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tv   Broadband Infrastructure Hearing  CSPAN  March 23, 2018 2:03pm-4:19pm EDT

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callaway, and the indian world of george washington, and the president and the first americans, and the birth of the nation. and now a hearing on broadband infrastructure and the technologies needed to provide high speed access and members of the commerce committee are on deploying infrastructure of the rural areas. this is just over two hours.
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>> good morning. good morning. this hearing sub committee will come to order. today, we are going to be kicking off a series of hearings on the commerces committee of rebuilding america's infrastructure and we start here in the communications subxh subcommittee on a focus of how to advance broadband deployment in the infrastructure legislation this congress. i am glad to convene in hearing with my colleague ranking member shots, and broadband connectivity is the en jen driving investment, and productivity in virtually every economic sector in the united states. over to the past decades can, there have been unprecedented
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advancements in health care, agricultu agriculture, transportation and many other industries because of increasingly ubiquitous broadband connections. the connections are helping indust industries reduce costs and increase efficiencies and rapidly identify and act on the opportunities for growth. continuing the success of these developments and maintain iing e nation's global leadership in technological innovation are goals that depend on widespread access to a reliable high speed broadband connection. though we have made for more deployments and there is still disparity of the broadband rural
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plans where too many rural citizens cannot access broadband access and we have much work to do. that is a direct quote from the federal communications commission. to that end, i am greatly encourage ed encouraged by the the president's support for programs directed at increasing the broadband infrastructure deployment in rural areas. today, i hope the discuss with the witnesses how congress can most effectively and efficiently deploy the broadband infrastructure to the underserved communities and using the lessons learned earlier from the broadband projects, the president's proposal is to get communities who need broadband to get it. this should start with standardized and accurate data. about where the reliable fixed and mobile broadband already exists and are where it does not. both in mississippi and around the country. this is critical to delivering
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broadband to rural communities that lack service whether that is through infrastructure legislation or the existing federal programs like phase two of the mobility fund. inaccurate information of where broadband exists would only x exacerbate the digital divide and leave millions of rural americans further behind. we don't have accurate data yet. and i hope we can discuss that today in the hearing. as we seek to close the broadband gap in rural america, we should also plan for the next generation of broadband, such as 5g, the availability of 5g communication networks promises to transform the way we experience the internet because of the projected capacity speed and reliability to make next generation broadband a reality "
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and positioning the united states so it can win the global race to 5g. we should modernize outdated rules that delay and add unnecessary costs to broadband infrastructure deployment. a bipartisan piece of legislation that i introduced called the streamlining permitting to enable deficient deployment of broadband infrastructure, or speed act does just that. inaction on our part would take the next generation of jobs, innovation and investment out of the united states and put us at an economic disadvantage with respect to our global competitors. clearly, as the fcc concluded in its report that i have just quoted, there is much work to be done. we are almost one fifth of the way through the 21st century. we ought to be able to accelerate the deployment of next generation broadband, get all americans connected now, and close the digital divide once and for all. i'm told that senator schatz has no opening statement. and i think that's because he's concluded that i so completely covered the subject in my opening statement. so we'll get right to our witnesses that include the honorable gary resnick, mayor of
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wilton manors, florida. oh, i see, so the other part of that statement was that senator nelson wishes to make an opening statement. after i introduce our panel, we'll certainly allow that. although, and i'm crushed now that the conclusion wasn't that i had said all that could possibly be said. mayor resnick will be joined by mr. steve berry, chief executive officer of the carriers association, robert brew, and brad gillen, executive vice president, the wireless association, and mr. mike romano, senior vice president for policy in tca, the rural broadband association. and the chair now recognizes senator nelson, the ranking member of the full committee. >> mr. chairman, i do appreciate
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it. as you know, florida has many parts, as mississippi, rural areas where we desperately need advanced broadband networks. we do have advanced networks in our state, but in rural areas, such as -- and we have counties named gillcrist, levy, even some cities have little to no access to quality and affordable internet service. and in those areas, students often lack the ability to complete their homework, small businesses cannot compete, and social and political engagement is hampered.
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we have to close this digital divide, and leave no area of this country behind. that's why we've wanted to include significant direct investments in broadband deployment in any federal legislature, legislation that is with the subject of infrastructure. because the administration's proposal is simply inadequate on broadband expansion. it is incumbent on this committee to work together in a bipartisan way to provide these critical investments. everyone from those of us in the senate, to our mayors, local officials, we want americans to benefit from the availability of robust broadband.
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building these networks has always raised a number of very sensitive issues, from historic preservation and environmental concerns to state and local land use policies to tribal sovereignty, and national security. and the highly anticipated 5g wireless technology brings with it networks that will require installation of much denser wireless infrastructure made up of many more small cell facilities. so we ought to have reasoned discussion about these regulatory issues. that reasoned discussion cannot begin and end with a wiping away of key laws and regulations meant to protect our fellow citizens, and important federal state, local and tribal
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interests. steps that the fcc seems keen to take. and that discussion must include fair and fulsome input from all affected parties, including states and localities, and that's why i'm pleased that mayor resnick is here, he is here for a repeat performance. and he's going to provide the committee with the important local government perspective. and i hope that all stakeholders, including those represented before us today can work together to help find ways to effectively balance these competing concerns about citing construction broadband facilities and increasing demand for fast and reliable broadband services. mr. chairman, i thank you.
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and thank you, senator nelson. mayor resnick, we'll begin with you. i understand you represent a city of about 11,000, just off i-95. is that correct? >> that is correct. we are broward county, florida. >> mr. chairman, they're not far from the very, very terrible tragic shooting in parkland. >> that is correct, senator, thank you. two of my colleagues that i work very closely with have children that attend that school. fortunately they were fine but they will probably be dealing with the trauma for the rest of their lives. we do appreciate your sentiments with respect to that. >> well, and please do express our concern, and good wishes to all of the people who were involved. >> thank you. >> and to the citizens of your city. >> thank you. >> proceed with your testimony. thank you for coming. >> thank you so much, chairman. chairman wicker, schatz, senator, thank you for your service for floridians.
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we really do appreciate your wonderful service to the country. i am gary resnick. i have the honor of serving on the board of the national league of cities, and chairing its information technology and communications committee. i want to thank you for the opportunity to share some perspective from city leaders across the country. and for calling attention to the importance of broadband infrastructure deployment. i would also like to recognize my fellow city officials who are here today. many of my friends from florida travelled here for nlc's congressional city conference to emphasize the need for infrastructure investment. i can assure you that nobody cares more about this advance than local governments. we recognize everyone needs affordable, fast internet. cities are not the reason millions of americans lack the necessary infrastructure in their communities, today i would like to outline the challenges cities face in ensuring that all americans have access to affordable broadband.
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i would like to offer policy solutions to tackle these challenges. first, the cities continue to face preemption by states and the federal government. many states do not allow cities to build municipal networks, or even to negotiate directly with broadband providers to ensure that all neighborhoods are served. congress must preserve local authority and allow us to do what we do best, solve problems for our residents. second, too many neighborhoods, particularly less dense and lower income areas, have a lack of fiber investment. in rural communities, they're being left totally behind by new leaps in technology. it is simply not sufficiently profitable for private broadband providers to build in many cities and towns. leaving residents with inadequate options or none at all. for too many households, a broadband subscription is simply not affordable. the public libraries in my city are packed after school with
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children looking for a place to get online to do their homework. to address these gaps, congress should strengthen existing programs to expand broadband access and to tackle federal barriers. i would like to thank this committee for its work or the mobile now act and the big one legislation which eliminates some federal barriers to deployment. finally, preemption of local authority over small cell deployment is bad public policy. residents and businesses are being asked to subsidize the private sector's deployment of small cell infrastructure, supposedly for 5g. this technology does not even exist, more importantly it will not solve our problems of rural access and digital inclusiveness. small cell technology is called small, not because it is physically small, but because the signal covers a small area. this makes small cells a good technology for improving signal and profitable downtown areas, but terrible for covering communities with few potential customers.
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the federal government should work with both local governments and the city, an example that does not work is the fcc's broadband deployment advisory committee. it continues to be structurally dominated by industry. it recently completed a draft model state code that lacked input from a single local official. finally, the federal government must require responsible industry practices. in the recent hurricane season experienced by my community and hundreds of others around the country, we lost power and communications because so many of our utilities are installed aboveground. restoring communications was a challenge, as cable and wireless providers were slow to assist with recovery efforts. companies enjoying access to the incredible valuable public rights of way should be good citizens, particularly in times of emergency. on behalf of the city and national league of cities, i want to thank the committee for inviting me to participate in this hearing, and the cities are committed to ensuring that
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americans benefit from advances in next generation broadband. thank you, and i look forward to your questions. thank you, mr. mayor. >> chairman wicker, ranking member schatz and members of the subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to testify on ways to preserve and expand mobile broadband in rural america. i'm here on behalf of the cca, representing nearly a hundred wireless carriers, as well as the companies that make up the wireless ecosystem to say thank you, thank you to you and your colleagues for making broadband services in rural america a priority. like this committee, many and every cca member has an interest in closing the digital divide for communities, families and businesses. on this day, 34 years ago, the very firsthand held cell phone was sold for just under $4,000. yes, wireless has come a long way since the brick. we depend on mobile broadband coverage on every aspect of life, from jobs to public health, safety. tech companies recently
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announced plans to deploy 4g mobile broadband on the moon, yet too many in rural america are unserved or underserved. in 2016, americans consumed 1.8 gigabytes of data per month using wireless connections. this is more than 7,000 times the total of information storied in the library of congress each month. wireless usage will grow another five fold. to keep up, to ensure rural areas are not left behind, congress should act on three key issues. provide sufficient and predictable funding for high cost areas. two, base decisions on reliable data, and three, streamline policies to cite equipment and access spectrum. rural america must have mobile broadband as a centerpiece. the 2009 stimulus package failed to fund mobility. we must include specific funding to support, preserve and expand deployment where private capital
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alone is not enough to make the business case for broadband service. as congress appropriates funds for infrastructure, significant amounts should be made available for mobile broadband deployment. funding sources for broadband should ensure this committee, with its vast experience, maintains jurisdiction and oversight on over how the funding will be efficiently and effectively spent. additional broadband funding is a must, but it does not replace the long-term need for ongoing universal service funds. the fcc's implementation of the usf must meet congressional mandates for reasonably comparable services. in urban and rural areas, and provide sufficient and predictable support. i thank senators hassan and -- for addressing this issue in their legislation. the fcc should define what is reasonably comparable service, and design usf has wane gretzky to skate where the puck is going, not where it's been.
