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tv   House Energy Commerce Hearing on Open Internet Rules  CSPAN  February 12, 2019 3:08pm-6:31pm EST

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john kasich. congressman michael guest was a local prosecutor in mississippi for nearly 25 years. the last decade as district attorney before his election to the house. he is also a sunday schoolteacher at his local baptist church. representative david trone and his brother opened a small liquor store in delaware in the ear early 1990s. they moved its headquarters to maryland and has expanded to become the largest independent fine wine retailer in the country. washington's eighth district elected kim schrier, a pediatrician and only female doctor in congress. new congress, new leaders. watch it all on c-span. the new democratic ma skrorskror majority in the house is reviewing the net neutrality decision. two former fcc chairs testified before a house energy and
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commerce subcommittee. >> good morning. i think all members have taken their seats. i know we're getting used to where we sit right now, because we have done a little switching. i want to call the subcommittee on communications and technology to order. before we get started, i want to congratulate congressman bob latta on taking over the ranking member. bob, i look forward to working with you in this congress to address our shared interests. i would also like to introduce the new members of the committee on the majority side and welcome them to the subcommittee. they are congressman mark vici of texas, congressman donald
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makekan, darryn soto and tom ohalaran. we have new friends and returning favorites, including congresswoman diana dagette who is holding a hearing downstairs and probably will not make it here today. denra luhan, i look forward to work you with. bob, i yield to you. if you want to introduce your new members. >> thank you very much. i want to congratulate you on assuming the gavel. i really look forward to working with you. as we all know, this is the greatest committee in congress. this is a great subcommittee to be on. i look forward to working with you. we all know that the bipartisanship that this committee exhibited through the years is exemplary.
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over 94% of the bills that went out were bipartisan. first, i would like to introduce two new members to our subcommittee. first is tim wallberg from michigan. tim joined the committee last congress but this is his first term being on the subcommittee. and there's always great cooperation. tim and i share a border. he says i protect his southern flank, which is ohio. he protects my northern flank in michigan. when ohio and michigan work together, we can all work together. >> except on the football field. >> i would like to introduce to our new committee is greg gionforte. he brings expertise in electrical engineering and technology. we welcome him to the committee. mr. chairman, thank you very much. i yield back. >> thank you. before we get started, i do want
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to mention some sad news that we got this week. we know our dear friend and former chairman, john dingell is in hospice care. he is being treated for cancer. we want to hold john and debbie, who is a great member of this committee, in our thoughts and prayers. having said that, i want to welcome everyone to the subcommittee on communications and technologies first hearing of the 116th congress. first of all, i want to thank my colleagues on the energy and commerce committee for making me chair of the subcommittee. i consider it a great honor and a great responsibility to hold this gavel. i look forward to working with all my colleagues on the committee. i believe we share many of the same goals and values. i believe in the power of competition to spark innovation, expand access and give consumers a better experience at a lower
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price. today's hearing is on net neutrality. i believe this is one of the most important digital rights issues we face today. the internet is one of the most influential inventions ever. today, it touches almost all aspects of our economy, culture and politics. according to the estimates by the bureau of economic analysis, the digital economy accounts for 6.5% of the total u.s. economy, or roughly $1.2 trillion a year in gdp. last year, the pie fcc repealed the 2015 open internet order. let me be clear. this repeal had far greater impact than just removing the fcc's net neutrality rules. it was a step back by the fcc from its role as an agency that regulates and oversees internet access and a shift from all previous fcc chairs who worked
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to put in place enforceable net neutrality rules and preserve the commission's vital oversight and consumer protection rules. today, the online publication mother board is reporting that mobile carriers sold access to millions of consumers' real time locations to bounty hunters and who knows who else. their investigation found that one entity had requested more than 18,000 data location requests. these allegations are very troubling and need to be addressed and investigated. last year, firefighters in california had their mobile command centers internet connection slowed down because they exceeded their data limit. because of the fcc's repeal of the open internet order and specifically repeal of section 201 and 202 of the communications act, as well as the general conduct standard, the firefighters couldn't call the fcc to restore critical
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access to their systems. instead, they had to call wireless company and pay a representative over the phone to increase their data plan while in the midst of fighting the largest, most complex fire in california's history. in fact, because of the repeal, these practices were permissible under the ftc's jurisdiction because they were disclosed in the terms of service. if we agree that public safety is a priority, we need to make sure that they are a priority, not just another subscriber. we not only need rules on the books that protect and preserve our nation's digital economy, we need a cop on the beat and the fcc is the agency that was empowered by congress to protect consumers, competition and innovati innovation. with that, i would like to yield the remainder of my time to congresswoman anna eschew.
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>> i congratulate you on being the chairman of this great subcommittee. it's wonderful for the whole committee to be together today. i can't think of a more important subject to be examining. i want to reinforce what you just said about what happened last summer. this is a fire department that is part of my district in santa clara county. those of you that don't know the area, you know it by the moni r moniker, silicon valley. they were battling one of the worst forest fires in the history of the state of california. their data speeds were slashed. just picture what's going on. this is an emergency. this is real red lights and sirens blaring. people's lives at stake.
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and they weren't able to communicate -- the firefighters weren't able to communicate with each other to get the directions they needed to do their jobs. if the 2015 open internet rules -- they could have prevented this, because if -- there were specific exemptions for fpublic safety. i don't take a back seat for public safety. we have been on this for more years than we want to count. what do we want to chalk this up to, misbehavior, bad pr? listen, this is the united states of america. we have to have a first rate system that works for everyone. that's why the 2015 rules -- internet rules are so, so important. that's why this hearing is so
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important. i thank you, mr. chairman. i yeed back. >> the chairman now recognizes mr. latta. >> i'm glad to see we are starting off with this subject. despite the long track record on net neutrality, i believe there's room for consensus here. there is also great need for consensus. in my district, as in many others across the nation, our constituents want us to focus on getting broadband out to close the digital divide. the uncertainty is not helpful. i'm hopeful we can come together on a permanent legislative solution. i would like to welcome our witnesses, especially former fcc chairman michael powell. as chairman, he had the distinction of creating a bipartisan consensus on the subject in 2004.
