contract law which your bill speaks to, that can convey
and give consumers lots of options and lots of freedom here. so let's make sure we're not undermine intellectual property rights and we also preserving the right to contract. >> i agree with my colleagues. and also, affordability is a factor and environmental factors, you know, if you got to make all these changes every time, if you have an option to change providers. that's a good for the vibe so all those things going to play, and thank you so much for introducing that. >> i agree, would be happy to help, whether that's through the fcc or the updating the digital millennium copyright act are i think the most stunning thing those to find out about the great power of the library and of congress. spent exactly. i thought the same thing. as you referenced, senator lee has a bill simply in our also on. and i think it's a different approach and we can somehow combined them, we will all work together but i do think it's important, mr. chairman, for this committee with its
jurisdiction over telecommunications to be involved in this decision. that's one of the recently introduced the bill this way. >> i would have the contract law in my view rather than criminal or copyright law should be up in relationship between wireless consumer and wireless provider. i would be more than happy to work with you whether it's an exemption that allows consumers to unlock the phone or another mission. we stand ready to aid. >> thank you very much. good news today, the fcc is taking the issue seriously about call completion with our consent decree. thank you very much. could you discuss, mr. chairman, what this consent agreement with level three means to the industry quickly that huge problems with call completion in rural areas in my state and and others spent i think it sends a clear message it's not acceptable, that we will take seriously any instances that we find of failure to complete call. we will continue to investigate
reports, and if it's necessary to have more enforcement action, that's what we will do. >> okay. another question. i understand the fcc has an open proceeding considering the legal and policy consequences of expanding or redefine what a multichannel video programming distributor is, or as known as mvpd. we've had some issues come up in some of our suburban areas about the price of cable. and so, and also transparency. for wireless services disclosure. spent we haven't reached any decision in that proceeding. i am, i think we all are concerned about rising prices to consumers and the need to keep on pushing competition policies in this area spent i will follow-up more on that and i will do my colleagues go on, but i would just put some questions
on the record, commissioner rosenworcel, especially on metal theft and wires, a growing problem. senator graham and i have a bill that senator schumer have cosponsored, and i appreciate your interest in that and will put other questions on the record as well. thank you. >> thank you, senator klobuchar. senator rubio. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first, thank you all for serving on the commission. it's an exciting to be on there with all these things happening. i may not use all my time for questioning. i have a 4:30 p.m. appointment to unlock my phone. [laughter] >> are you going to need a lawyer for the? >> at 440 thymic i have to go to the library congress. i guess i'll start with commission ago because he was so involved with the internet freedom debate that took place. and i guess it's my question. i'm interested in working on draft legislation with others that would declare the policy of the united states to promote the global internet free from government control and maintain the current multi-stakeholder governance.
i know not asking to endorse legislation although feel free to do so, any of you, but i would ask you, do you think is her statement from the congress will be something that's helpful in regards to position of the united states and these international bodies and beyond? >> thank you for your leadership on this issue and many thanks to every member of the senate for unanimously supported that resolution last year, and the short answer is yes, that would be tremendously helpful. >> great, good. did we get that on tape? >> i'm sure. >> second question is about spectrum. the way i've explained this back home across the country have asked me about it is, we'll hear conversation about roads and important road towards economic development. got to get your products from entry point to end use customers. spectrum is very similar to that in my mind. it's identical to that on a different level. spectrum capacity is what allows people to quickly get information on tablets or cell phones or what have you. it actually would give us a cutting edge -- i've been
concerned of course about staying on the competitive edge and we were different reports about where we are in comparison to the rest of the world in terms of our capabilities. moving forward, it seems to me and i may be wrong, and if i am i want you to point this out, that i'm concerned that in the wireless industry the demand for wireless broadband might outstrip our ability to provide the supply. so my question is, would it be helpful if congress authorized multiple spectrum auctions, may be staggered over to the time just to ensure that you have a pipeline of spectrum entry the marketplace in a steady and predictable manner? is that something you'll might be helpful? >> i think you're thinking about spectrum as infrastructure is exactly right, and one of the challenges is its invisible infrastructure. so it can hard sometimes to generate the action that we need to it's why this committee's action on legislation was so important. your right to identify the supply and demand issue i think. the real issue is getting more supply spectrum to auction.