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second, we can not distribute the funding based on the ready, fire, aim approach. you cannot cover what you cannot measure. current data and mobile broadband coverage does not reflect the reality on the ground. you know the job is not done. i agree with concerns my members of this committee last month that a recent fcc eligibility map misrepresents the existence of wireless service. it is so flawed that a challenge process may not be sufficient to correct it. in this regard, i thank -- acknowledging the critical need for accurate, reliable data. whether appropriated resources or ongoing support for the mobility fund, too, funding distributions must be made on informed decisions. third, deployment and spectrum, today's carriers faced a lot of red tape to upgrade towers and smault er cells with fees and delays at each step and i thank
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the committee for the steadfast focus and strong support to begin legislation to streamline the process including the mobile now, the speed act and dig once and the rural deployment act. we also encourage the fcc to act swiftly to vote to update procedures for modern deployment. remember, small cells are not just for big cities. just last week i was with fcc commissioner carr in shenandoah valley examining how small cells and deployments are wringing new latest services to rural america. all carriers need access to high, mid and low band spectrum, the invisible infrastructure, if you will. the fcc should move quickly to auction -- including high band spectrum, for low band access, we must repack the 600 -- improved 30-month timeline. if additional funds are needed, then they should be made available immediately. and finally, access to broadband is the opportunity equalizer in the modern mobile economy. policies established by congress
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and implemented by the fcc will determine whether rural americans are part of the new economy, or will they be left behind in the pursuit of a 5g iot world. >> thank you, mr. berry. mr. boon. >> chairman wicker, ranking member schatz, and members of the senate committee on science, transportation, i'm robert debroux, drek r or the of public affairs in telecom. thank you for the opportunity to share insights on how congress can close the digital divide in rural america. i'm not only testifying today on behalf of tds, but also as a member of itta, a washington, d.c. industry association that includes tds as a member. tds owns 108 separate telephone companies that provide broadband, voice and video service. we serve a mix of rural and urban areas, such as the bottom of the grand canyon and islands off the coast of maine and michigan.
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as well as suburbs of larger cities, madison, wisconsin and nashville, tennessee. we also serve communities such as big creek, calhoun city, and sand hill in mississippi. tds has a long history of building and maintaining robust voice and data networks in its service areas. recently the administration released the framework for its infrastructure initiative which includes a broadband component. unfortunately the framework does not include dedicated funding for broadband projects in unserved and underserved parts of the country. the administration's infrastructure plan appears to set forth a process whereby rural broadband projects will compete against other infrastructure projects, for example, roads, sewers and airports for $40 billion in state-administered bloc grants. tds and itta do not think this is the most efficient and effective way to provide the dollars needed to close the digital divide and move the nation closer to rural and urban comparability. therefore, congress should specifically designate funds for
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broadband deployment and ensure the money it designates follows the course that other successful programs to date have followed. those programs which include most importantly the -- have a fcc administered universal fund high cost program have a proven track record of success in turning earmark ed funds for broadband into broadband networks. the fcc, through the usf, can maximize the impact of any infrastructure funding bill minimizing waste. the fcc has programs in place to make sure there are specific tangible obligations with associated funding and that funding goes through the appropriate areas, for example areas not already serviced by another broadband provider. one such program created by the fcc in december 2016 is the alternative connect america cost model program. this program allows rate of return carriers the option to receive usf support, to serve high cost rural areas based on a forward looking cost model in return for their agreement to maintain broadband in a specified number of households with service requirements.
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as define and enforced by the the fcc. tds, along with 206 other rural carriers opted into the 10-year program. in this program tds will receive over $75 million annually to provide broadband to 160,000 households in 25 states. tds has already begun the process of deploying fiber deep into its network with this money, thinks improving broadband in various locations, including wisconsin and mississippi. other companies in arkansas have used the funding to deploy fiber closer to companies. in nebraska, great plains communications have used the dollars to increase broadband capacity to schools and libraries in ponca, nebraska. hundreds of additional examples of this funding being used to bring broadband to consumers in rural america. congress can leverage this program as well as the legacy funding mechanisms in the high
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cost program to increase broadband deployment to rural america by instructing the fcc to increase the high cost fund budget and provide the funding necessary for that increase. thank you for the opportunity to testify today, and i look forward to answering any questions you may have. >> thank you very, very much, mr. debroux. mr. gillen. >> thank you for including the wireless industry as part of this important conversation. we particularly thank this committee for making sure that broadband is not only a national priority, it's an infrastructure priority. from our standpoint, there are two core challenges we face together. the first is the digital divide. despite billions invested and years of work, there are too many americans from northern counties in new hampshire, west virginia, i could do across the dais today, too many americans that don't have access to
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wired and wireless broopdband that we have today. we're working with you on your efforts to close the digital divide and providing more opportunities for americans. the second challenge, the chairman wicker al u lieued to it in the opening goes to the global competitiveness. we lead the world in 4g wireless, the phone in your pocket the today. right now, we are on the cusp of 5g, the fifth generation are of wireless. and we are in a race, the head of know kia -- nokia, and we are china wants to win this race. neck and neck with china. they've seen what u.s. leadership has meant for us. they're investing billions. they have over a hundred active trials ongoing today. we like to win too. we have trials ongoing in all four national carriers have announced accelerated deployments of 5g years ahead of schedule starting later this year. in all, the wireless industry is estimated to expend $275 billion of its own private capital -- to
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we ask you for help to modernize the rules to reflect the new technology. 5g is fundamentally different as a number of witnesses alluded to. it is going to be built with thes these, and they are called small cells. they will attach to street lights and the sides of buildings throughout the country, and it is estimated we will have 800,000 of these in place by 2026. to put that in perspective, over the last 30 plus years, we've installed 150,000 total cell towers across the country. so in about a third of the time, we're going to need five times the amount of infrastructure. daunting task. and right now, the good news is, a device like this only takes an hour or two to install. the challenge we face is it can take a year or two to gain approval. that's because at every level of government, local, state and federal, these get treated as if they were 275-foot tower along the side of the highway. with your leadership, these new networks will have new rules, and there are a number of
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proposals before this committee that address the core impediments that make us very optimistic. the first, chairman wicker, and senator cortez masto have the speed act, which would update federal regulation for these types of devices, the common sense proposal would slash the costs to deploy these by a third and would shave months off deploying each of these. senator -- next turning to senator schatz and senator thune working on local side, how to update the rules and the guidance to local communities. it began in 1992, '96, and most recently 2012, putting the guardrails around local action. senator schatz's proposal addresses proper rate structure, the timelines for devices like this while preserving important local authority and retaining that authority as it should. senator heller and -- are
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-- senator heller and senator manch manchin are working on the federal lands, and making sure that the federal assets, particularly in rural america, to extend broadband. i can't have a conversation about infrastructure on wireless without talking about spectrum. senator hassan and senator gardener's airways act is a central proposal to the future of our -- if we want to win the race, that gives us a road map on the spectrum we'll need to do so. if we get these policies right, 5g will be transformative. it will unlock telehealth and precision agriculture, and connected cars on the internet of things, possibility of jobs, we project three jobs in downtown honolulu, 3 million across the country. we are looking at places like jackson, mississippi, getting $140 million of local economy in the next 10 years, thank s s toe
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5g, 500 billion across the country. we're excited about what it can do and excited about your leadership. working together this year, we can help close the digital divide and win the 5g race together. thank you for your time, look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much, mr. gillen, and mr. romano, you're recognized. >> good morning, thank you for the chance to testify today. ntca and our 850 small rural tell com provider members have been singularly focused on the issue of rural broadband and making great strides to reach hard to serve areas in the most rural parts of the united states. as everyone has noted, there's much more to do to deploy and sustain networks. we're eager to be part of a conversation to develop comprehensive coordinated strategies. my testimony highlights principles and lessons learned. these are based upon members' efforts serving rural hometowns, and their experience of prior and federal state initiatives. no rural broadband investment
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can succeed if the operation does not exist. while it is difficult, it is not hard to identify the primary barrier, and the challenge of sustaining the economics of rural america. helping to make the case for rural broadband is job number one. if there is no business case and dedicated funding in the first instance. second a proven track record of delivering real results in rural areas is important. finite resources are too important to gamble. building and operating a network in an nfl city is very different than doing so in western nebraska. we should leverage the experience and existing assets of those deployed and operated a rural network to the extent possible and verify the technical capabilities of proposals. third, we need to demand the best return in leveraging public resources, broadband networks are long-term investments. they must scale over decades long lives of such assets. investing in networks that seem cheaper up front but cannot keep pace with escalating demands are
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risking leaving rural america behind. we should not be paying for a two-lane road when we know a four-lane road will be needed in a short time. the same is true for broadband. fourth, any resources made for broadband should go to where they're needed the most based on the picture of current availability and construction under way. this is one of the most vexing challenges, but it can be done better as explained in my testimony, and it is extremely important to do so. fifth, and on a related note, we must coordinate new programs and existing resources with existing initiatives. there may be no greater waste of money or opportunity in -- market can't sustain one network on its own. to date, most initiatives have complimented one another quite well, as new programs get created or older programs are repurposed the risk is that federal dollars may compete with one another. leveraging existing initiatives provides the best means of avoiding such potential conflict and waste. streamlining of permitting is important to help remove
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barriers and accelerate broadband deployment. this must be part of a comprehensive package, and not be seen as a singular solution -- moreover, my permitting release take into account 5g goals, wireless needs wires and the new saying these days is 5g needs fiber. seventh, accountability is critical. providers must demonstrate they have used the resources on the effort to deploy the promises they have made. with these principles in mind and the lessons learned, ntca suggests three steps to take in pursuing a a broadband infrastructure plan. first any infrastructure package should direct resources for rural broadband to the greatest extent possible. for example, the fcc's universal service program is a proven mechanism with additional support in the face of current shortfalls can deliver immediate results to more places at more affordable prices. we could certainly use additional resources as well, and such funds, if directed
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there, should be coordinated with fcc efforts to avoid potential conflict second, we must accurately identify where resources should go. we suggest looking to how the fcc's universal programs have done this. while not perfect, they at least contain processes to overcome mapping, which prior programs have not. until more precise mapping is available, these programs offer the best start in terms of targeting resources. we can do more to develop better maps to go forward. finally, streamlining of formatting is important. it's true the business case for investment must exist in the first instance, but once that business case is made, providers need the opportunity to hit the ground running as mr. gillen described to deploy networks and deliver services. discussions under way in the administration and congress and at the fcc all offer promise in this regard. the current infrastructure debate represents an opportunity to make great headway on rural broadband. a comprehensive coordinated plan that the leverages existing