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the internet freedoms he outlined, use applications and devices of their choice and receive meaningful information about their service plans still serve as benchmarks for what we are trying to accomplish. i think it would be instructive to consider some starting points for our conversation. yesterday, i introduced a bill that closely tracks chairman waxman's proposed legislation. what it does not include is the outlier measure of reclassifying broadband into title two, meant to regulate the monopoly
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telephone carriers of the last century. this is title 2. we have a telephone that doesn't have a dial. this is used by my ancestors. everyone has this on them today the iphone. reversing the consensus on classification made by chairman powell, the fcc dropped it on broadband providers. the fcc did not forebear from applying the broadband service temporarily. that just begs the question of why anyone still views title 2
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as a critical component to net neutrality legislation instead of complete overkill. chairman waxman recognized this three years after the iphone was introduced that he didn't need title 2 to protect the freedoms and ensure an open internet. we don't either. since the reversal of the 2015 open internet order, the interin the has continued to remain open and free. americans have not been restricted from freely searching, posting or streaming content. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses and moving forward on a long awaited legislative compromise. >> thank you. the chair recognizes mr. palone for five minutes for his opening statement. >> thank you, chairman. i want to thank -- i'm glad to see that you are our chair. i also want to thank you for all that you have done over the
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years on the subject matter of this subcommittee. particularly, on net neutrality, because you were the sponsor of the cra resolution. today's hearing examines a communication service essential to consumers and businesses alike. the internet is indispensable to modern life and a catalyst for social interaction. until last year, both republican and democratic-led fcc's recognized that net neutrality principals were core for ensuring the internet remained free and open. both republican and democratic fcc's believes whether consumers paid to connect to the internet, they should get access to the entire internet. until last year, both republican and democratic fccs would nod that your internet service providers should not be the one deciding what you see, how you see it and when you see it. then came president trump and the fcc stepped in -- i should say this. before trump, the fcc stepped in
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to stop net neutrality violations that stifled innovative technologies and allowed isps to pick winners and losers. the history of broadband is chock full of bad behavior. i would like to introduce an article for the record from the free press detailing many of the violations with your permission, mr. chairman. >> without objection, so ordered. >> instead of standing with the american people, with the fcc's 215 order, when president trump came in, the trump fcc eliminated common sense net neutrality protections under the guise of promoting broadband investment. isps told the fec what it wanted to hear, its senior executives told a different tale to investors. the isps were more honest to wall street than the fcc and despite enormous tax benefits from the gop tax scam and the
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elimination of net neutral rules, many of the largest isps invested less in broadband than in previous years. the trump fcc ignored the americans pleading for strong net neutrality protections. the agency falsely claimed a flood of pro-net neutrality comments were a denial of service attack. shortly there. >> dale: -- thereafter it did this. i believe that the chairman's mind was made up. i remember listening to tv. the first press secretary said the fcc will repeal the net neutrality rule. he said, don't worry, long before the fcc took action, we will repeal net neutrality.
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i was always told that the fcc was supposed to be an independent commission and make -- not make up their mind and not have the administration decide for them before they decided what to do. that clearly wasn't the case with president trump. in the wake of the repeal, the republican-led senate passed a congressional review act resolution rejecting fcc's mistake and 182 members of the house supported the same. that was mike doyle's resolution in the house. speaker ryan ignored the public and so the american people handed control of the house to democrats in november, giving us a second chance. without a dhachange, there's no ba backstop to make sure they can't use their choke point to undermine and silence their small competitors or political opposition. consumers don't have anywhere to turn when they are wronged by the large corporations because the fcc took itself off the beat. consumers left watching the internet change. research shows many isps are
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throttling streaming video service or boosting websites over others. wireless internet providers charge consumers a fee like your pay for tv company. this is all happening when isps are on their best behavior because the court is considering whether to overturn the chairman's order. i shudder to think what plans are being hatched up for when they think no one is watching. those won't be good for consumers, competition or innovation. mr. chairman until strong protections are enacted, our only hope is the millions of americans who are fed up and hold congress accountable for passing strong net neutrality laws. i look forward to working in a bipartisan manner to return strong safeguards to the internet. i want to thank you, mr. chairman. this has always been something that you care so much about. i know that by having this hearing today that we're going to move forward to have a free and open internet again. thank you. >> the chair now recognizes mr.
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wa walton for five minutes for his opening statement. >> thank you very much. congratulations on taking over the gavel of a really cool subcommittee. chaired this for six years. i can tell you, you can't pick among the children when you are the top republican leader. but this is a pretty good s subcommittee. i want to welcome our witnesses here. i cannot help myself a bit in terms of presidential pressure on net neutrality. we should not forget the video that president obama put out in the middle of the nprm, mr. wheeler had, that i believe caused an enormous pivot in november of 2014 after the election pushing forward toward title 2 regulation. i know from meetings i had prior to that, that was not necessarily the first course of action that the fcc was headed towards. i don't know that he ever made "saturday night live." there was presidential push to go toward the 2015 title 2. the internet has been the single
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most important driver of economic growth, job creation and better quality of life for americans and people worldwide. it brought us together. it has been amazing in terms of the innovation it brought in every sector of our lives. all of that blossomed under a regime of light touch regulation, not title 2, not your grandparents' phone or whoever it is. it was like touch. entrepreneurs and innovators in silicon valley and everywhere else didn't have to come to the government to get permission to do what they did that gave us what we had. it was only under the wheeler regime we got this heavy government approach and asked the government's first idea. i'm delighted that my friend could be here from eastern oregon telcom. he made the trip from oregon. he has a very important voice in this debate about title 2 and about how we close the digital divide in rural america.
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i know my colleagues on the other side of the aisle like to throw rocks at anybody that's a big corporation. you are talking to the small operator here. in eastern oregon, we might consider him a big operator. these are the kind of people the isps that are putting things together to close the digital divide in difficult to serve areas. thanks for being here. i want to welcome the other witnesses, especially former chairman powell for being here as well. you created bipartisan consensus on this back in 2004. i think the principles you put forth then should guide us today. i look forward to your testimony as well. i think we should be able to agree on this committee on bipartisan solution we could put in statute to stop bad behavior by isps. title 2 is the outlier in our debate. it throws away 20 years of consensus that built the modern internet. it replaces it with an authority that dates back to the early 1900s used to govern monopoly
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telephone companies. it may sound innocuous, but it gives enormous power to the federal government and limited authority to micromanage every aspect of a provider's business, including rates. there's nothing neutral about that kind of authority. for 15 years, every attempt at legislative compromise from both sides of the aisle has addressed rules on blocking, throttling and discriminatory behavior like paid prioritization. i acknowledge there might have been times when our side should have accepted offers. the same could be true and said for the other side. that's why i have introduced the offer i made in 2015, which codifies the fcc's protections so they are not subject to changing administrations and commissions. the bill prohibits blocking. it prohibits throttling. requires that isps be
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transpatietran transparent. this has been on the table that preceded mr. wheeler's 2015 proposal. if my colleagues don't agree to this, that that's the right starting point, then my friend mr. latta has introduced legislation drawn from waxman's proposal, as then the chairman was drawing up this. the best ideas come from our state. any neighbor to the north, washington state, my colleague miss rogers has a bill that would give you the washington state net neutrality rules from 2018. it's important to point out that washington state has a legislature in which democrats control both houses as well as the governorship. as a permanent legislative solution, we should make that our goal to produce what our colleagues have talked about all along. i'm asking my friends across the aisle to work with us on a bipartisan solution. let me close with this. i want to read from a letter
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that is from 2010. it says, classifying broadband internet access as telecommunication services that are subject to the provisions of title 2 of the communications act may have far reaching implications. to reclassify these services is to create uncertainty, something that's sure to adversely affect job creation, in short supply right now. this is a job for congress. chairman, i couldn't agree more with you. this was your letter from 2010. i look forward to reaching across the aisle to find a solution here that will give certainty to the market and protection to consumers. with that i yield back the balance of my time. >> i will remind my friend that the past efforts of both republican and democratic fcc chairmens to do it in the way you describe was struck down by the courts. the only rule was the tom wheeler rule that was taken to court was upheld by the courts. >> if the gentleman would yield,
