tv The Communicators FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr CSPAN May 27, 2019 8:00am-8:31am EDT
commissioner carr, thanks for being here. before we get into the issues that you all are working on, want to ask you how is the fcc involved in a changing media landscape with broadband and over-the-top and et cetera, et cetera? >> guest: it's an interesting time to be working at the fcc and part of that is to your question but an interesting point with this new generation of wireless service five gbits coming online and we have new
low earth orbit satellites are starting to launch, new fixed wire offerings, newbie offerings. from a consumer perspective it's a great time for convergence and competition. the challenge for us to keep up. >> host: doesn't change how you regulate and your policies as well? >> guest: i think so particularly when you look at 5g. when we look back one of the great success stories for the trump administration, for those of us at the fcc is the leadership we are now showing when it comes to 5g which is this next generation of wireless service. it's a great story for our economic prosperity, for our national security. more and portly from a consumer it's truly going to be transformational. a lot of the cutting edge invitations here about whether it's connected cars or new telehealth applications, virtual reality, we had to upgrade our networks on both the wireless and wired side to make that
happen. >> host: joining us to talk about some of these issues is margaret harding mcgill with political pro. thanks for being here. >> 5g is front and center in the t-mobile/sprint merger. the fcc has made news on that front this week and i wanted to talk to you about that. the agency has previously been opposed reducing the number of nationwide carriers from four different because in 2011 the sec said no when at&t wanted to buy t-mobile. what's changed? >> guest: this week announced after taking a look for over a year at this proposed transaction between t-mobile and sprint to announce my support for the transaction. one of the things that happened this week is companies came in with strong commitments. when we think about the u.s. leadership in 5g, one of the challenges and points we've been pushing hard for at the fcc is to make sure every community in the country particularly world america has a fair shot at next-generation connectivity.
this week a a commitment came in within three years buildout 5g g the 97% of the u.s. population, moving to 99%. when you think about the scope and the scale of the infrastructure build we need to get 5g and rural communities i think this'll be a really good, good win for rural america. >> the main focus like you said some 5g deployment which is important but i don't know if anyone can say it alleviates the specific merger harm. some critics say by going from four carriers to three, consumers what price increases. does that factor supporting this behavioral condition run counter to previous mergers where when you were advisor inhe chairman farr office you support buildout applications? >> guest: i don't think so. in terms of claims of price increases that was a concern raised in the record during the course of this proceeding. one of the commitments was on prices, so don't increase at a
commitment when 5g is built out, the prices for though don't increases will. what's interesting, when you think about verizon and att and the competition we have an wireless now, this combination will create for the first time a third provider that has the same scale and scope in terms of size with their customer base as verizon and at&t. that's going to lead to an increase in competition we haven't seen before. it's one more reason why at the end of the day this is a good deal. >> on price commitment t-mobile has that will keep the same price for three years following the merger. people will not see the prices go up. some critics have saved our potential loopholes, 80 ways you can get around this. how do you feel about the fcc de facto becoming a rate regulator? >> guest: there some pretty concrete commitments put in the record at the fcc this week with pretty robust enforcement mechanisms. in addition to some of the points you raise there's this
buildout obligation to make sure more communities are going to get 5g and do so on an accelerated basis. different ways to measure that commitment. it could be in the greek were going to deploy to these places. it could be we will offer your files will do that but the mechanism put in place by this commitment is try to test to make sure we do, in fact, seymour deployment. >> host: commissioner o'rielly said yes to this merger as well giving it a three vote majority. this is just the first step, correct? because doj has inside-out. >> guest: that's right. i believe commissioner o'rielly set out a tweet yesterday saying he was inclined to agree the deal as well. there's three votes at least for moving forward. >> host: what's the status of doj creditor i can't speak for the doj position. i cannot speak to the record at the sec and we had to look through competitive lens as well at the sec in reaching our decision. if you think back to our own