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know-how can take stock of lessons learned make a significant difference. we look forward to working with you and we greatly appreciate the long standing and ongoing work of the subcommittee on rural broadband concerns. thank you for inviting me to be with you today. >> thank you very much, mr. romano. and thank you all gentlemen, you all submitted excellent written testimony, which will get included in the record. and your five-minute summaries were just outstanding. so my hat is off to each of you. let's begin, mr. gillen, with something you brought up, and perhaps others would like to comment on this. this race to win 5g, you say we're in a race with china and japan for example, as well as the european union. what are the consequences of letting someone else win this race? what if china wins the race and we come in second? what does this really mean to americans? >> it's a great question. chairman, i think the easiest way to think about it is looking
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backward. we led the world in 4g, that led to app economy, samsung, we have facilities here in the united states because we have the best networks to innovate off of. when we talk about 5g and the exciting things happening in health care, transportation and education, we want that innovation to happen here first. and if we aren't first, we risk that innovation going overseas. >> would someone else like to talk about that? all right, okay. if not, we'll move on and i'll get all my questions in. so do all of you agree with mr. gillen? mr. berry. >> yes, senator, i agree that we do want to be in first because we get the first mover benefit in the economy. i'm also concerned about as we move to 5g that we're also ready for 5g in all of rural america. we need to get to 4g lte, the
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long term evolution of technology and as well as the vlt and the faster we get there, the faster we can have the benefits in rural america and urban suburban america in the 5g world. i don't think that we want to leave half of the united states or half of the nation behind this economic opportunity for the new mobile world. and so that's my concern. yes, we need to be on the forefront of innovation, but we also need to do it in a way that allows the entire economy to benefit from this great opportunity. >> thank you very much. well, mr. berry, let me ask you, then, to elaborate, on the concern that i expressed, and that you expressed about data collection, and broadband mapping. i think you said it's just -- it's just totally inadequate. so if you'd comment on that first, and then if anyone else would like to follow up, please
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do. why is it -- why is the data so wrong? >> you know, the simple question to answer is the garbage in, garbage out. we're not asking -- it's clear, i had great hopes this next round of data requests would actually produce a better quality service maps. what we actually got, though, was very clear that the fcc requested the wrong perimeters in order to define a granular map that has actual meaning on the ground. >> when did that request go out? >> well, it was a whole series of discussions and back and forth with the fcc. you know, our carriers, fcc and our members said, listen, you should measure signal strength and you should measure those types of things that consumers expect for usage on the ground. and we didn't do that in this -- in the map. what you have is the map that the fcc produced that says
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here's the areas that we think are eligible for usf. and all those other areas, including like 99% of mississippi, is ineligible. and until someone challenges that, it's like having to prove a negative. i'm very concerned that the map is so disfigured in terms of its reality on the ground that it's almost impossible to have a successful challenge because you're going to have to challenge literally 98% of the united states in order to do so. it's -- we can do better. i would suggest that maybe we need all the resources of the federal government to focus on broadband data and information. ntia just a few days ago, david riddle the new secretary, suggested that nti has a great database and that they have
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local space for governments and they could build a database that is more accurate and rational about where there is broadband and where it is not. and just not the wire lines, but wireless. >> mr. debroux, you seem eager to jump. >> yes, i think -- i'm not an expert on the wireless side. on the wire line side, i think good starts have been made. we're not there, take, for example, in the a-cam program, the fcc was extremely careful to make sure there was not overbuilding. that money was not give into households who already had other options available. we are in 25 different states, and we looked very closely at where the locations would be funded, and we've actually engaged in their challenge process in various areas, and we lost some of the challenges that we thought that we should have w won, but what that meant is that there was no possibility that any money would be going for duplicative networks.
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and in that particular context, i think the fcc had done a really good job using 477 data in terms of precisely targeting the money that was available for broadband. so i think there's a start. i don't think it's all, you know, total chaos out there. i think there are various agencies that are collecting money. in addition, usac, for each location we build, each household we build to we have to provide the geocode location to them. they are building a map as time goes on. so i think with coordination among various federal agencies, i think we're getting there. but we're clearly not there yet. >> there are better maps, you say? >> well, there are better -- there's information that hasn't really made its way into the maps. when i looked at the fcc map, there were definitely flaws with it, and i think it's the way -- partly the way the 477 data was interpreted. for example, tds telecom, our parent company is telephone and data systems.
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it's also the parent company of u.s. cellular. there was confusion in the maps. in trps o -- in temperatures of what the data systems serve and it could have been the wireless or the wire line areas. there's refinement that needs to be done. the underlying data is there. it's a matter of evolving the maps and working on them and seeing what needs to be done and moving forward. >> senator schatz. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to all of the testifiers for being here. i want to talk a little bit about tech infrastructure in the kcon text of this broader infrastructure conversation. it occurs to me that democrats are unlikely to support a shifting of responsibility for infrastructure from the federal government to state and local, and they are also unlikely to support the undermining of labor and environmental protections, and likewise, republicans are likely to support at least at this time, and a big unpaid for
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straight up 1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, and yet, everybody likes the idea of funding usf to a greater degree, and you have a technical problem of wanting to make the straight the appropriation into the fund which has always operated under the statue of fee revenue, and that is context. one more point of context is that the usf contribution factor was 5 1/2% in 2,000 and 19.5% right now sh, and we have gone m 3 million broadband subscriber s at the residential levels to the about 100 million now, and that is not counting anybody who is now getting high speed internet in some other way. so you a shrinking base of revenue from people who still use the traditional telephone service that is funding
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broadband infrastructure across the country, a we support that, but if the math does not work out, and the beauty of this is that the difficulty is that a legislative body would normally have in assessing the fee for broadband, because everybody is freaked out about taxing the internet is set aside, because these are appointed officials and not elected officials and the fcc has statutory authority to have constitutional reform, and i can understand the elected officials not wanting to stand up to tax broadband, but it is unconscionable that we are charginge ing ing a smaller and number of people who are primarily rural in the first place and elderly and not as wealthy who have traditional telephone service to subsidize the rest of the world to get on broadband. we need contribution reform and we need the fcc to step up to act like appoint ed officials fr
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the quasi officials for the appointed commission, and the fcc has already shown us this year without getting into the ababsolute determined willingness to do this, and this is an unpopular thing that would make sense in terms of connecting all of our communities to the internet. and so i will start with mr. debxreue and mr. romano to see if you have anything to add to that. >> well, if it, i could not agree with you more, so i am not sure what i can add. we have a law that says reasonably comparability and it is not just a good idea, but it is the law are. in order to obtain that and in order to get broadband out in the rural eareas that is comparable, it is going to take a lot of money, and a lot of things that can be done around the margins in terms of helping getting through the rights of way, and access and all of that kind of stuff and without actual dollars being spent, we are not going to achieve come prablt,
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a -- comparability, i agree with the analysis. >> and so you are correct, the fcc has the authority and sometimes this is a question of what is broadband, but regardless of what one considers broadband, the fcc has the authority under current law to inform some type of broadband in the contributions revenue and whether it is connections basis, but that ar thuthority is thered this is about equity and we are trying to find a way to get the broadband into the rural areas and low income consume aers and the libraries and yet the one consumer not contributing to that is ironically broadband there. is an equity that the consumers left to pay for this is the consu consumers who are not making use of the broadband. and the sustainability is critical for the program and especially long-term service. if you don't have the sustainable service in the form
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of funding, we are talking about potentially providing more support for broadband and yet the high cost program is operating on the levels of 2011, because that is what the 2010 that happens to be what 2010 distributions were. so we do need to approach this fundamentally as an equity issue and hopefully find a way to make these programs more sustainable. >> thank you to all of you. mr. mayor? >> thank you, senator. that's a great question. in addition to being the mayor and working with nlc on these issues and i had the privilege of serving on the enter governmental, including the chair 2016, my committee supported the fcc reforming its programs to recognize that people are getting new technology and the programs don't work anymore based on the old technology and including lifeline program which the fcc did reform to include broadband support. so there's no reason that these programs can't be expanded to
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cover broadband service. i'm out of time so i'll take the rest of it for the record. thank you. >> let's go ahead and let in gill and mr. barry comment. >> i'll give you one more factoid for your illogical rationale and how we're spending more and more broadband and less and less contributions. wireless is actually spinning, making a significant contribution to broadband. that's the one area that's gone up. unfortunately, decisions from the last four years have reduced the amount of funds available under the high cost fund for wireless. while we're paying 45-plus percent, we get 8% now. five years ago we were paying 45% or 50% and we were getting 23.5%. how do you get high-speed mobile broadband when -- and the fund that's declining when the policies have actually decreased the amount of funds that are going global. >> what decisions? what policies?
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within the fcc and when we restructured the usf. i represent wireless so i think it's a little broadband -- i mean, it's a little wire line bias and now we're in a broadband world and we do need to address the contribution reform issue and it's been on the table for a long time and we have a lot of companies out there especially over the top companies are making a heck of a lot more on networks than the people that build and operate and maintain the networks and we need to address that. >> mr. gill? >> it truly is for us the neutrality, as well. we're paying in roughly 50% of the fund because we still have telecommunications services that all of your cell phones pay into this and we're only getting 10% of the fund back and some of the equities is who is paying in and the fairness of that program. >> mr. blunt? >> it's possible that i don't understand how 5g is going to
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work, but what i think i understand about 5g is that it would be likely to be even more slowly implemented in rural america than what we're doing now. here is the premise. the premisis if that's right and you need to have a 5g tower every -- you all can fill in the blank and it sounds like to me it's pretty close and it might work in florida, but it might not work in the rural parts surrounding wilton, florida, as an example. so the premise would be if explain to me why 5g would be implemented in those last people served and if it's not going to be immremed will we be better off to focus wired broadband for those kinds of locations knowing
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that there's likely not to be a tower built for a long time every 500 yard, and i think that's a big number based on what i've heard and mr. barry, you want to start? mr. gillam, i can see your eyes are twinkling there, and mr. -- yours, too. i'd be interested in what you have to say. >> thank you for the question, and it is a real interesting issue that i think technology is going to help us respond and address some of those issue, but 5g iot is a lot of different things and a lot of different services. there's some new technology that the narrowband technology on the iot internet of things can roll out through an lte and on top of lte networks and it's not necessarily so that 5g iot type of services and capabilities will be rolled out in rural
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america last. i think what we may have is an opportunity to actually enhance broadband service, narrowband service in some of the, you know, more cost effective deployments in rural america earlier, and so -- >> what do you mean by narrowband? >> it's the type of technology that runs on a smaller slice of spectrum and dish technology, dish is using narrowband technology as well as t-mobile is deployed in narrowband technology running side to side essentially on the guard bands of their own lte networks. technology is giving us great opportunities here and if we have some revenue and dedicated resources for mobile broadband buildout, i think you're going to see it sooner than you might otherwise expect. >> mr. chairman, i'm going have to take this call. so -- it's a 5g call. >> it's a 5g call.