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since he referenced -- >> no. we're going to get started. thank you. the chair wants to remind all members that pursuant to committee rules, all members' written opening statements will be made part of the record. i would like to introduce our witnesses for today's hearing. welcome them all to this committee. first we have miss danel dixon, chee chief operating officer, miss ruth livia, ucla doctoral student, mr. franell, miss jessica gonzalez, vice-president of strategy and senior counsel at free press and free press action fund, former fcc commissioner michael powell, who is now president and ceo of ncta, welcome back, and last but certainly not least, tom wheeler, former commissioner who
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tom -- i know you were before this committee more than any other fcc commissioner. you thought you would never have to come back here. here you are. thank you. tom is a fellow with the brookings institute. we want to thank all our witnesses for joining us today. we look forward to your testimony. at this time, the chair will recognize each witness for five minutes to provide their opening statement. before we begin, in front -- i want to just talk a little bit about the lighting systems for those of that you are new to testifying here. in front of you you will see a series of lights. the light will be green at the start of your opening statement. it's going to turn yellow when you have one minute remaining. please be prepared to wrap up your testimony at that point. when the light turns red, your time has expired. with that, miss dixon, you are now recognized for five minutes. >> chairman doyle, ranking member latta and members of the
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subcommittee, with the touch of a button, an owner of a small business in pittsburgh, pennsylvania, or in ohio can get on the open web and instantly reach billions of customers around the world. she doesn't need to negotiate with multiple isps to make sure none of the customers are blocked from shopping on her site. she doesn't need to hire an army of lawyers to make sure that she isn't put in comcast or verizon slow lane. she needs to make sure that she is creating the best product for her customers. that is the genius of net neutrality. an open internet with without isp gatekeepers where the best ideas in businesses can be seen instantly. that is what we're here to talk about today. my name is danel dixon. i'm the chief operating officer of the mozilla corporation. as defenders of the open internet, we have a long history
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of support for net neutrality. we remain as committed as ever to the strong net neutrality protections and clear fcc authority. given the importance of this issue to internet users all around the world, i want to thank you for the opportunity to testify. i would like to make three points today. first, net neutrality is essential for businesses online and particularly small businesses. we need an internet where small businesses can flourish by delivering what users want, finding the gaps in opportunities in the market that aren't being served and delivering those. i am certain that mozilla would not be here today without net neutrality. if you look around the tech industry, this same story is repeated over and over. losing net neutrality does more than just lock in the positions of dominant players. it also stifles the market of ideas, puts innovation behind a
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barrier of permission and negotiation and places roadblocks in front of diverse viewpoints and approaches. second, while the fcc has worked to repeal these protections over the last two years, the case for net neutrality has grown even stronger. the fcc claimed that repealing the net neutrality wouldn't pose any problems and would unlock investment and competition in the telecom industry. here is what we have actually seen over the last two years. we have seen verizon slow connections of california firefighters as they battled a blaze. research from the university of massachusetts reports providers are slowing internet traffic to and from popular video streaming services like youtube and netflix. did the repeal unlock massive isp investment as promised? no. the data says that major isp infrastructure invest emergency has declined.
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this shouldn't be surprising. because remember, after the 2015 rules were adopted, major isp executives told their shareholders that the fcc's actions would not impact their investments. similarly, many opponents of net neutrality claim competition among internet service providers would be enough to protect users and small businesses. competition among isps remains an illusion today. roughly half of this country has at most one option for high speed access. third, we must restore strong net neutrality protections and clear fcc authority today. there's no time to waste. we need to protect net neutrality. the clearest path forward today is to restore the protections of the 2015 order through litigation. that's why mozilla led the effort to file suit against the fcc in the d.c. circuit court. we were joined by a broad coalition of public interest
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organizations, public sector agencies and technology companies. we understand the value of legislative solution, to provide lasting protections. any effort must offer at the very least the protections that are as strong as the 2015 order with adequate and flexible authority for the fcc to enforce it. anything less does a disservice to consumers. in conclusion, as a business leader, i would note how unfortunate it is to see this issue take on such a partisan view in d.c. the broad majority of americans, both republicans and democrats, support net neutrality. promoting a level playing field of competition and innovation is not a democratic or a republican value. it is an american value. thank you for the opportunity to testify. >> thank you, miss dixon. we now recognize miss livia. >> in 2014, i testified before
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the senate judiciary committee on how net neutrality changed my life as a hollywood entertainment professional. the open internet put distribution of media content at the fingertips of independent artists like me. this gave us the unprecedented opportunity to tell our stories from our points of view and share them globally without the financial and corporate gatekeeping roadblocks of traditional media. it empowered us to define ourselves. this matters, because the media produced by hollywood historically tell an incomplete and unbalanced narrative about u.s. society. they are misrepresented, annihilated and/or positions as peripheral characters in someone else's story. with net neutrality rules in place to ensure that internet access service would remain open with low barriers to entry, artists could participate in balancing hollywood's irresponsible exclusions. net neutrality is a reason i went from approaching a
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traditional media professional and being told, who are you? years later, becoming the first person to join the writers guild of america in digital media for a web series i produced based on that same script. the different between these two scenarios is that camera equipment was no longer cost prohibitive and the exciting new frontier of the open internet allowed the rest of us, regardless of standing to tell our story without getting derailed or turned away. net neutral is about ensuring the exclusionary practices are not transferred and amplified by broadband providers. it's about who has the power to control narratives and does shape perceptions. this has significant impact on society. from marginalize d communities, it can be a life of matter or death. it makes it easier for immoral individuals and groups to
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justify their targeted aggression against us. a neutral internet empowers us to virtually walk arm in arm with the confidence of knowing that our voices matter and we are not alone. that we are not invisible and our experiences are not isolated. in the summer of 2018, for example, a group of latin entertainment colleagues formed a group to rally against the cruelty of family separation. because of net neutrality we were able to learn about the crisis from online sources. brave journalists, activists exposed injustices that continue to be perpetrated at our southern border. the open internet allowed us to join forces to push back against this administration's inhumanity. as a latino who has grown up in a low income family where english is our second language, i have firsthand experience of how much you have to juggle to stay afloat and how many mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting it can be to navigate daily forms of
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oppression. the system is so relentlessly stacked against you that it seeps easier to give up and put your head down and believe there's nothing we can do. that's the way things are. social inequities are social constructs. they have been structured to serve particular purposes helping some and harming many other human beings in real and personal ways. net neutrality is a ray of light that can put us on the path to bridging some of the inequities by affording us the option to make ourselves visible and to make our voices heard in the digital spaces. this policy is also about protecting our ability to have access to job opportunities, since more and more jobs are being partially or fully migrated on the digital space. this is true for me as an actress. some of my jobs now take place in the digital arena. as a ucla student, this is within the area of my research. taking a cue from my adviser, and her ground breaking work in digital labor, my research sheds
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light on the relationship between the exsclu sayre exclus. a few powerful internet service providers should not be entitled to mediate our voices, to frame discourses in order to serve their interest, nor to decide who or what is worthy of being visible and/or invisible in our society or under what conditions. net neutrality impacts human beings in very real ways every single day. it impacts our ability to participate in society. to make a living. to connect with our loved ones. to earn an education. and to collaborate in pushing back against social inequity. market discourse serve the market. i'm here to participate in
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highlighting the human impact because things look different from a human perspective. thank you. >> thank you very much. we now recognize mr. franell. you are recognized for five minutes. >> good morning. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. it's an honor to be here and talk about net neutrality and the consequences of applying title 2 to the internet. the application of title 2 had a chilling affect or rural telecom. i suspect the same could be said of the rest of the country. the uncertainty of the regulatory environment, even on non-regulated telecoms and internet service providers made investors hesitant to invest in the telecommunications sector. further, the ill-informed public fervor and fear surrounding the
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subject precluded any objective discussion of the topic. this resulted in distrust of and anger towards isps like my company that had never manipulated their networks in any nature. it also prompted state legislation forcing net neutrality practices on local providers who again had never violated the public trust and had no interest in any competitive behavior. all of this took place without the ability to have an objective discussion about the scope of the problem and how to address it without harming the internet, all because of the fear mongering by those who didn't fully understand the subject or had other reasons for advancing title 2 application of the internet. i believe title 2 had begun to harm the internet in the u.s. and a reapplication of it has a possibility of resulting in damage in the future.