lives ten years ago and we were on the cusp of 3g, , 4g, the u.. won that race to 4g and transform our economy. if you think about how you used to get across town ten years ago you had to wait in the cab line, hail a cab, pay exorbitant rates but the u.s. winning this race to 4g ushered in this economy include her pooper and lift. when we look to 5g 5g it will e even more transformative but it's -- uber and lyft. when i moved in this position, the u.s. was at risk of losing this global race to 5g to china. back then china was building cell sites which was the building blocks for 5g at 12 times the pace in the u.s. we were taking too long in terms of the structures that apply to build out a 5g and it was too expensive to build 5g here's we took the a number of bold and concrete steps to update our
regulations. that help the u.s. leapfrog into first place in 5g. internet speeds are up about 40%. 40%. we have the world's largest 5g build now, 14 cities last year, heading to over 40 issues. these are forms we put in place to help make sure of yourself competitive to check in the space. >> i was looking at a report from a test of global 5g deployments and look at it today looks like switzerland has something like 217 cities with 5g commercial availability. i was surprised by this. what are your thoughts on what switzerland is doing? >> guest: reports i see put the u.s. on pace for 92, 5g build this year and that report put i believe south korea in second place at 48 builds. so a big gap between the u.s. with some of our global competitors. i try to spend time in this job outside of d.c. and you can already see it and a lot of
small towns that are seen a big boost from 5g. i was in elk bought alabama a few weeks ago at a small manufacturing plant that makes the harnesses you need to build out this next generation of information to climb these towers can put up the new small cells. they talked about a two times increase in production from the increase in demand of small cells in use. the u.s. is in really good shape. we had about 13,000 small self built in u.s. in 2017, 2017, and that number jumped to over 60,000 last year so on very happy with the steps we're taking to accelerate u.s. leadership. >> host: given the number of small cells the 5g is going to require there's been pushed back from local communities, has it? >> guest: we seem some of that. congress passed a law in 1996 that said state and local law can't operate as effective prohibition to the deployment of services. there's a number of states, up to 25 states now, that adopted
what we call small cell reform bills. stepping back when we deployed 3g and 4g it required mostly deployment of the big 200-foot towers. 5g we need 10-1 at times the number of sites but they will be small cells. what we found is a lot of the regulatory structure treated those small cells the same as a big macro tower. we updated the federal rules can put guardrails in place at the state and local level and that's really help to accelerate small cell buildout. in fact, 25 states have not adopted small cell reforms. that's helping to secure u.s. leadership. >> to take a lot of stuff on 5g infrastructure laster, what's left under agenda when it comes to infrastructure reforms? >> guest: we will believe behind the eight ball when you came in and we took actions you mentioned last year. we are seeing a uptick in infrastructure buildup because of that. that's created a new challenge. one of them aside we make sure
we have the skilled workforce in place to build out this next generation infrastructure. i was in ohio a few weeks ago with a crew that's building small cells and not long ago they said they were building 30 small cells a a month. that is increased to 60 a month in the city want to hire four new cruise to build out that infrastructure there's a workforce shortage. industry can hire about 20,000 new tower climbers alone to build up this infrastructure and that number easily grossed 100,000 if you look at the fiber we need deployed as well. what agenda item for me this year is a jobs initiative. i was down it a contact to go college in south carolina where i announced some steps we can take to help fill the jobs get. they have a 12 week program that can take someone with virtually no skills and get them a good paying job in a tower industry at the end of that.