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go,a head and answer the question and i will read your answer in the record. >> absolutely. thank you, senator. i think 5g will benefit rural america and it will start in the denser parts as any new technology does and it will first go to college campuses like missoula and the town square, places where you need to a hundred times more devices and a hundred times more speed and 5g will have applications as steve noted that will require low band systems to go like connect to car and other applications that will be a different technology. for us, we separate, there's rural america that absolutely will benefit from 5g and then there are americans unserved by any broadband today and those are two different challenges and we need two different sets of solutions for that in terms of 5g benefiting rural america, absolutely. >> okay.
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>> mr. udall is next. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this topic is timely and important. in new mexico we have companies including tribally-owned telecommunications, rural electric co-ops and traditional rural local exchange carriers that are working hard every day to serve the highest cost areas, but basic economics tells us they need more support from federal programs, and by support we mean dollars and not simply press releases and rhetoric. as i sit here and listen to some of the testimony it is striking as major wireless companies tout, winning the race for 5g, too many people in new mexico and those living on tribal lands are stuck without 1g while carriers have been vocal about what they see as delays, i hear from many rural areas and tribal communities about those same carriers refusing to build
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towers or serve those areas. for example, the village of reserve, new mexico was approached by a wireless company in 2014 to build a tower within village limits. surveying was completed, but then the company has failed to return a single phone call or e-mail from local officials. that was four years ago. so as we ask for companies, everyone is asking them to expand from rural areas where so many communities still do not have adequate internet and at this point, mr. chairman, i would just seek to put in the testimony of god freeh and johnny and the general manager of the tele-communications inc. in new mexico and he's also the head of the tribal entities. >> without objection. >> my to mr. barry and mr. gillam, there's talk about 5g wireless services and the need for more infrastructure to build
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out that network. the fcc is currently examining sweeping changes to section 106 requirements that have been a good example of government-to-government engagement between tribal entities and the federal government, how do your member companies view the historic preservation mandates and tribal consultation requirements in light of the fcc's draft report and order. do you believe these mandates should be weakened and are your members seeking to eliminate fees that cities and states charge, as well? mr. barry and mr. gillam? >> thank you, senator. thank you for the concern you expressed on the local tribal issues as well as the culture heritage issues. i have sort of a success story to be entered in the record and we worked there in new mexico to actually provide a tower that is
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commensurate acquisitions and we work closely with them to bring them the number one priority which was service which was culturally acceptable in its application. most of our carriers are smaller carriers and they live in the community. if they don't like something they may hear it at church and at the pta. so we're very concerned about that in the local context, but we do believe that we need modifications of section 106 in the natural -- and some of those should be focused on actually addressing historical cultural antiquities and preservation. it doesn't mack ake any sense t sometimes you follow an application and two years later you get an approval, the technology has moved so quickly that the antenna that you were
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going to put up there is now no longer the one that works in the network so you have to refile. i think there are rational, regional and logical progression in how we can not only address those issues, but speed them up and bring that service to rural america and we are totally in favor of that, and i'll share with you the story that i think was a model of how we should address the tribal issues. >> thank you. mr. gillam? >> thank you, senator. we can and need to do better with serving your residents in new mexico with respect to the tribal question that you raised because of what they're doing next week, it doesn't govern actual tribal areas or reservation and it goes to the concentration process of various significance. a carrier wanted to cite in houston before the super bowl 23 small cells in an existing parking lot. that process cost $173,000 to site something on a parking lot. what the fcc is trying to do is
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find the right balance to maintain the important tribal rights and make sure we're deploying it in a timely manner, but happy to work with you on that issue. >> mr. chairman, i think that my time's up, but the mayor, i think, wanted to comment on this. >> just briefly, i wanted to bring to the attention that the issues with respect to deployment are not only in rural areas. i happened to be in a public hearing where tallahassee is located and i know there are representatives from tallahassee and when asked by a county commissioner whether a company would install 5g technology where residents do not have affordable broadband and do not have reliable service, frankly, the industry in a candid moment said no. we don't have an economic case and we have no intention of employing employing and it's not just the rural and tribal areas that will suffer from a lack of this
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technology and it's the inner city area, as well. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator udall. senator fisher? >> thank you, mr. chairman. in nebraska, one in four jobs is agriculture related and i recently held an internet of things in an agriculture roundtable to explore the needs of ranchers and farmers leveraging new technologies that increase efficiencies and enhance crop yields. as we discussed, precision agriculture technologies are estimated to improve american farmers' crop yields by an average of $40 per acre. mr. gillam if your view are how will it affect precision agriculture to increase productivity and better manage risk? >> thank you, senator and thank you for your leadership on this issue. absolutely, we're very excited with what precision agriculture can do. we tend to think about 4g made each of our lives simpler and easier and convenient and
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agriculture is certainly one of them. you see the $40 example you gave, there are also examples of reducing water usage by 50% thanks to sensors and better utilization of data to keep farmers on farmland. we're very excited with what precision agriculture can do and we have deploying the networks to help nebraska be better farmers. >> how do you think they can better manage their risk through iot. >> you know better than i, but data is key, and the more data we can give farmers about their crops and about their land and yield that they know how to do their job. the more information we can give them the better they'll be. >> mr. romano, do you feel different metrics or approaches will be needed to properly address network coverage on our nation's ranch lands and the crop lands, as well? >> thank you, senator. i do. there are two fundamental issues today with the mapping
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structures in place, the data right now is the best available source we've got, but there are two primary, i think, issues with it. the first is it is not granular enough. if there's one location served within the census block the entire area is deemed served and those could be pretty big census blocks, particularly when you have the second thing at issue and the fact that it was self-reported and there's no verification process, and there's no verification of that and as we've seen in the mobility fund context as mr. barry described, as we've seen in other processes and statements can lead to false positives of customers being served and that means that agricultural community doesn't have the service throughout and it might only be to the town and not to the surrounding areas. >> how can we get better mapping? how can we find those dead spots that are out there? because in my area they certainly exist.
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>> so there are two things there. with respect first to how do we get a better data set beyond the 477. one thing that we suggested and mr. dubrow mentioned this a moment ago is this notion of geocoding. we had actual questions about the process of geocoding, but what we found was on a going forward basis where customers were actually served it's not an unmanageable process and it could help to provide a transition to figuring out each in every location does the customer have what the provider says they have there? >> mr. romano, in your testimony you referenced important distinctions in the fcc's usf and usda and u.s. programs in terms of persistent rural broadband challenges. you also stated that it is essential that these longstanding, complimentary relationship between rus and the usf initiatives continue. how do you envision improved coordination going forward between the two federal agencies
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so that we can avoid possibly overbuilding so we can look for more enhanced accountability and still maintain the integrity of these programs? >> thank you, senator. rus and usf have worked very well together and there were times that they were improved and one agency was moving quick are than another or different directions and it's been highly effective and relatively consistent. the question now is that we talk about branching into new programs and the initiatives and farm bill and what have you, this is an opportunity to make sure we have the right guardrails in place and what we do not want to have happen is to have two programs funded and two different providers to operate to the same location. they'll be pitting programs against each other and you're making use of resources that could have gone to other unserved areas or affected the affordability of services. having guardrails in place to make sure that a program
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recognizes, for example, there is an fcc build going on over here, it's going to be important to make sure those two programs work in concert. >> and how are we going to make sure that this is extended to the state level so that those dollars can be maximized? do you have any thoughts on that? >> so, yes, senator. we've been looking at the prospect of potential state block grants. the states will be racing to get money out the door as fast as they can and we'll have to make sure the same sorts of guardrails are in place and for example, new york had to do this in their program. they made sure they had the program with the initiatives to avoid the prospect of overbuilding and the same care needs to be taken if we go to the say the route. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chair. >> senator haskill?
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>> it remains a central focus of mine. i thank mr. gillam and mr. barry for a couple of the efforts i've worked in and i've worked closery with senator garner which would free up more spectrum resources to power our nation in 25g and the bill would set aside a portion of from seeds for broadband initiatives and additionally i worked with senator caputo, and this is i name that rolls out the time, the rural reasonable and comparable wireless act of 2018 which would help close the digital divide and expand access to broadband and rural parts of the country. so i'd just like to give you both mr. gillam and mr. barry an opportunity to talk to us about how these bills would assist us in reaching our connectivity goals and spur growth in our economy. why don't we start with mr. gillam and mr. barry? >> thank you, senator. spectrum policy are key to solving this puzzle. when you look at the low-band
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spectrum we sold last year, that's enabling carriers now to reach rural america including those out to montana right now because that spectrum goes a great deal of distance and that spectrum is definitely a key part of this puzzle and as you alluded to, the idea of the rural dividend and money raised through the auction goes back to rural deployment and that does get to the point, and where is it coming from? this is the wireless industry supporting a wireless industry build where you guys want us to build. it's a rather unique way of doing this and you're able to do approximately see in the same item. great. thank you. mr. barry? >> yes and thank you so very much for not only your interest in those two bells and generally in is up port of broadband deployment. >> we totally agree, the airwaves act gives a road map of when you can reasonably expect to be coming up and it will give carriers an opportunity to say this is where i'm going to go in
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my deployment scenarios. we'd love to see band 27 and 47 included in that because i think those two are, you know, high-speed mobile bands. we appreciate that and we include the 10% set aside and we focus attention on how do we get the new service out there sooner rather than later and thank you for your help. i think if the fcc read your bill on reasonably comparable, wireless services we might have had a little more due thought to designing the perimeters around the data request that they made. thank you. >> well, i appreciate that, and i was just going to add my voice to the chorus to speak about how inaccurate the data and the maps are. at the end of last year as i think you all know i held a field hearing to examine the state of broadband in the
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granite state and mapping came up frequently throughout the conversation. it continues to be a serious challenge that throws off our efforts at ensuring adequate coverage particularly in rural areas. last week i joined a bipartisan group of senators in the letter to the fcc regarding the recently released map which showed most of new hampshire is covered and ineligible for support through the mobility fund. i will tell you, you can drive from concord, new hampshire, our state capital to the biggest city in the southwest corner along routes 202 and 9, and you cannot get cell phone coverage for most of that trip. i -- as governor, i had to try to respond to public safety emergencies, and police radio in the car, and it would be extraordinarily difficult. your own members, mr. barry, testified at our failed hearing about their own lack of mobile
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service between manchester and keen. so how can we work to address these issues so that small carriers are not overburdened and states like new hampshire are not left to bear the brunt of the digital divide. thank you for the question. >> years ago, my grandfather owned an old two-ton truck, and every time you wanted to take it out of groundhog and wanted to go faster you had to change gears and you have to double clutch it. i think we have to double clutch this data access requirement. we need to get the right data to put this thing in a higher gear because our carriers want to build out and i think we double clutch it by getting all of our source of federal data and information included in it. david rattle, as i mentioned to chairman wicker suggested that nti has a lot of data and they have good relationships with states and counties and municipalities and they have
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that information, and it's not been tapped and not been utilized. i think we can do a better job of that and hopefully we can come up with a better map of where there is and is not. one thing i would mention on the day that mr. romano mentioned is a little easier to identify where you have a fiber or a wire -- wireless is a lot different and the measuring devices and the measuring scenarios are different and they're away from the central, and so they finally recognize that whether it's a part of it and so, we are working on it and we're trying to do better, but i think we can use some help from some of the other agencies. >> thank you, and i know that i'm over time, mr. chair, so thank you, and i look forward to hearing the rest of the hearing. >> thank you, senator hass em. i now recognize myself.