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investors have been eager to invest in rural telexhu telecommunications. we have been able to provide exceptional telecommunications and is expanding into our markets. we do this with confidence because we don't have to concern ourselves with unnecessary regulatory interference and the draining cost of reporting and compliance. i believe that title 2 does not have to be, nor should it be part of the solution to the problem of bad behavior by a few internet service providers. such application of title 2 would not just be damaging but also unnecessary. when i say unnecessary, i say so because my committee does not participate in the bad behavior that started the net neutrality debate. i don't know of any rural provider in oregon who does. nevertheless, i do believe that further discussion on the topic of priority of traffic is good.
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i think we would all agree that as most forms of information are now being moved via internet protocol, some are clearly more important than others. here are some of the my own examples. a long distance call to 911 should take priority over a regular call. if my daughter was in a car wreck and had a head injury late one night, i would want the digital imaging that needed to be analyzed by a radiologist or surgeon to take priority over someone else's online gaming tournament. students participates in distance education or online standardized testing should get priority over those streaming online movies for entertainment. prioritization of traffic becomes a problem only when it's done to harm or eliminate the competition. there are consumer protection laws in place that target this type of behavior. a adding regulatory burden is not the answer. i encourage you to consider leaving the long-standing title
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one regulation in place, abandon any initiative to reinstate title 2 through legislation and address the anti-competitive abuses that everyone fears with light touch surgical precision. finally, i would be remiss if i did not advocate for initiatives from this committee specifically designed to promote competition in the marketplace. giving consumers choices for their internet service offers the greatest mechanism for rewarding the good performer and punishing the bad performer. if enough customers choose to leave, the bad performer will adjust their behavior or go out of business. robust competition in the marketplace ensures innovation, lowers prices and ensures excellent customer service. a complacent monopoly has no incentive to change. robust competition is the answer. i would be happy to answer any questions you may have. thank you. >> thank you very much. miss gonzalez, you have five minutes. >> thank you, chairman doyle and
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full committee ranking member waldon. thanks for having me. i'm here today on behalf of free press' 1.4 1.4 million members are calling for reinstatement of the fcc's 2015 net neutrality rules and the return of the fcc's legal authority to protect us from isp discrimination and abuse. i'm also here as a mexican-american woman from a working class family. my father grew up in a los angeles suburb where mexicans were not allowed to live. i understand that millions of people who came before me, including members of this house, past and present, have fought against discrimination and for other causes that enabled me to be here today. i say this to underscore that what we're doing here really has impacts on real people's lives. the u.s. government has a long history of discrimination and
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racism. indeed, it used the media system to legitimize the enslavement of black people and the genocide and displacement of native peoples. although it's taken some steps to reduce racism and discrimination in certain aspects of american life, like housing, it's done little to remedy structural racism in the communications sector. the fcc's 2015 net neutrality order is one exception. that order gave the fcc clear authority to prevent and investigate shady isp business practices like, but not limited to, blocking, throttling, and discriminating against lawful content. the trump fcc 2017 decision to repeal that order was wildly unpopular. polls show that 82% of republicans, 90% of democrats, and 85% of independents object. and people of color have been some of the most vocal critics, in part because we have more at
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stake. never before in history have barriers to entry been lower for us to reach a large audience with our own stories in our own words. to start small businesses, to organize for change. this hits close to home for me because my best friend vanessa is a blogger and small business owner. while she was pregnant and in the midst of the great recession, she was laid off from her job. she began blogging from her apartment in 2010 after her daughter's birth. it was a labor of love. her intention was to fill the void of content designed for and by parents of multiracial children. she began writing love letters to her daughter to ensure that the beauty and power of black and brown women were front and center, even in a world that subjugates us at every turn. vanessa's blog underscores that mothers are the story tellers, dream keepers, and legacy builders for the next generation. today it has a loyal following
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and is building understanding across cultures. it's also a successful business that has helped vanessa supplement the family income and supported her journey to homeownership. the end of net neutrality means that her voice might be drowned out by corporate media that can pay more to access her audience. some of the same corporate media that have failed spebctacularly to represent us. this could impair her family's livelihood and the reach of her cultural influence. and vanessa cares so deeply about this issue that she actually flew here from long beach, california. she's sitting behind me today. on her own dime, to bear witness to this hearing. ais i'm not going to look back there. i'll get emotional. but she really believes this is critical to her business model and to her ability to spread the word. so i'll get on to the lawyer points. in my testimony, i go into great detail about how isps have abused their power when net neutrality is not in place. i'll give just a few examples here. we've seen comcast secretly
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block and slow file sharing apps. we've seen metro pcs announce plans to block streaming from all providers except for youtube. at&t said it would disable the use of facetime over cell connections unless their customers paid for higher cost options. at&t, time warner cable, and verizon limited capacity points, throttling netflix. those are just a few examples. since the 2017 repeal, we've seen some seriously suspect isp behavior that my colleague already touched on. but because the fcc has sworn off its authority to protect broadband consumers t doesn't even have the power to investigate and look into this. and the real shame of this whole thing is that net neutrality was working. the chairman's justification for the repeal was built on a mountain of lies. we were promised that isp investment would increase, but the numbers are n and that's not true.