so the issue that send a i upgrade to have to be more spectrum from government use, would be helpful and i think we can hold an auction anytime but we need the supply of spectrum in order to auction and data some the other four to working with you together. >> he's absolutely right. federal spectrum has got to be up early, getting the federal government to liberate through exclusive use licenses rather than sharing. >> and you of course can provide the incentive that might be needed by the federal holders of spectrum, and i look forward to working with you on that. >> you're absolutely right. the broadband beneath us and airways all around us on the roads, ports and denounce of the 21st century. the challenge is just as you suggested, making sure we have enough spectrum in a pipeline to meet the demand of that infrastructure. i think what we're going to have to do moving ahead though is identify ways to make sure that our federal users of spectrum are rewarded when they use it
efficiently. if they use it efficiently, they should see some gain whether that's through appropriations or budgeting or some other system. and if they use it efficiently they will return more spectrum for commercial use and will have more in the pipeline which will help grow our wireless economy. >> i agree. the problem in terms of more intensive spectrum use, the devices were using today, are sometimes more aid intensive than a simple cell phone was 15 years ago. so there's a need on the consumer side. federal spectrum come one of the processes that is established now under as modified by the legislation last year, notification an auction process because i outlined, that is an established process by which the fcc would notify ntia of us federal spectrum that could be reproduced for commercial use. and if we adopt the process and invoke it in a very robust way, that would be fair and flexible for everybody, for federal users, for the fcc and for the private sector.
i hope we use it more often. thank you. >> thank you, senator. senator blumenthal. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for holding this hearing, i do want to thank my colleague, senator klobuchar, for her leadership as well on the unlocking bill which i've been very glad and proud to cosponsor. let me ask just very quickly, the merger, proposed merger involving t-mobile and metro pcs, chairman genachowski, has that been accrued? >> it has been approved. >> went? >> did a spit so this information was released at what point do they? >> i don't remember the time that it was released. earlier today. spent hours in advance of the searing? >> yes. >> let me ask you, wasn't approved of the bureau level or the commission level?
>> the bureau level. >> can you tell the committee, this is a deal involving 40 million subscribers, billions of dollars, are you aware of any transaction similar size that has been approved at the bureau level rather than being circulated for vote by the commission speak with there have been large transaction -- >> as large as this one? >> my information -- >> in terms of dollar an impact on consumers has ever been approved by the bureau as opposed by the commission? >> this may be the largest global transaction was very large. there was a major radio transaction. there were no petitions to deny, no wishes of commission policy. these are typically done bureau level and this was consistent with the president in the area spent i do want to take them on this issue now but i will have follow-up questions for the committee. >> of course. >> second area, i noticed that
today that at&t has announced a rate hike. i'm sure you're aware of it. this comes just one week after verizon announced an almost identical rate increase, both of them trouble me. price increases sometimes are a fact of life, but when we see increases in the market as important as this one from not only on its impact on consumers but also our economy, in general i think we are paying closer attention. let me ask about the fcc's efforts to monitor prices in the market place but as you know the national broadband plan recommended that the fcc collect and monitor prices and make that data publicly available. so consumers could make more informed decisions, have better choices. i know the commission has an open rule making on that issue, and i wonder if you could tell this committee with the status is of implementing this recommendation?