i talk to to my kids and he told me they didn't follow the street and a path in life. they dropped out of high school and working to get their ged but they found a way to this 12 week program. the day i was down there at the end of their training, and both got job offers that day in the tower industry so they now have a shot at a career. that's partly why 5g is such a good jobs story is often infrastructure that is being built and that's one of my agenda items for this year. >> just to go back for second to the t-mobile/sprint merger, communication workers of america have warned the merger will cause job loss. do you believe, and it don't think there's a condition of the number of jobs that need to be kept in t-mobile is negotiations with the fcc. should there be one? >> guest: this is going to be a good job story. it will accelerate buildout. a lot of these tower jobs we've been talking that will be hired earlier in the process. the company said said combined will have more employees on payroll the day after the merger
goes through when they get all the sign of the need than they would independently. they projecting years down they will have more people employed through it. when you look at how do we close that infrastructure gap, get more 5g deployed in rural america that's going to generate a lot of economic activity. >> host: commissioner carr,, you've mentioned three world locations in your travels. however, this seems to still be a pretty significant gap when it comes to broadband deployment and accessibility between rural and urban america. is the fcc's broadband map accurate at this point and how you close that gap? >> guest: we've got to do a better job. we've heard loud and clear from stakeholders whether it's the public were members of congress that the maps out there don't reflect consumers real world experience. we've got to get better at that. the sec announced they are launching an investigation into
some of the data that went into producing those maps and i announced my support for the pretty quickly. hopefully with moving expeditiously in that investigation and taking other steps we can get maps better reflect consumers experiences. >> host: again though how to bridge that gap? what is your solution to bridging that gap between urban and rural? >> guest: we have this digital divide and were making progress. when is we have to continue to drive down the cost of building out this infrastructure. those are some decisions we issued last year. we had a decision in march that cut about 1.5 6 billion in red tape and we issued a decision in september that cut another $2 billion from the cost of deploying it. driving down the cost of building this infrastructure is key and we're doing that. the second part is where this universal service fund is a $10 billion a year year program we are reorienting to support buildout in those areas where it's not economical for the
private sector. the final piece of it is spectrum. we are pushing more spectrum out into the commercial market space than ever before. those are all the right actions to take place we just did keep heading in that direction. >> on the universal service fund i think there's a proposal that would put overall cap on spending for the fund. is this something you support? >> guest: i support what we are to which is seeking comment of putting a cap in place. all or nearly all of the programs today have caps on them already. i think it makes eminent sense for us to take a look at capping the overall program. as a look at universal service i spent a lot of time on the road. i've been to a lot of small towns and you look at some of the biggest job creators. i was in a small town in ohio, and those jobs, those businesses would not be in the rural communities but for the ability to have high-speed broadband connection that is supported by the fcc's universal service program. we look at reforms the universal service program.
i always do that through the lens of which the broader economic impact that's generated from our support. >> you had an idea for a new universal program, the telehealth pilot initiative started i think it was last year. what's the status of the program? >> guest: this is another area where traveling outside of dcs helped inform our policies. i was in the mississippi delta and went to a small rural healthcare clinic and that a woman named miss annie and she was diagnosed with diabetes. she noticed the first signs of diabetes herself when she woke up one morning with blurred vision. she wasn't seeing a lot of results from traditional treatment methods. this clinic at a pilot with the center home with basically an ipad and a bluetooth connected blood glucose monitor. every morning she would get a reminder to prick your finger and she would center a1c one level ii or ipad and give her specific feedback about what to do that day, eat this, don't eat this, , exercise this.
she saw tremendous improvement in her healthcare. when we think about nextgen connectivity and telehealth being a potentially big beneficiary, we want to make sure every community, every american has a fair shot. i've announced $100 million pilot program designed to ensure connectivity for low income americans. these are essential americans that would otherwise potentially fit into our lifeline program to make sure they can have a fair shot at the remote patient monitoring technology, how does that work, you announce the one admin or has the commission approved that ours is something you're proposing? >> guest: it is a couple step process. relaunch the initial proceedings last year and hopefully in the next couple of months this summer we will move forward with the next phase in our rulemaking which will be a noticed what we seek even more specific comment from the public and we can move forward with an order shortly after that, we've seen to spend a lot of time this communicators talking about jobs.