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i hope in new congress seizes the opportunity to right the wrongs and restore fundamental protections to americans. thank you. >> thank you. commissioner, you have five minutes. >> mr. chairman, members of the committee, it's always an honor and a privilege to be with you. i also send my prayers to the dingells. john was a dear friend and a lion of the legislature. our thoughts are with him. to be clear, the virtues of an open internet are simply unassailable. it is provp to be one of the most democratizing forces we have ever known, pugt the power to innovate in the hands of billions. the isp industry is proud of its role in building that network and engineering it to be an open platform has been good for society, and it has been good for the bottom line. that is why we unequivocally support legislative efforts to codify open internet rules in a manner that preserves the incentives for investment and dynamic growth. but to craft rules that maximize public welfare, we must
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appreciate the symbiotic nature of the internet ecosystem. just as great software depends on great hardware, the internet depends on an ever-improving network to facilitate cycles of ever-improving applications. we all recognize that users need an open internet to thrive, but we cannot ignore the fact that they also need the network to continuously innovate and improve. a start-up needs confidence that the network will reach their customers. rural communities need networks to reach them in remote regions. consumers require high-quality, secure, and reliable networks. and advanced applications will require even more powerful infrastructure. put simply, the internet cake is not fully baked. it must continually innovate and improve and policy must protect the conditions that make that possible. but title two throws a wrench in the fly wheel of innovation. dumping a mountain of regulations designed for a
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different time, for a different network, with different economic conditions and different consumer needs throws off the balance. title two is a massive body of economic regulations. it lets the government set prices, decide the terms and conditions of services, and improve new products and services. let's be transparent with the american public. a debate about title two is not a debate about net neutrality. it's a debate about whether to regulate the internet as a public utility with implications that go far beyond simply protecting the internet. the old and haggard title two should not be tucked in under the shimmering cloak of restoring net neutrality protections. the future of the internet deserves more careful consideration. moreover, a bill that includes title two will rupture any hope of bipartisan legislation in a divided government, ensuring
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that for countless more years, we'll go by without the resolution the public deserves. there is unique common ground on which to build enduring net neutrality rules, and we should seize the opportunity rather than squander it. as you consider legislation, i would encourage you to heed the caution that first do no harm. by almost every measure, the internet ecosystem has thrived for decades. the internet is the fastest deploying technology in the history of the world. it gets better at a relentless and unprecedented pace. it has been built with trillions of dollars of private capital, freeing public resources for other pressing societal needs. innovation has advanced at a dizzying pace, giving birth to start-ups that have grown to become global giants. and against this positive backdrop, there simply is no evidence of systematic patterns of isps undermining the openness of their networks. one must rigorously ask with an
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open mind, how will title two utility regulation improve on these enviable results, and is it worth risking messing things up by adopting it? we have compelling evidence that utility regulations will mess things up. there's a voluminous literature documenting the negative effects of utility regulation on dynamic industries. to ignore it is to ignore the hard-won lessons of history. but we don't need to spend hours in the library reading economic articles. we have real-world examples right in front of us. in europe, regulators did adopt utility style regulations. as a result, they've achieved substantially slower speeds and attracted dramatically less investment than in the united states. and on our own shores, we can see that our utility-based infrastructures in this nation are crumbling. the electric grid, our roads, our airports, and our drinking water have all earned failing grades due to chronic
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underinvestment under this regulatory approach. is that truly the model we hope to emulate for the internet? in summary, in software programming, an infinite loop is defined as a piece of coding that lacks a functional exit so that it repeats indefinitely. net neutrality has been stuck in that infinite loop for way too long. it's time for congress to debug this debate once and for all and reach a bipartisan solution that predicts the open internet without damaging internet growth. thank you and we stand ready to help you do that. >> thank you. commissioner wheeler, you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to begin by associating myself with my friend michael and his wishes for the dingell family. in all the world, there was only one big john. and he is mr. chairman. one of the things that allows many toe reflect on that is that it seems like i have been before
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this committee so many times over the last 40 years. first, when i had michael's role as the ceo of ncta. then when i had a similar role in the wireless industry. then when i had the great privilege of being the chairman of the communications commission. but today i appear before you as an american citizen who has 40 years of experience dealing, living at the intersection of new technology and public policy. the lesson of that is that net neutrality is not a new concept. essential networks have always historically been required to be open. it started back in futile times when english common law required
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that the ferrymen had to provide nondiscriminatory access to haul people across the river. when the telegraph came along, the first telecommunications service, in 1860 congress said it must be nondiscriminatory. net neutrality was passed in 1860. when the railroads became the dominant network, congress again stepped up and said, open and reasonable, the rules that have to govern that network. of course, in the communications act of 1934, openness and just and reasonableness was applied to the telephone network. now, let's be real clear. it was those policies that created the internet. it was the ability of anyone to access an open network that gave
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us aol and everything else. the 2015 open internet order extended those enduring principles to internet service providers, while removing outdated and unnecessary title two common carrier requirements. i understand why the isps don't like this. they want to be able to make their own rules. they argue that transmitting zeros and ones rather than analog somehow absolves them of the responsibility to be open and just and reasonable. that's kind of like saying that electric cars don't have to obey the speed limit because it was established for gas vehicles. no, there are enduring
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principles that apply to essential networks. let me quickly address three policy issues that flow from that. one, the game is being played that we're dealing with, an information service as opposed to a telecommunications service. it's clear what that effort is. to shoe horn the isps into a less regulatory structure. it is a phony construction. regulating networks like the content they carry is just like saying that because a road leads to macy's, that the road ought to be regulated the same way macy's is. justice scalia said it a lot better when he said there's a difference between delivering a pizza and making a pizza. there's been a lot of talk about the second point that the trump fcc presented false evidence
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that it would hurt regulation investment. but thirdly, focusing on blocking, throttling, and prioritization ignores the future and doesn't even protect today. it doesn't protect today because it says you're free to discriminate, just don't do it this way. and worse than that, michael was right. the cake is not fully baked. but those three principles apply netflix concepts to a dynamic and constantly evolving internet. today the internet is about transporting things. web 3.0, which is now upon us, is about a network that orchestrates, not transports. today 4g is about full signal transition. 5g is about network slicing into
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pieces. there must be a general expectation that no matter how technology develops, the essential networks must be open, just, and reasonable. thank you. >> thank you very much. and let me say both to mr. powell and mr. wheeler, i should have referred to both of you as chairman, not commissioner. my apologies. with the conclusion of witness testimony, we're now going to move to member questions. each member will have five minutes to ask questions of our witnesses. i will start by recognizing myself for five minutes. chairman wheeler, when the fcc enacted the open internet order, it included the bright line rules we all talked about.
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no blocking, no throttling, paid prioritization. but it also included a general conduct standard, consumer protections, and commission oversight of interconnection and zero rating policies. can you briefly, and i would underline briefly, give us some examples of past problems that necessitated the addition of these provisions in the order. >> well, you've heard many of them being discussed in the previous testimony. there's a historical reality when comcast tried to block p2p. there's the experience of comcast trying to block -- not try, but indeed blocking ports into their network. there is when at&t and verizon said they would not allow google wallet on their network. it's when verizon said they would not allow tethering apps on their wallet. so forcing you to pay 20 bucks for their tethering service.