and do you believe that the fcc needs such a data to better meet your statutory responsibilities? and, well, let me invite you to answer that question first. >> as a broadband plan pointed out, that would be very helpful data, but the underlying your question is something that's very important, which is the need for competition to drive lower prices, better products, more private investment. and i completely agree with you, it's something we've worked very hard on in the mobile space where we've seen much better trends in mobile competition over the last couple of years than we've seen before but there's a cuts -- there's of course much more work to do. >> are you troubled by these rate increases? >> untroubled in general by rate increases that are not based on competitive factors. these are not something that was done specifically but it's something we can look at together with you. >> i would appreciate it. let me, and i will follow-up on that area as well. finally, because my time is
limited, blackouts, sports blackouts. grave concern, deeply troubling, especially to many in connecticut when they see that their favorite football team on sunday or their favorite baseball team over college sports team has been blacked out in their area. the commission, as you know, put out noticed inquiry but hasn't yet moved to a noticeable making. i wrote to the fcc back and 2011 to ask that you open this proceeding to discuss whether the nearly 40 year old sports blackout rule, i think it's 40 years old, is still relevant in today's environment. on one if you could give me an update, a status report on where you are on this issue, which is profoundly important to people in connecticut but i think across the nation. >> blackouts are tremendous concern to consumers. we certainly hear from them as you do. an area where it comes up too often is in the retransmission
consent area. this is an area where we've had discussions with committee in the past and look forward to continuing it, because it may be time to update those provisions to reduce the chances of blackouts during negotiations. >> are you planning to move to a rulemaking proceeding? >> as we said at the time, our authority under the existing statute is limited and this baby very we have to work with me to address the blackout. >> well, my time has expired. i thank the chairman for his indulgence. i'd like to follow up on this area as well and get more specific and detailed and just, and want to thank you and all the commissioners for your very diligent work. thank you. >> senator blumenthal, you only exceeded your time by 31 seconds i wouldn't get too worried about it. you're questioning his always excellent. >> thank you. >> senator nelson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i believe that disclosure is one
of the strongest things that can happen in the public sphere. and two decades ago, the federal communications act had this provision, section 317, requiring the on air identification of sponsors of all advertisements, political and commercial, and then when the fcc wrote the regulation, they said that political ads must, quote, fully and fairly disclose the true identity of the person or persons, or corporation, committee, association, or other unincorporated group or entity,
end of quote that pays for them. well, as you know, as result of a supreme court decision we have been be set upon in the political sphere with an avalanche of undisclosed, unlimited money from sources that the public does not know where the political communication, either arguing for or against, a particular candidate comes from. indeed, in the citizens united supreme court decision that set off this crazy contortions of campaign finance law, it was an interesting statement by the court, joined by eight of nine justices that says disclosure is
the less restrictive alternative to more comprehensive speech regulations. that would indicate the court is looking increasingly, approvingly of disclosure. okay. you've got the statutory power. we don't have to do what we failed by one vote with 59 votes and we didn't get 60 votes four years ago to have the disclose out. you have the power. so i'd like to know what each one of you thinks about implementing the statutory authority that you have for all that undisclosed money that is hiding behind the committee for god, mother and country, and
yet, it is fueled by very -- various special interest. >> it's a very important issue and i agree with you that disclosure is a first amendment friendly powerful tool in this space. last year, and this was a contentious decision. we approved new rules that require broadcasters to put online the information that they now receive about political ads, and they do receive a significant amount of information. by a three night-tonight but we adopted socials and i started rolling out before the last election and will continue. part of what i think we're wise to do now is look at the effect that as it rolls out, consider the kinds of issues that you are raising and determine what, if any, next steps are appropriate and necessary. >> well, the statue past two
years ago, requires on air identification of all sponsors of all advertisements. and then he fcc rule that implement the statute says quote, fully and fairly disclose the true identity of the person, talking about political ads, or person or corporation, committee, association or other unincorporated group or other entity. so does that mean that you are a no vote? >> no, center. i think there are requirements that are in place on disclosing including on air. the sponsors of ads but i think you're suggesting that we look at going more deeply into who the actual funders are. i think it's a very important issue and something we should look at spent i'm talking about the enforcement of the fcc's rules that flushed out the statute that was passed.