last year i think i read that huawei bought $11 billion worth of u.s. components and huawei is slowly being used out of the u.s. market. how does that reflect job wise, and if you would, give us your thoughts on huawei? >> guest: when you look at the global competition we are in when it comes the next generation connectivity, we have been cleared about two goals. first we have to make sure this infrastructure buildout in the u.s. quickly so we can beat our competitors to the punch. and second, it has to be built securely. this ties into what you race. we have an open at the fcc where we are looking at whether equipment manufactured by certain companies from certain part of the world is secure proposes a national security threat with the dean and our network. we have keyed up a range of action epic everything from tag equipment out of the network to
other steps to address potential security threats. that's open proceeding at the fcc. we've seen the administration takes that sizzle to ensure we don't have equipment in our 5g networks that's going to be inconsistent with our national interest. >> the executive order, doesn't the give fcc and a guidance move forward on its own proceeding, i think it's been pending for about a year now. >> guest: the executive order was directed mostly directly to the calmest department we work with intelligence community, national security agencies as a work through our own proceeding. when the chairman deems it appropriate to bring that board i be happy to cast a vote on it. >> one issue that's come up the people talk about with equipment is stuck at fort networks is small carriers in rural parts of the country already have some of this equipment in their networks. do you think federal funding should be used to help then take
it out or replace it? >> guest: this is a question we did he appear proceedings. some of our largest providers that when some of the core networks and u.s. don't have while we equipment in it now. some of the rural and small providers do and so what were looking at our proceeding is does the existing equipment that's in place pose a sufficient security threat were really the only option we would have to take that out or not? we haven't made a final decision on that and i saw some reporting to today about members in congress looking at potential funding mechanisms if, in fact, we make the decision went to take this equipment out of the network. >> host: this has been an ongoing conversation about specifically huawei and china for several years now. this is not a new issue but is there actual proof that huawei's equipment is corrupt in some way traffic these are some of issues were looking at our proceeding. the commission had a a case bee it about a week or two ago involving a company called china
mobile which was ultimately 100% owned by the people's republic of china. they were seeking an authorization from the u.s. to interconnect with the u.s. networks. what we saw there were some interesting evidence. in part, under the company also wholly owned by the people's republic of china was taking traffic that was originated in los angeles and destined for washington, d.c. and rerouting the traffic through china. when you combine that with other evidence we have in the record including some confidential evidence, sufficient to give us concern. in fact, i've called for the fcc to look at that existing provider that was rerouting the traffic and whether their authorization should be revoked. >> host: do our european allies agreed? >> guest: the state department has been actively engage our allies abroad, both in bilateral discussions, multilateral discussions. i defer to them after the current status of it but sufficient concern would take a
look at steps in the fcc. >> host: in a recent cnbc headline it said you have called for suppliers for 5g in the u.s. need to share western values. is that accurate? >> guest: that's right. when you move away from a network that's just about phone calls and e-mails to this 5g network, it's going to be smart tag, financial information, the internet of things, anything that could be connected to the unit might potentially be connected to the 5g 5g interneo that the different threat profile. when we have providers deploying equipment on that network we want to make sure they show these western values, protection of ip intellectual property, protection for free speech and first amendment. that's key going forward. >> there some concerns with her current network when it comes to location, data tracking. there was report earlier this year that wireless companies sharing information with
location aggregators that information to enhance about a hundred who were able to pin point the exact location of a cell phone number. previously it was a website that allowed people to find location information using numbers. the fcc said then i think in may of last year they are starting to investigate. we are at a year now. there's been no outcome of that investigations against my question is are you satisfied with the pace? >> guest: it safe to say when reports surfaced about bounty hunters being able to buy our location data it was disturbing news is for all of us at the agency and i was very happy to see the chairman has launched an investigation and our enforcement bureau has been working on this. i don't know the status of enforcement bureaus work on it but but i definitely think it's an issue we are looking at. >> host: brendan carr, in the two hours before we came down to tape this program, my personal cell phone received three calls here two were hangups and one