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it continues, as we've heard multiple times -- you, mr. chairman, referenced the mendocino fire. what's significant is not just the impact it had on the firefighters, which is significant, but the impact it had on the people who were suffering as a result and who suddenly found that they were being throttled and had no place to go because the fcc had washed their hands. the study from northeastern university on throttling, how sprint degraded skype. then the whole issue of the so-called zero rating. there's a study that just came out that proves that free is not free. the interesting thing is that what the study found was that data rates where zero rating free services are allowed are actually higher than where they are not allowed, which makes sense, of course, because
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somebody has to subsidize what some folks are getting for free. i mean, there's a -- this is an ongoing -- how creative can you be to figure out ways around it. >> thank you very much. miss dixon, your company, mozilla, has been the lead plaintiff in suing the fcc and hoping to overturn the repeal of the open internet order. can you also briefly tell us why you think these protections are critical for small businesses and innovation, and do you think that the bright line rules of the open internet alone are sufficient by themselves? >> the bright line rules are just three things we can rattle off very quickly and ignore the fact you can get around those rule. there are loopholes everywhere. they are not sufficient. governance is incredibly important in this area, and you cannot rely on the ftc consumer
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protection because it takes years to correct harms that occurred years before. we have to look at how we can stop the harm from occurring so americans don't have to suffer during that time. then we lose years of innovation and opportunity because net neutrality rules wouldn't have been in place during that time period. we can't actually make up for it by relying on the consumer protection statute. there's a lot in there that needs to be looked at with respect to -- i believe very firmly that mozilla wouldn't exist today if net neutrality hadn't been in play. i want to talk about that from the small business angle. we started 17 years ago or so. we did it because microsoft had 95%, 99% of the market share with respect to browsers. we wanted to give users an opportunity for choice. if microsoft, for example, had been able to negotiate with isps during that time to say, let's just throttle or make it harder to get access to our download page, we wouldn't be here. the open internet rules, while they might not have existed in the order as of 2015, they were status quo. that was how we operated.
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that is what the internet was built on. the openness, the transparency, the standardization, the requirement that we all work together, that is how we got to all of this record revenue that folks have today. so small businesses need an opportunity to participate in that. thank you. >> thank you very much. tom, i just want to get back to you for one quick sec. a lot is talked about title two. my friends like these props, bringing the old phones up from the 1800s. but title two had many, many sections to it. and there was a lot of forbearance in your open internet order. many of the things that are concerns, rate regulation and others, they were forebared, weren't they? >> i believe title two has like 45 sections, and we forebore, if that's the word, from 27 of them. and i'm just -- i got to pull this out because to say that this is also a title two phone.
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>> thank you. i don't want to abuse my time too much because i'm hoping other members don't either. so with that, i will give -- i yield for five minutes. >> i appreciate the chairman for yielding. chairman powell, we addition cussed the four freedoms for int internet consumers you outlined in 2004. your accomplishment in creating a bipartisan consensus at the commission looks more impressive given what's happened in later commissions. will you elaborate on the meaning of the first freedom, the freedom to access the lawful content of the consumer's choice? it seems to me we've all agreed since then that nobody wants isps blocking content they don't like. in your opinion, is there a serious threat to free speech on the internet today? if so, where's it coming from? >> i think that rule was a predecessor to what's ultimately morphed into the no blocking, no throttling, paid prioritization concepts.
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it's important to remember historically at the time that we were announcing this, the internet was just burgeoning as a commercial service. it was really important to try to create a set of customer and corporate expectations about how the engineering aspects of the internet should evolve. we did that, and i think that proved successful. in fact, not recently, reid hastings of netflix said, quite squarely in his own earnings call, that he believed that consumer expectation of net neutrality was so strong, even the repeal of rules wouldn't threaten them as a company and noted that many countries don't have net neutrality rules in this they operate under open environments quite successfully because that expectation. our rules were intended to generate that expectation at a time when things were new. and i would highlight so many of the examples we hear about today, about the flourishing invention of mozilla or other products and services, all took place during a period in which there were no net neutrality rules, in which the fact exists that if you believe isps had the
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incentive and ability and desire to block content, throttle it, and impose paid prioritization, they were free to do so for over 20 years with the creation of every product from google to uber. nonetheless, those products thrived and survived. i think it's a misnomer isps do not have a corporate self-interest in an open internet. to be blunt, they made a whole lot of money on an open internet because when you build a network with sunk costs, you're we regarded by filling that network with as much content as possible and creating artificial scarcity simply doesn't make economic sense. >> thank you. >> could i agree with my friend, mr. powell? >> not your time. >> okay. >> continuing on, chairman powell. new applications are becoming possible with advanced networks such as self-driving vehicles, remote surgery, and augmented reality. these require extremely time-sensitive network management. what impact would the 2015 fcc rules, if they were restored,
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have on these applications? >> well, i'd like to be really clear, particularly on behalf of the cable industry. we don't dispute or dissuade anybody from pursuing a strong net neutrality codified rules that can be enforced. the only thing that we have an objection to is the ill-considered application of title two. now, in credit to my colleague tom wheeler, he was a regulator. he had a different problem than you have. he had the problem of finding authority in order to embrace the rules after a series of court cases that questioned whether they were acting beyond the authority that congress had ever given them. this is not a limitation that applies to the united states congress, whose power is unbounded by anything other than the constitution. so the restoring of net neutrality is also restoring a sort of clever parlor trick to give the commission fcc jurisdiction where you otherwise did not provide it. but writing on a blank slate, as you have the power to do, there's no need to import those
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steps in order to create effective rules. so the restoring of them as it would create the same problem of unbalancing the fly wheels of innovation i mentioned in my opening statement. >> let me just ask you one quick follow-up. when you worked on the four freedoms, how did you get that consensus at that time? >> yeah, how does one ever? i think what i would tell you is that i think one of the things we've forgotten, as lawyers have taken over the net neutrality debate, in the early days of the internet, open internet and net neutrality was an engineering principle. it wasn't a legal principle. it was the idea that you could use ip protocols and reach any consumer on any computer, whether it was a mac or a windows computer. it ensured it was a network that nobody centrally controlled, which is true today. the phone network, it was like a spoke and wheel, in which somebody sat at the center of
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the network making all command and control decision about the flow of traffic. in the internet world, there is no central orchestrator. the network is owned by no one at its core. and it flies around unfettered by any intervention. so what we understood was we were trying to give voice in a regulatory sense to what had already become a pretty rigid engineering concept, and there was pretty universal bipartisan agreement about that was, in fact, how the internet worked and any policy should reflect that. >> thank you very much. mr. chairman, my time is expired and i yield back. >> thank you. the chair now recognizes mr. pollone, the full committee chair, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's been noted, chairman wheeler, that you have the unique experience of leading both the fcc as well as some of the industries that now oppose strong net neutrality. as you know, when the chairman sought to repeal the 2015 net neutrality protections, he did so citing the potential for