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>> let me direct this to mr. romano. the fcc is in the finishing stages of the high-cost program and as you have testified, as we know, that's resulted in cuts and uncertainty for small and local broadband providers. we know it's clear and true in rural kansas. this lack of sustainability puts the investments that have been made at risk, the future, and it creates an unwillingness or could create an unwillingness for additional investment in the arena. you may have answered this question in response to senator shots, but what is the long-term solution to making certain that the that the investments made have a return and that there's enough certainty that we'll make future investments. >> thank you, senator. the answer i made to senator shot which is related to the sustainability of the funding mechanism itself. i think your question goes to a
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related issue which is the sustainability of the networks that the provider is able to invest in and the reliance upon the program to make their investments. you were making investments here and we're talking about measurements and decades. these are assets that will be long-term infrastructure assets over which there will be cost recovery over the course of decades. the fcc had tried to reposition those and the mechanisms to support those and it rebuilt the engine and that's been the fundamental problem and we've seen in kansas that the impacts have been worse than average, in term was what it means both for recovery of existing investments and the ability to plan for future investments. we are deeply gratified that the fcc seems inclined to take steps for the budget shortfalls that have hit carriers harder, and we are hopeful that those actions will come true, but there will be the case to the point of sustainability and the budget control hits again and so we'll be right back in the same thing with providers looking at that time saying can i make investments for the next year?
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should i hold off because i don't know what the budget controls will be and it's an ever-escalating cuts so far and we're hoping it will give us the opportunity for a conversation as soonals possible about what it means for the program. >> do you have any basis far hope? >> the fcc is talking about an order that would address the issues and mitigate some of the budget shortfalls and we understand that there will be asking questions about what is the hope of the budgets looking forward, with the comparable rates and the predictability and sufficiency upon. >> thank you, mr. romano, mr. barry, your testimony indicates that cca supports including the 39-month broadcaster repac in a timely fashion with adequate resources provided to broadcasters to expedite the transition and prevent delays to the winning bidders. i'm an advocate for that repac
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and for adequate funding. cca members made up most of the winning bids for this particular spectrum. can you confirm and explain how funding certainty for relocated broadcasters translates into competitive wireless carriers expeditiously deploying broadband? >> thank you for sponsoring the viewer protection act also. 600 megahertz was the second largest auction that actually ever occurred in the united states and is critical for our members to get 600 megahertz deployed in the networks. it's great propagation characteristics in rural america and that's why 600 megahertz lte is going to be a great opportunity to get high-speed mobile broadband. we need to repack, and we think the 39-month timeframe that congress set is the right timeframe. we were very supportive of the
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broadcasters' efforts to not only repac, but do it in a timely fashion and a safe fashion, and i think additional funds, and we've identified the cost of additional funding need, and i think it's reasonable to respond to that. we made u.s. treasury made probably $13 billion net on that and almost $7 billion that went into the first responder program as you'll remember out of that auction. so i think it's fair and reasonable and let's get the spectrum out there as fair as possible and get the networks. >> thank you very much. >> i won't ask a question, but i'll make a comment. there's been a theme or mapping or data accuracy. senator wicker, a number of us joined and if we can send a message to this hearing in the fcc in regard to the accuracy, we're talking about the phase two map, and i heard what mr.
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dupe row said about it, there is a standard there and a place to start, we can work from, but let me in particular with the appeals process and it puts a burden on people and you start -- first of all, you start from a map that's improperly determined. the accuracy and the value of the map is nil in my view. even if you start with the baseline and the ability to modify the map and necessary for a carrier and community to get it changed. i don't think it's something that will be easily done and my hope is that we start with a different map as compared to trying to get the appeals process that i don't think will work and will leave behind the folks that we're desperately trying to provide service to. >> we might as well say, senator moran that it is utterly worthless in terms of giving us good information. >> you one-upped me, mr. chairman.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman and kudos to you, mr. barry for the double clutching and getting out of groundhog -- you are probably more politically correct. >> my first question is to mr. gillam and that's been referred to before that we need to win the race to 5g. what constitutes a win? is that people covered? businesses covered and geographical area covered? what constitutes a win to 5g? >> for us, it is that next generation of innovation and opportunity that happened here first, so it is a matter of having enough scale that we have enough entrepreneurs and innovators to build off our platform and so absolutely, it starts with the number of people covered in a timely manner. >> that's the definition of respect. the number of people covered in one block in new york city is far more than the county i live in, and my county is bigger than most of the states -- not most of, a fair number of states so
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the question is how do we get 5g into rural america? how do we get it there? the senator from nebraska talked about precision farming, but it's more than that. how do we get it the there? >> let me put it this way, i'll be more specific. do you commit to a pilot program for montana on 5g? >> i'm happy to work with your office for something that looks like. for us, 5g starts with the densest area and it is places like missoula and town squares and just like 4g and we continue to get 4g and the job is not done by far. >> i'm not picking up verizon, but i happen to have one of your phones in my pocket. have you seen the map, and by the way, i'm picking on you because i have you. have you season that advertisement? >> do you agree with that map?
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>> i've only happened to be in missoula. >> missoula and big sandy is a hell of a lot different. i'll just tell you that, and it's a 75-mile drive for me from great falls to my farm and i'll bet i don't have coverage 25 miles of that and that map is all red. you want to talk about that? >> yes, sir, and i do appreciate the question, and this is something that nationally cities and countries are facing is that there is a misunderstanding to 5g especially when they ask states with respect to deployment. the industry comes in and says we will have 5g in your communities and throughout the state and it's the next-generation broadband and we need it and what they're doing is denseification of 4g networks in very dense city areas for the most part. i'll just give you an example and the state of nebraska is currently debating a preemption, small-cell deployment bill the same as florida passed last year and the cities led by the city of lincoln talked about lowering
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their rates for attachment to city-owned polls to city and county-owned polls. they're willing to reduce the rate for the market rate of about $2,000 per pole to $95 per pole if the city would agree to build out the entire state. >> that isn't the problem. the problem is you look at these bars on this phone, when i go home, there are none. there are no bars on this phone. we're not even close to talking about 4g or 3g or any g where i live. we're not even close. i might be able to get a text message and unless i'm standing in the right corner of my mouth held in the right direction this phone does not work. >> i live in one of the more populated areas of the state. >> and get back to the eligibility map and you raise a really important point. it says it's covered and it says a lot of places are covered and
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what the fcc did, how do we fix that? the fcc is wrong, they screwed up. how do we fix it. >> what they decided was to collect data that was not what i would call -- who did they collect it from? who did they collect it from? >> they requested perimeters from the data and information from all of the carriers and the carriers -- and we suggested that this was the wrong conclusion. what they chose was the recommendation from the two largest carriers on how to measure coverage, and i'll tell you in the last eight years the fcc is time and time again under several administrations said we have 98% coverage throughout the entire united states. you made a statement in the opening statement garbage in and garbage out and there's got to be a way to get the fcc's attention on this issue and it's come up in almost every one of these questions and we are not
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going to solve the problems of wireless, broadband and anything in rural america if we don't have good information and i will just say i've got 400 questions to ask you guys and put them in writing and the bottom line is if we don't get this right, and if we don't do it. it's limited, and i'll pare back the 299 with due respect, the truth is there are plenty of folks out there that say why do these guys live in rural america? they knew they didn't have the coverage when they moved there. i looked at my grandfather's diary in 1915 and he said damn it, there's no cell coverage out here. we ought to do better, folks. it's not working. thank you. >> senator klobuchar? >> thank you very much. i think tester said it all down there, but i want to start out. i noticed, mayor, that you mentioned that the build that
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i've been leading for quite a while and we're hoping we can get it done and it's included in the mobile now, and recently passed the house as part of the fcc reauthorization bill and as you know, this allows for better coordination between state departments of transportation and broadband providers during construction. you want to -- i know you r a comment on this, but maybe, mr. barry, do you want to add anything and if you want to add anything, that would be great. >> it's nice when common sense makes its way into law. >> really? and it doesn't happen that often and we do appreciate it. my city, for example, and this is around the country and we receive federal funds through the mpo with $10 million in road improvements and it's very simple to make sense and we're digging up the road and no real extra expense and we were frankly told because these were transportation and federal dollars that we will not allow to put in conduits and we appreciate the big ones, and the
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new legislation and i think that's going to go a long way around the country to speed up deployment of broadband. >> thank you. >> same here. not only thank you for that and also signing the letter to the fcc on the eligibility map and we appreciate that. believe it or not, it does have a real impact in rural america also. when you're building that road if you can dig once, it makes a huge difference and what we're talking about is how do you get that initial capex investment down so that you can use that money to build out? >> i was just in shenandoah valley last week with the commissioner carr, and chantal, which is a small carrier, a larger carrier for our purposes, saying that if they can decrease their cost of deployment to comply with federal rules and regulations and they can put 13 more towers just on that one area. so that's significant broadband buildout. >> thank you. >> a different subject, mr.