was from azerbaijan. where and who is calling? >> guest: robocall is the scourge of civilization, i think it's been called. i get robocalls daily. i've been sitting and open meetings at the fcc and my phone will go off from the robocall. it's one of probably the only issue that what walked down my street and maneuvered people literally throw the windows open i don't music what are we going to do about robocalls? what i could tell that is we have elevated robocalls to the top enforcement priority at the fcc. we've taken a lot of action. we are actually voting at our next open beating on another step that can help address this issue. we're taking a lot of concerted action to do it. i know it is an annoyance to consumers. it can be used for fraudulent activity. we are very focused on helping to solve this problem. >> on the robocall vote coming up at the meeting, i think the idea is instead of having to
manually opt in to a service that will block calls, wireless carriers will be told hey, , its okay to just enroll customers in the services or whatever tools you have to block robocalls. should the fcc mandate that that service is free or will customers be on the hook for paying for the stools? >> guest: let's look at how exactly it's in the mid-at mide press is how do we put more tools on the table, how do we empower carriers, empower consumers to help stem the robocalls that are annoying to so many americans. >> host: a a couple other issus in a few minutes remaining. space junk. you just approved some new satellites to go up in the air. first of all, what is the fcc's role in approving satellites? and how many are out there? >> guest: this is part of what we are at such an interesting point in time for consumers. we have 5g actually out there with new fixed wireless
technologies, wired providers are putting their networks to 10g speeds. to your point, this new generation of local earth orbit satellites that can bring another broadband option for consumers. when you have potentially thousands of new satellites up in the sky you need to manage orbital debris to make sure the satellites are not run into each other. the sec historically has had roles in place to address that and we've been taking votes recently to make sure that the right rules are in place. >> host: what are those right rules and are we in danger here on earth? >> guest: is a very complicated issues obviously at the end of the day it is, in fact, rocket science to figure this out. my position is we should billing on some of the experts at nasa and other agencies have deep history and expertise in spaced help set the rules of the road to make sure we don't have any issues with these new satellites coming online. >> do you see, as these new satellites that will offer broadband source, do you see
that becoming maybe a replacement or a competitor with 5g? >> guest: it is part of this next-generation story. i was in a small farm in michigan and i was blown away by did not have data that precision aggie and smart tag is now pulling up of the poor. yet these connected combines, soil centers combat drones that are flying over fields collecting high resolution data. jason worked at the farm showed us all of this data. how do we solve to get high-speed bandwidth to those facilities? if you collect all the stated at the farm it sits there. it's not being put to good use. you need to have a connection to send it to a server center where ai can be applied and analyzed all this data. from the perspective it's going to be a mix of wired facilities, 5g, fixed wireless and satellite. that's why we're at such an interesting point in time from a competition standpoint that i
think we are seeing the convergence now and next year that we've been talking about for a while. >> i want to talk more about, we talked about rural location so much. the rural wireless association had a statement at this week and was again addressing that t-mobile/sprint merger because it has those buildout requirements. they were concerned about rural carriers and the argument is a small carrier to provide service in rural area they need to negotiate roaming agreements with larger carriers soon people will definitely they don't lose their phone service. carriers have been concern that t-mobile will not give them as good as registrant does and they pushed for at least some kind of condition. i didn't see that in the conditions in the merger. do you think there needs to be one, and if not, why not? >> guest: insuring with nextgen connectivity and rural american is one of our top priorities in finding ways to close the digital divide. when you look at the buildup that is going to take to make sure we have those facilities
out there, some of the commitments that up and put in place to accelerate that buildup is really going to benefit consumers at the end of the day so we pretty happy about that. >> so entered because t-mobile is building into those areas those customers may be wrong not need roaming rates agreement with t-mobile traffic hoping through these commands were going to see, the commitment is we will see exxon would buildup of new facilities in those communities, i think that will ultimately be a really good step. >> host: brendan carr is one of three republican commissioners on the federal communications commission which has a budget of about $322 million and about 1200 1200 employees. thanks for being on "the communicators." this communicators and all other communicators are available as podcasts. >> now on booktv more
>> look for these titles indie bookstores this coming week and watch for many of the authors on booktv on c-span2. >> thank you, everybody for coming. thank you. i am tim carney, a visiting fellow here at aei and we are here for a great conversation. it will be a conversation tonight about nationalism, nationhood, family, and fatherhood, and this excellent new book which i absolutely love, "my father left me ireland" michael brendan dougherty. in some ways w thiss