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increased broadband investment. now we hear investment went down after the chairman's order was adopted. so i have two questions. the first one is, can you explain what's going on here? was the 2015 order as bad for the internet service providers as they claim? >> well, i think the evidence of that is no, in a word. and investment has increased in the two years following the open internet order, as opposed to the two years preceding the open internet order. >> all right. let me ask you my second question. some internet service providers claim they don't oppose net neutrality protections that would stop blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization, but i worry, and i know chairman doyle has expressed this, about the threats to an open internet that we haven't anticipated, rules like the general conduct standard you included in 2015 rules and that governor murphy
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included recently, aimed at providing the regulator the flexibility to trek consumers from new threats. with that in mind, why is it important to have strong federal protections like the general conduct standard or protections for interconnection? >> thank you, congressman. the interesting thing is that saying i am for an open internet, i'm just not for the common carrier rules is kind of like saying i'm for justice, just not for the courts overseeing it. one of the -- the reason that i was saying that i agree with my friend michael and the leadership he showed with his four principles, and there's a huge difference between his four principles as chairman and the advocacy that you're hearing today. the four principles are just that, they're principles. they're broad. they cover a multitude of
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topics. blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization, that's it. and as i said in my opening statement, what that means is you're free to do whatever you want in discriminating, so long as you say, well, it's not blocking, it's not throttling, it's not paid prioritization. we do not know what the internet is going to be, and we can't sit here and make netflix-era decisions that we assume will apply tomorrow. the nature of the internet has changed since michael did his four points, and it's going to change again tomorrow, and our challenge is how do we make sure that the public interest is represented in that change. >> thank you. i want to ask one more question, ms. gonzalez. i'm concerned the fcc ran a flawed process leading up to the repeal of net neutrality, specifically by ignoring thousands of consumer complaints
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and allowing millions of fake comments with stolen identities filling the docket. i'm worried that the proceeding is tainted. so ms. gonzalez, in your view, was the fcc's repeal of net neutrality tainted, and does that put the repeal on shaky grounds, in your opinion? >> yes, and we actually covered this in our petition for -- our brief in the net neutrality case where we're a party. the process seemed to be guided by ideology and not facts right from the outset. in announcing his efforts to begin the repeal process, the chairman said this is a fight that i'm going to win. it appeared that that skewed the approach of the commission. you mentioned thousands of potentially fraudulent comments on the docket that the fcc failed to investigate and just went ahead and rushed forward to a final order without truly vetting what was happening in
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the democratic process, rule making process. the electronic comment filing system that allows the public to weigh in went down the same night that john oliver covered net neutrality on his show. and thousands of net neutrality complaints that had been filed by consumers with the net neutrality ombuds person were not put on the record. the only reason we ever heard about them is a national hispanic media coialition fileda request and found what they showed was that people, the public, understand broadband internet access as a telecommunications service. so i, too, share your concern that it was a flawed process and puts it on shaky ground. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes mr. walden, the full committee ranking member, for five minutes to ask questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank again all the witnesses. according to ms. gonzalez's system, and i quote, isp's own
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deployment investment data show the title two reinstatement and the 2015 net neutrality rules did not slow down deployment speed, upgrades, or overall investment by isps. and she's relying on her own figures or the organization's or wherever you got the data. i'm not questioning that. what i want to know is from your standpoint as somebody on the ground doing buildout, what did you see during this period? >> thank you, congressman walden. it's interesting because i've read the u.s. telecom report on investment, and it shows a different story than what i'm hearing here today. so i don't know which set of numbers is right. all i can talk about is what things look like for eastern oregon telecom trying to bridge the digital divide, doing the work in these very remote areas. when i say remote, it's a different definition than what we have in the east.
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i grew up a lot out here. so i know the difference between east and west. you know, we're talking about frontier areas and how do we serve those folks. so as the discussion about applying hit two and net neutrality rules -- and again, the biggest issue for eastern oregon telecom has been title two. not -- >> why? >> i could not get loans from the bank during the net neutrality debate and during the net neutrality period. it was only as we started to hear the commitment from the new fcc to repeal title two that we started to see the cash open up in availability. quite frankly, for more than a year, i never got an offer from a single equity investor. now i get them weekly almost,
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and investment cash flow has been freed up. so at least from my perspective, there was a dramatic impact and it's changed. >> thank you. chairman powell, mr. powell, a couple things. one, we heard how title two wasn't all that bad because so many of its provisions were f e forebared by the then-wheeler fcc. could another fcc change its mind in terms of what would be foreborn or not? >> i believe so. it's a discretionary act of the commission. >> would that require a full rule making to determine that, or could a chairman do it? >> i think it would require full commission vote. >> but they could do it on their own. does that create uncertainty going forward? >> well, obviously it does. i mean, i think we could play a game about how many rules get foreborn from, but what's important to remember is it's not the volume. it's which rules got foreborn and which ones don't.
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rules that didn't get foreborn allow for lawsuits and challenges to rate making proceedings. it allows the commission to opine on all terms and conditions of service to determine whether they are, quote, just an reasonable. almost all powerful title two rules are derived from section 201 and 202, which remain enforced. >> so would -- is it possible under title two that phone traffic on the internet could be subject to fees like ust? >> in fact, under the usf statutes, if you're a telecommunications service provider, it's mandatory under congressional law that you charge contribution factors to internet service. so put this more simply, consumers on the broadband internet today or for the last 20 years have not seen that morass of phone charges, taxes, and fees you see on a typical
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phone bill. once an information service becomes a telecom service, there's an argument the statute requires those same fees and charges go on to an internet bill, which means a consumer's bill would go up. >> one of the issues i know some groups raised with me last year, i think it was the realtors, very concerned about what they saw as paid prioritization net neutrality. what they're really talking about is the search engines and how you could buy rankings. they were afraid their competitors were being ranked up. do you think these net neutrality provisions we're debating here should apply to the edge providers? >> well, i do. i've always been stunned at the lack of comparison between the alleged behavior of isps with regard to neutrality and the actual demonstrable behavior of edge providers with regard to the same principles. it seems to me just this week we learned about apple blocking facebook applications in its store. just this week, we learned of twitter blocking speakers who they disagree with. all those companies have
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subjective policies that determine who they allow to speak on their platforms and who don't. facebook prioritizes news feeds at its choice. google has a very profitable business model of allowing people to pay for who gets seen in search results higher than others. it's a hollow promise to consumers to say that we're going to guarantee you a world of neutral access when all the destinations that you attend are engaging in the very practices that we say are supposedly so heinous if they are enacted by an isp. so at best, we're having a very incomplete conversation. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman, for . your indell generals. >> thank you. >> i thank the chairman and thank the witnesses for your testimony this morning. the truth is, my constituents care deeply about net neutrality. just last march, more than 150
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of my constituents attended a town hall meeting to voice their concerns. the way the fcc has handled this proceeding makes me question whether the agency even cared to hear my constituents' concerns and the concerns of millions of americans who voice their opposition. from the agency's failure to respond to my repeated request regarding fabricated attacks to its failure to respond to foia questions. in fact, fcc commissioner has accused her own agency of hiding information. chairman wheeler, briefly, please, would you make -- >> been hanging around too long. >> what would you make of how the agency handled the proceedings, and is this any way to run the show? >> no. >> that's brief.