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romano, we just got the quality and reliability act passed with chairman thune and senator tester and these are the dropped calls that have been going on in rural areas and the president just signed it into law and it's going to establish some basic quality standards and a registry at the fcc. can you talk about how that would be helpful? >> yes, thank you to all of you who supported that bill and thank you for intusing it and to echo the comments and make it into law. we should have reasonable expectations that our calls are going to go through and it's an epidemic that we're doing in rural america and calls were not reaching rural america and they still aren't today and there have been efforts to improve the situation and all of a sudden it pops back up in another space and what this bill will do and it's critical is it brings transparence toe the marketplace and it helps the fcc and helps states and the industry to understand who is involved in
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taking these calls and finds out, and makes them register and are they doing the basic job, and we asked basic business registration for conducting business and registration and this bill does a similar thing in terms of calling those people out and making sure we can find them if you need to ask the questions to get the calls completed. thank you. >> okay. thank you. mr. gillam, in the run-up to super bowl lii, i like to mention that we had super bowl lii, several calls were made before, during and after the game and they lay the groundwork for 5g communications capabilities in the twin cities. how do small cells help increase the data usage? >> we should all visit minneapolis because it has the best wireless network as a result of the super bowl, and that is minneapolis as a city to create a rate structure and the time line to allow the small
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cells to be invested. so you have five times more capacity in minneapolis today than you did this time last year and you saw 71 times more traffic during the super bowl than you did last year's super bowl. so in terms of where minneapolis is with that small cell infrastructure, they're ready for 5g in a way other cities aren't today. >> how could that be helpful to all in the rural areas? we don't have that coverage in the rural parts. >> yes, absolutely, senator. i think part of it is starting in the rural town centers, college campuses and areas that are denser. we were talking about truly unserved areas, we need to talk about how the mobility fund and other programs work and the challenge as we all said is getting the data right in order to make sure funding the right places and truly unserved areas we'll need more help, whether it's coverage today, 5g will serve rural america, as well. >> thank you very much. >> now that item sitting on your
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witness table there, that won't answer the question that senator klobuchar asked about rural coverage. >> this will be rural coverage in a town square and others are more digital technology for truly coverage areas and more rural communities. >> why is that going to work in a town square and not five miles out of town? >> this is only supposed to go about meters in terms of how far it will go and what we were talking in terms of serving rural mississippi we need to go miles. >> okay. >> well, darn. >> the technology is getting better every year. >> mr. romano? >> that's one point that's important to make, there are many tools in the cool kit to solve rural challenges and it may help in small towns and our average density in the customer base is seven people per square mile and we're talking about 30%, 40% of the u.s. land plass and it will be difficult to get the small cells out there, we hope that they will, and it will require denseification to feed
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those small cells and at the end of the day in rural america, you are almost auctioning about fbi tore the home network because they'll be several hundred feet apart in order to achieve the promise of 5g in rural areas and it will take an integrated solution of wired and wireless networks to achieve the broadband that we're talking about. >> senator? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you with all of you. i think we've worked with just about everybody on the panel again for echoing what many of my colleagues have said, but i've now figured out how to get rural broadband to west virginia. host the super bowl. it's that easy! but i was recalling a conversation as i was listening to your testimony several years ago that i had with a major provider and said i what is it going to take? what is it going to take? insisting like senator tester, two things, time and money. i get tired of hearing the same thing. time and money. that's what you all are telling
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us. time and money. so we try to focus the money. we have a rural broadband caucus and senator klobuchar and it's bipartisan and we have the desire, but i hear about 5g development and i know 5g obviously, the president's decision this morning to disallow a merge are because of security reasons around 5g tells me how important that is on one and mr. gillam, you've spoken to that, but it also tells me when you're talking about density in town squares and college campuses, we're still not -- they're going to have 5g, but we're still not going to have the ability of what you want to do. i'm frustrated as i'm sure you all are, and the last mile. so let's talk about the census track and we talked a lot about that and we have the same issue and we have a broadband issue in our state that asks people to do the self-test to see how fast.
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el flunko. the results are terrible. the data is not reflective and better yet what they're paying their bill the service to receive is not matching with what their data test is, but so what would it take? now it's, like, with one person served in the census track and the whole census track, what would be a better metric? 50%, 51%? mr. romano? >> i would submit this geocoding opportunity and the geocoding method is a good opportunity and the fcc is requiring those that get the latitude and longitude, and what mr. barry mentioned about mobile and the fixed broadband, and you are then required to show, you actually had the service that you're delivering to each of those locations and if we can get to that level and you're going to take time and trying to go back and geocode every location where everyone installses a huge
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burden. >> ywould you consider that a third-party verification? when they do a new installation to a rooftop to a premise and they've installed service there and reflecting what they've installed and they are still carrier reported and the verification process, and the universal service dollars and for example, you need a more robust challenge process with the mobility fund than we've had with other funds before and there isn't service there, and rather the provider that there is service there comes forward to validate and yes, there is service there such that you should not put federal dollars toward the program to invest there. >> so the other thing money. we talked a lot about the universal service fund and the connect america fund and where those dollars are going. we had the stimulus package, the west virginia stimulus package was 126.3 million and guess what? a lot of it was wasted.
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it was a wasted opportunity for our state, and sort of embarrassing, too, when the stories came out. so i put together an act called the go act and a gigabit opportunity act which is trying to use the tax code to drive investment to these last areas so the governor could designate much like he's going to be doing under these opportunity zones that we created in the tax reform bill and the governor designates these deserts of development. so you could -- the governor could designate an unserved area in the broadband area and you could create a fund that would draw investment through the tax code into the gigabit opportunity zones. so i would ask you all to take a look at that to try to drive more private investment into these areas before we give 5g to everybody else and we're still sitting there with very little
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to no service. >> my last question is mr. gillam, you mentioned telehealth and that's very important to an elderly state. chronic conditions can be monitored so well to people who lack transportation and mobility and a physical mobility themselves or any family members nearby to get them to the health care provider. how do you see that rolling out into the really remote areas? >> thank you, senator. it goes exactly to the challenge that you face and those that need the telehealth the most are those that you need to reach. on a global scale it's a huge amount of savings and better outcomes for patients and we do see a great promise in the ability to revolutionize health care and drive down cost by bringing health care closer to you and not having to drive to get care. it will be transformative when we get there. >> i know the va is moving in this direction, too, which i would highly encourage and i think that would be good, sort
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of test drive -- i know it's being done everywhere because i've actually been to a couple of demonstrations and, but really important and lastly, i'll say, mr. chairman, one of the biggest phenomenons with our elderly is loneliness and connectivity can help with that. you know, it's not waiting by the mailbox to get a better. just think if you can facetime with your grandchildren or something like that to try to help with the other issues that go with your mental health as you age i think it holds great promise and thank you all very much. >> thank you, senator capitow. >> thank you for the statement about the elderly. the person most skilled at facebook is my 93-year-old mother. she is amazing with it, and it is about being connected and it's transformative to her and countless other seniors. thank you for bringing that up. thank you today for that and certainly, i think it's clear from the panel here we all agree
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that broadband internet and high-speed internet in you'ral areas is absolutely critical. i really equate it to our country's effort in the last century to make sure that everybody no matter who you are or where you live, you have access to electricity that it was absolutely critical that we make sure that everybody had access to it in today's age of high-speed internet is in that same category. so that's why i'm disappointinged that it seems like president trump does not share that and the fact that the infrastructure package doesn't include any, none, zero, dedicated funding for rural broadband which i think is a big mistake. >> my question for you, though, is that i've heard from many local business leaders in michigan that have reached out to me about the rural utility service community, kkt a grant program which prioritizes grants to communities that have zero or very little access to broadband. certainly an important goal, but they've identified a problem with that grant, and i want to
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run that by you and get your thoughts on it. >> as it currently stands, if any one household within the an mri scant's defined geographic area has defined service at or above per second speeds, the entire community becomes ineligible to be considered for those funds and while it's important for these grants to target communities most in need, the 4-1 speed threshold has not been updated in years. it's substantially below fcc's definition of broadband coverage of 253. so who i'm considering now is some legislation that will modernize the grant program. the eligibility cutoff is intended to be the base minimum for broadband coverage and preserve the program's ability to prioritize the most underserved communities and however, it's my understanding that 4-1 is no longer a bare minimum. do you think that the 4-1 speed threshold currently used by the
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usda should be updated and that's to anyone. what do you think about that? >> i'll start out. thank you for your question. i do think we need to take the law seriously and the words reasonably comparable, they add, there's fuzziness on the end, but there's no way that 4-1 is reasonably comparable to what you can get in major metropolitan areas and the fcc tracks speeds and prices in major metropolitan areas and i think that there needs to be something in place that makes sure that the speeds in rural areas get ratcheted up as those go up in metropolitan areas and there needs to be a connection in there. >> any others agree? >> yes, senator, thank you. we do agree. our members have actually made effective use of the community connect grant program as it's constituted so far, but i think a refresh and an update would be helpful to make sure that we're continuing to raise the bar. your question goes again to this point of do you disqualify an entire area and an entire
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community simply because one location may be lucky enough to be served and there are some cases that go to the homework app. you go to a school that may have gotten the region together and that would disqualify it if i understand the parameters of the connect grant appropriately and it's a good point and one well taken and we look forward to working with you on that. >> again, i go back to the reasonably comparable service and also data. how can you set a standard. how do you know what it is unless you have qualified data? we may be to the point that the third party verifier collector and verifier of data, ntie has put $50 million in their budget for data collection and producing a new broadband map. maybe the time has come so we have a third-party verifier that would actually collect the data and information, uthent kate it and provide that information to every agency in the federal government saying this is where there is and is not broadband coverage and you can put the speeds with it, and 4-1 is in
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most urban and suburban areas would not be considered usable video streaming capability and you have some definition problems there, and i think the data is the key to whether or not you can make that happen. >> it's pretty clear that that is simply a worthless standard as part of it that we should be modernizing that. any idea as to where we should set that threshold and any advice? >> i would say -- i wouldn't say it's a worthless standard and it's a pretty important standard. we're still going back to, you know, no connectivity versus 4-1, sounds pretty good, but it would be nice if you knew where those speeds were and where that connectivity level was and have that in a map that you can utilize for all different types of funding programs and not only the rus program and the fcc
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program and the other two sources that you're going to make available which is under the budget act $20 billion there and you've also identified additional funds that will be in the infrastructure bill and we don't know what they are, but wouldn't it be nice to have the ability to put all of these programs together on a map that says here's how we can reach those most unserved area in the united states? >> thank you so much. >> thank you, senator peters. senator blumenthal? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks for having this hearing. >> i want to talk a little bit about urban areas which, in my view are as important as rural areas and lack of adequate service, ellen katz who is the consumer counsel for the state of connecticut recently testified at the house energy
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and commerce hearing on closing the digital divide with regard to the gap in hartford. she called it the homework gap, and i think that's a common way of putting it. her report observed that many students lack adequate broadband and they go to fast food restaurants or they sit outside in all kinds of weather trying to pick up wi-fi from another building in order to do their online score. this problem exists in connecticut where services are available in excess of 90% across the state. they must be an even bigger problem in other urban areas around the country. so let me begin with mr. resnick, would you agree that the digital divide certainly exists in urban as well as rural areas? >> yes, senator.
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thank you for the question. i actually included that in my testimony earlier today that we are seeing within urban areas the lack of broadband access by so many people simply because it's just unaffordable as i indicated, the library in my city and the libraries in our areas are packed with children just trying to get online to do homework. we actually had a conversation with fcc commissioner rosen, about this very issue and she's from connecticut and she made very strong statements confirming that there are so many children that just do not have access to needed broadband simply to do their homework and they are being very creative. as you indicated, they're going wherever they can find a good wi-fi hot spot, but that's certainly not the answer and this is happening not just in inner cities, but in suburban areas like my city throughout the urban area and this is a significant problem to address,
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as well. >> what's the best way of meeting that urban need? >> i think we need to focus on ways to possibly reduce the cost of broadband. it's just currently, you know, to get 10 megs of broadband service costs many families over $100 a month. that's just not affordable. communications costs for a family is now easily over $400. my neighbor who is retired, an 88 gentleman talking about connectivity for seniors, of course he wants facebook to stay in touch with his children around the country to stay involved in the community. he spends over $400 a month for communications services and he's not getting anything special. he's getting basic service, so i think we have to address the affordability. >> the connecticut office of state broadband which is a division of the office of consumer counsel headed by ellen katz assessed this and the
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report noted that a lot of connecticut families are frustrated that a smartphone is regarded pie policymakers and the public as a substitute for a home connection for broadband internet access. of course, smartphones are typicallyec pensive and difficult to use to complete written schoolwork or write papers. i don't know how anyone could possibly use a smartphone to do a paper. would you agree that a smartphone is no substitute for a home connection for broadband access? >> yes, sir. we were disappointed that some members of the fcc wanted to include wireless broadband service as satisfying the requirements for meeting broadband deployment. as you indicated, children cannot do homework on a mobile device, especially on a smartphone. it's just impossible to do
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papers and significant research and it will create more of a digital divide if some students will be relegated solely to that technology as opposed to have full broadband access as oppose to full broadband. we recognize that. >> it's a form of sort of second-class citizenship. >> exactly. >> in a broadband world. >> exactly. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator blumenthal. senator sullivan? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the panel's insights on a lot of tough issues for us. i'm going to go back to the rural focus, which has been a lot of the discussion here in this hearing, and you know, sometimes we talk about rural and then we can talk about my state, which is -- i'm not sure how you would define it, but ex-troop rural. -- extreme rural. in terms of size, 735,000
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people, dozens and dozens of communities that aren't connected by roads and so if you can put yourself in the shoes of alaskans right now, you know, hearing like this, talks about five g sighting and el considers and a lot of my communities don't have 2 gl. excuse us if we're not getting fired up about 5 g when we're not far down the line at all on some of the previous technologies. so i'll start with you, mr. romano, but really i open it up to anybody. what would be some of the most important ways in which to address this, just -- we're a big country, obviously. connecticut is a lot different than alaska, and -- but what would be ways to really address kind of the challenges that we have in the most extremely rural parts of america? whether it's alaska or some of
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the other communities you heard here? i always look at this in some ways as kind of a balance between streamlining permitting to actually get technologies out and not delay, delay, delay, an enormous problem with infrastructure in america. whether it's telecommunications or roads and, of course, funding, but, again, looking at some of the extreme rural communities, like we have in alaska, what would you say are the big issues? and what are the problems that -- is it the national historic preservation act? where do we need to focus to really get, deal with communities that have been left behind, and unfortunately i have thousands if not tens of thousands of my constituents who, they never talk about 5 g because they're still waiting for 2 g. >> thank you, senator. yes, we have 13 members that cover a significant footfrint in your state and are familiar with
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the challenges that you face, your constituents face. alaska has unique challenges. generally speaking with respect to rural challenges we believe in an infrastructure package could contain two or three key elements. first, funding. second permitting, third tax incentives. different tools in the tool kit depending on what the particular challenge faced. i suggest with respect to alaska in particular funding is a big issue. there's no way around it. the fact is these remote villages will be tough to connect and build in your build season is short. supplies are costly. all of those things drive higher costs in alaska for sure. never mind distance and density alone. infrastructure funding and looking, leverages initiatives is critical. those places in alaska with success, sufficient universal funding for the carriers that can invest. villages left behind in many respects those areas where universal service hasn't worked as well, although the fcc has tried to recalibrate to do so.
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one last piece. middle mile. a challenge often overlooked in universal service context because everybody is talking about local telephone service. where university service started, but we need the connections to connect rural alaska, rural nebraska, new hampshire, everywhere else to the rest of the world. those are not supported at all. connections critical, increasingly, sending mission critical data across those communications in terms of agricultural data, connectivity, streaming video. that's a big challenge in alaska in particular. >> just on that, you're kind of three areas, would you kind of place one above the other? or kind of all, all of the above, taxes, streamlining the permitting processes and funding? what would you say? is there a hierarchy or just attack all three? >> in is a hierarchy. finance and funding, first. you don't have the business to invest doesn't matter i can get permits. i can't build the network to begin with. first and foremost. where needed.
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business case not there, you need funding to make the business case. if the business case is there whether through funding or through the ability to make it on its own in the marketplace, then move to permitting. ability to hit the ground quickly, reduce barriers and costs of deployment and get the networks working for consumers. third, tax incentives. they are an interesting tool in the tool kit but deeply rural areas not moving margins much. areas it's hard to make money investing in the first place. not making money you don't need a tax break on the money you're not going to make. >> thank you very much. >> mr. gardner? >> thank you, thanks to all of you for your time and testimony today. you talked about infrastructure for the future. this is a critical piece and infrastructure for wireless, juice keeping innovation running, satellite, wi-fi and other technologies. the committee's didn't great work and grateful for leadership on this including mobile now act that recently passed the house as part of the raybon act. say something about the name of
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that bill. ray is a -- was a, beloved figure in the house and great person. needed this recognition. continue to keep up the pressure to free even more spectrum and hope to close that digital divide. that's why senator hassan and i introduced the airways act freeing up licensed and unlicensed spectrum and build out the broadband networks. do you agree with should continue evaluating future spectrum policy? >> i think we should. airwaves is the road map for the future of the country when it comes to spectrum policy. in one place, low, mid, high spectrum license and unlicensed and the opportunity to make a difference in terms of a five-year race. other things you've done including that bill a dividend to ensure money coming in through the treasury will go back out to serve rural america, serve the plains, serve the parts of colorado that don't have coverage today. you get to do both spectrum and
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infrastructure policy. something we haven't seen before. >> thank you. and following up on rural comment, the fcc released a new map mobility fund phase two support. appreciate the fcc's attempt to improve the map. i continue to have, but continue to have concerns it doesn't reflect actual coverage on the ground in my home state of colorado. i tell you that, the mile markers south of town according to the map has excellent coverage somehow i don't for mile upon mile upon mile when driving it. eastern plains, nearly the entire region is shown it's served. i know first hand large service gaps exist. pleased about this decision, but are many member companies planning to participate in the challenge process? what does that look like and what do you expect? >> thank you for the airwaves act. i could add two additional bans in there. 24 and 47. >> bands together. sounds good to e moo. >> you got it. you're absolutely right. i was going to congratulate you on getting 100% coverage in
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yuma, that's what the map said you have, obviously, i was premature in my congratulations. my neighbors think i'm nuts because i have to walk to the end of the block to get cell phone signal. >> yeah. >> yes. many of our carriers are going to participate in the challenge process. the problem is the map is so distorted in terms of reality of the coverage that it will be exceedingly difficult for 134 8 smaller carries to challenge vast territories of the map. this is one thing mentioned today. i think senator hassan also mentioned. if you don't challenge it, you're not going to be eligible for usf for ten years. the reof course option occurs. make a decision. those areas not deemed eligible if not challenged, auction occurs 4.53 billion dollars go out over the next ten years. >> how do we fix it and get this right? >> i suggested elderer, utilize
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all resources we have available at the federal government. nti indicated, the new assistant secretary said they have information, data. they have data points that could contribute and inform the fcc on that. i think we need to do that. the problem is, the 2009 stimulus act, the money went out the door before the broadband map came in. we should not -- committee the same error th same -- commit the same error. get the data right providing the funds available. some of the areas innovative ways that we could inform the database. >> thank you for that. mr. romano, when the program was created in 2009, many people were hopeful about the money it would bring into rural infrastructure, underserved areas. $100 million went to an outfit called eagle net in colorado. i strongly -- and obviously they overbuild existing providers failed to years to meet service
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obligations and now are gone. i strongly support including specific funding for broadband and infrastructure package but want to make sure we never have a situation like we did with eagle net. both from a competition standpoint and the fact somehow denver creek school districtr underserved in its position. will you support this for providers? >> thank you, sir. absolutely, yes, sir. that's one of the reasons we suggest leveraging such as the university service fund while it has shortcomings in terms of data available and challenge processes. it is by far the best way of ensuring we're targeting money in the right places that exist now and great accountability in the back end in the form of measuring where broadband is deployed and whether the providers can do that it says. >> thanks for the work you're doing in colorado. i'm out of time. thank you. senator baldwin? >> thank you. mr. chairman, and ranking member
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for holding this hearing and to the panel of witnesses for share are your expertise. i want to particularly welcome bob. fellow wisconsinite from the madison based tbs telecom. i'm pleased to have a wisconsin voice at the table today. and thank you also for your membership on the fcc's broadband advisory committee. i also want to associate myself, mr. chairman, with remarks of my colleagues earlier during this hearing who have emphasized the need for dedicated funding for broadband as part of any infrastructure measure that moves forward. like a number of my colleagues on the subcommittee, from both sides of the aisle, i wrote to president trump urging him to include dollars specifically for broadband and particularly in rural america. while i'm disappointed that he chose not to do so, the senate democrats, in putting forward
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our own infrastructure procedural did include broadband and as congress advances on an infrastructure package that we must address this critical need for our communities. we're not starting from scratch regarding federal support for broadband deployment. in fact, we have current or historic programs at the fcc. usda and commerce. they have supported expansion of broadband including in rural areas. these can inform how we make future investments. so mr. dubru, tbs telecom is a significant recipient of funds under the phase two of the fcc's connect america fund. spichb specifically through its connect america model program. i wonder can you tell us how you believe your company's experience with this program should inform how any new resources are employed with a
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goal of ensuring the most affective deployment of broadband to areas that are currently unserved or underserved? >> well, thank you, senator. and thank you for apparently you have a lot of clout. not only was i put on the bdack but made chair of a work group. so, it only tripled my work, but that was okay. yeah. i think -- i think there's a lot of things that the fcc got right. i think their programs have evolved and i think the accountability that's built into their programs, and especially the certainty. i mean, one, it's difficult, i think, for companies under the old universal service programs, where how much money you got depended on a lot of things like how much your neighbors spent on their programs and things went up and down to really make predictable investments. with the a-cam program and improvements coming with the legacy program it will be easier
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to have more certainty in terms of how much dollars you have. with the a-cam program, the number of locations are specified. with each extra dollar that goes in there, the number of locations that guess high-speed broadband go up. it's scalable in that sense. you can feed more money into it and automatically get more broadband. end of the day you have to report to usac how many locations you served including the exact location within feet of where those elocations are. usac is collecting that data and will know forward what is served. the program did utilize the 477 data to make sure that we weren't building duplicate networks and i think that worked in the context of that program. people have pointed out issues with the maps, but i think at least that was a good starting point. i think those are the types of features, i think, that are critical that any programs, if
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money goes to rus or ntia, in terms of having, in addition having specified dollars, set out for infrastructure. >> specifically. >> thank you. >> last year i -- i had the opportunity to meet with a variety of community stakeholders in different regions of the state of wisconsin. washburn county, greene county, and -- eagle river. the community and vilace county, wisconsin, in the far part of my state. one thing i heard in this particular roundtable, frustration that the local and state planning efforts like the one they undertook in eagle river, which helped identify the unique needs of an area and how best to address them aren't necessarily taken into account when distributing federal supports for broadband deployment. so mayor resnick, do you believe there should be your engagement
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with local and state planning agencies and if so what steps can congress take to ensure local communities are a part of the broadband deployment process? >> thank you, senator. thank you for your support of so many members of my community. it's tremendously important that local governments and counties, cities have a seat at the table. i appreciate being invited here to be part of this panel, but so often in this discussion we are not. look at, for example, in, no offense to my league at the table part of the bdak and we appreciate the work, the ratio of industry members to government members is 10-1. drafted a model code for states without the input of any single local official. so we do not feel right now that the fcc is serious about engaging in dialogue with local governments and think that that's going to result in bad broadband policy, frankly. we do, any efforts that you can make to try and ensure that governments have more of a
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voice, local governments, a seat at the table, we appreciate. and you cannot forget. we've heard throughout the hearing today about the frustration of getting "affordable broadband available in every area. rural, urban, et cetera. the federal government isn't providing enough for the private investment they're looking for. but municipal broadband has a way of solving the needs of their communities. local government are very good being creative, coming up with ways of solves the needs of their communities. mayors like to get things done. if a problem exists in available broadband for our community, we'll get it done. if we have to build the net work to do it we'll take efforts to do it. when talking about ways to engage local governments, making sure the needs of our community are met, we should not forget about the possibility of municipal broadband systems.
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too often we are preempted from doing so. especially the state level. a situation in, or example of i think wilson, north carolina. they actually passed a referendum. taxpayers supported building a municipal network. it was built. operating. running great service and because of state law they had to discontinue using it. there are plenty of examples like that where municipalities and counties want to take the effort and spend their residents' funds on these networks and state law simply does not allow them. something you could do with respect to that we'd appreciate it. >> thank you very much. senator baldwin, and thank you to the members of the panel and to the -- members of the subcommittee. i'll tell you almost one-fifth of the united states senate attended this hearing today. so i think that tells us of the interest we have in this
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subject. now, according to our procedu s procedures, the hearing record will remain open for two weeks. during this time senators are asked to submit any questions for the record. upon receipt, the witnesses are requested to submit their written answers to the committee as soon as possible. so -- we invite your cooperation there. again, thank you for very excellent testimony, and for valuable information provided to the members. this hearing is now adjourned.
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coming up, senator blumenthal joins gun previous advocates for a conversation. see live coverage this evening at 6:00 eastern. tomorrow, the march for our lives rally against gun violence takes place here in washington, d.c. watch that live saturday beginning at noon eastern. all of this live on c-span. >> you have the right to the presence of an attorney. it you desire an attorney one will be appoint brd any yeses. >> that right was guaranteed in the 1963 supreme court case gideon v. wanewrite. this week we explore that case
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and its legacy. three eighth graders from maryland selected right to counsel. here's a look at their documentary. >> i believe that this case dramatically illustrates the point that you cannot have a fair trial without counsel. ♪ >> and there, clarence earl gideon, defend yourself. >> on june 3, 1961, and unknown man broke into hall and stool liquor cigarettes and $25 in coins. arrested and charged base solely on witnesses account. couldn't afford a lawyer. a man of eighth grade education forced to defend himself against a trained prosecutor.
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>> so when gideon was brought for his trial, he stood up and said to the judge, your honor, i don't have a lawyer. i'm too poor to hire one and the judge said, i'm sorry, mr. gideon. we can't appoint a lawyer for you in this state. the state doesn't permit it. >> he lost the trial and scientistanced to five years in prison, but to gideon, this was unjust. he believedeneder the sixth amendment he had the right to counsel. the right to be provided an attorney even if he could not afford one. so from jail he wrote a letter appealing to the supreme court. >> he appealed to the supreme court his principle argument was, i have been denied my constitutional rights because i didn't have a lawyer to represent me. >> initially the sixth amendment right to counsel was not a right to a public defender. it was a right to go out and hire your own lawyer and be assured that that lawyer would be allowed to represent you in court. >> a series of supreme court cases in the 1930s decided that in all federal criminal cases, courts had to provide a lawyer
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to the accused if they could not afford one. >> but in the state courts, there was no such requirement. >> in 1942, a case known at betsy v. brady decided accused criminals did thought have the right to a state-appointed lawyer unless special circumstances applied. meaning if the supreme court found the defendant mentally ill or illiterate. >> and no man certainly no claimant can conduct a trial in his own defense so that the trial is a fair trial. >> and a layman person who is not a trained lawyer, doesn't know how to defend himself. he doesn't know how to cross-examine witnesses, how to make and argument, object to evidence. he's helpless. >> so everybody had the right to counsel, because everybody -- >> the prosecution has on its team the entire government. they have the police. all of the resources that they
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put to bear in a single defendant. >> so by the 1960s, judges, lawyers and prosecutors were ready for change. the supreme court justices accepted gideon's case and chose the highly qualified april for theess to represent him. the state of florida was represented by a novice lawyer bruce jacobs. the hearing was held on january 15, 1963. addressed whether the right to counsel of the sixth amendment extended to courts. >> start with the proposition that the 14th amendment require as fair trial and we say that the defendant in a criminal proceeding cannot get a fair trial unless he has counsel. >> on march 18, 1963, after three months, the supreme court's decision was announced. the justices ruled unanimously in favor of gideon. >> this landmark opinion held at states and localities have a sixth amendment cons stugts obligation to provide counsel to indigent defendants. >> gideon got a retile that
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summer this time with a lawyer and was found not guilty. around 2,000 prisoners in florida alone were set free after the ruling. because of gideon's case, every state had to establish a public defender system making free lawyers available to every indigent person accused of a crime. >> one of the things no one thinks about is just how hard it is to be alone in that system. you're someone who has the, a judge looking at you. literally from up on high. looking down at you. you've got the prosecutor in court literally pointing their finger at you. strangers and jurors are staring at you with skepticism, and the public defender is the only person on your side. >> yet there are still changes that must be made to our public defender system. >> the reality is, we continue to struggle to honor the right to counsel upheld in gideon. >> and i think it is the point of counsel, but you have to have
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responsible counsel. like, they really want to represent you. wants to go to bat and fight for me. >> mandatory minimums caused states courts to be overloaded and our system to collapse. >> indigent defendants often undermined by crushing case loads, inadequate funding and other obstacles. >> some offices public defenders have hundreds of cases at a time, and can't investigate them, and some offices, lawyers are only able to spend a couple hours per case. >> court-appointed attorneys are often not experienced, committed or competent. >> and it's very short-sighted no the to have a system in which every person would be competently and adequately represented. >> the defendant should be more professional, public defender. both for their clients, represent your clients like they
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need to be represented, because a lot of people sit in prison that tonight need to be. >> as a former prosecutor, i would support virtually any increase in the resources that are given to criminal defendants. >> in some states, public defenders are also very understaff pd and underresourced. each lawyer may carry as many 2,225 misdemeanor cases and 700 felony cases in just one year. >> gideon really doesn't have meaning if individual states, counties and cities don't fund their public defender offices. we need lawyers to have the resources to do their job in the way the constitution requires. >> our failure to uppulled the sixth amendment undermines the premise in america every person has the right to a fair trial and presumed innocent until proven guilty. >> and gideon ensures citizens accused of a crime have the
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right to an attorney. the case made remarkable advancements and changed the way with interpret our right to counsel. >> watch landmark cases on the right to counsel, live monday at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. over the next hour, a couple of sessions from libertycon, a libertarian conference held here in washington, d.c. earlier this month. the conference was hosted by students for liberty. we'll hear first from the organization's ceo wolf van laer and talk show host dan rubin interviews nick gillespie from reason.com. >> ladies and gentlemen, welcome to libertycon. it is the 11th time that we are organizing there, but it used to be called international students.

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