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thank you. more than 9.6 million identities were stolen and used to file fake comments in this proceeding. about 26,000 of those were my constituents' identities. it's my understanding these actions are now being investigated by federal and state law enforcement agencies, and it's been publicly reported that broadband for america and free press subpoenas are part of this investigation. chairman powell, what is the ncta's relationship with broadband for america. >> we're a member of it. >> does broadband for america still exist? >> yes. >> is broadband for america complying or its former representatives complying with subpoenas and document requests for the investigation? >> yes. it's my understanding they are. >> good. did the ncta ever engage broadband for america to submit fake comments using stolen
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identities in this proceedings? >> absolutely not. >> okay. well, we'll be looking into that, mr. powell. ms. gonzalez and mr. powell, did either of your organizations, consultants, or members pay for fake comments using stolen identities? >> no, sir. absolutely not. >> chairman powell? >> no, sir. >> thank you. ms. gonzalez, my home state of california is prone to a number of natural disasters from devastating wildfires to floods and earthquakes. during times of emergency and in the weeks and months that follow, people immediately rush to the web to check evacuation routes, to see if their loved ones are safe, and to find out if it's even safe to breathe outside. ms. gonzalez, if some information sources are taking priority because they pay for it and are unrelated to safety information people are trying to access in these circumstances,
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how might people's access to such information be affected? >> i think, you know, it's long been the consideration of this committee and the fcc that public safety is one, if not, the most important job we have to do. we want to make sure the commission has the full authority to ensure consumers are protected in those times. >> thank you. you gave a few examples of how open access was critical to establish artistic talent. was the example list you gave exhaustive, or is it the tip of the iceberg? >> that's the tip of the iceberg. >> okay. and so you could give other examples if we asked for that. >> yes, sir. >> okay. i might be asking you to submit a list, if you would, of examples. >> i would be happy to, yes. >> ms. dixon, i understand some smaller isps, including sonic, which serves many of my constituents, raised concerns in a letter to the fcc that the
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chairman's order would threaten their ability to interconnect with the larger isps. i would like to introduce a letter for the record, mr. chairman. >> without objection, so ordered. >> ms. dixon, can you explain the risks to consumers now that the fcc no longer has a framework to address interconnection complaints? >> it just creates the same issue. it puts the power in the hands of the larger isps. it puts the power in their hands to work with the largest companies on the web, the largest companies in the world, and leaves all the small businesses to have to wait and try to get the leftovers and to go behind it. the interconnection agreements are a very important part of what the fcc needs to continue to regulate. >> thank you. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman from the great state of california. chair now recognizes mr. shimkus. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first, i want to make sure we
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recognize marshall, who's on serving her husband's ascension to the leader of the telecom subcommittee. he didn't do that. we usually forget our spouses in public speaking engagements. i've learned that's a bad mistake. secondly, to the new members of the subcommittee, this is why this is a great committee and why this subcommittee -- i mean, we've got really very articulate experts who are trying to wrestle with an issue. as the chairman of full committee has reminded me numerous times, if we want -- you know, we could have messaging fights. and we'll have those. or we could pass laws. and when we were in the majority, i learned from that because when i had to pass things through my subcommittee, i had to reach for that bipartisan compromise. if we wanted to pass a law.
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if we want to have this fight and pull our hair out, i taught high school. for a bill to become a law, the president has to sign it. he's not going to sign this. so i think what our attempt to say is where do we go to the middle? where do we address these real problems? now, i sympathize a lot because i represent 14,000 square miles in southern illinois. ms. dixon, mozilla is a foundation. does that mean it's a not for profit? >> we're owned by a not for profit. >> so a lot of my communication providers are not for profits, just like in districts everywhere. i understand the approach to small business. our approach to small business is those small businesses in towns that don't even have access yet. chairman wheeler, chairman powell know that i've been
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focused all of my life about mapping. let's find out where we have service and where we don't. then where do we fiend out how fast that service is? so when we have these battles -- anna, do you want time? okay. i thought you were trying to -- so if we're going to be involved, how can we help get that full buildout? it would be helpful to everybody. i've always been focused about how do you build out? how do you get the fiber into the ground? and i'm not as smart as y'all, but i know that that's private sector dollars that do that. and there's got to be an incentive for them to lay the fiber. fiber is a lot better than coaxial cable. there's more information going
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out, so i would hope and i would plead that we eventually get through the emotion, which i'm not discounting, and we focus on fixing this problem. because if i finally get my small businesses connected, they're going to want to have full access. but i've got to get them access first. otherwise, it's kind of moot point to some of us who represent rural areas. i just hope we get there. you know, we're having this big fight on border security. and one of the responses is wall fencing and some is smart technology. now, the southern border, as you probably all know fairly well, is pretty rural.
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if you're going to use drones -- and this is one of the democrat responses, let's do smart technology. let's do drones. let's do technology. cameras and let's see who's coming. that will require a lot of investment and a lot of buildout. would there -- if there's information of child trafficking, of fentanyl being pushed across the border, is there any role for anyone to prioritize information? so if we want our border security guys to go and stop a coyote bringing across child trafficking, and that information is trying to get to the operation, the tactical operation center, former military guy like mr. powell, should that be prioritized? i guess my time is expired.
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it's your call, mr. chairman. >> if mr. powell wants to answer that briefly, i'll give him the opportunity. was there a question in there? >> yeah, we need to build more fiber. >> do you guys have to mention the wall at every hearing? >> i didn't yesterday. >> well, mr. chairman, i'll take advantage of the opportunity to say -- >> briefly. >> when i was chairman, i was a huge champion of public safety. i think it's a perfect example of why we should be careful about what we mean about no prioritization. there are societal uses that we will all agree should enjoy a higher priority over other uses. it's true in every tangible part of the economy. i don't know why we think it wouldn't be true in the digital space. >> there's just one thing that you left out though. >> yeah? >> the 2015 rule allowed for that kind of prioritization. we started working 20 years ago, probably longer than that, on public safety issues.
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and we allowed -- we made sure that the 2015 rule allowed for that kind of prioritization. >> thank you. the chair now recognizes the vice chair of the full committee, ms. clark. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i thank the ranking member and all of our expert panelists for bringing your expertise to the table today. i say good afternoon. i'm glad that we're having this hearing and we've decided to kick it off this week with the hearing on net neutrality. this issue is a major concern for my constituents in the state of new york. in fact, governor cuomo signed an executive order to keep the net neutrality rules in place post-fcc repeal. additionally, former new york attorney general barbara underwood led a lawsuit with 22 other attorney generals to reinstate the 2015 open internet rules and led an investigation
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into fraudulent net neutrality comments. so along the lines, i'd like to just ask a couple of things. well, first, i want to highlight a few things. the voices that the fshlgs cc i in 2017, those like millions of small businesses across the country whose existence depends on a free and open internet. and the irony of millions of americans that took the time to write the fcc opposing the repeal of net neutrality and they literally broke the public comment records doing it. yet, their voices went unheard. so chairman wheeler, can you explain why so many small businesses oppose the gutting of the 2015 net neutrality protections? i think that we need to have
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that in context. you know, even when we talk about rule community, the idea at the end of the day is to get us to a broadband ubiquity. but what does this mean for small businesses? >> thank you very much, ms. clark. if a business cannot get to its consumers, it does not have a business. and the network that connects us all in the 21st century is the internet. i remember a time when i was in eastern kentucky meeting with coal miners who were learning to code because they'd lost their mining jobs. but i also met with a young man who had a guitar shop -- a guitar shop in pikesville, kentucky. when the bottom fell out of the coal economy, the bottom fell out of his guitar shop. but he went on the internet and
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started selling guitars on the internet. and he's now a bigger business in pikesville today than he was when he was not. if you can't get to your customers, you don't have a business and the internet is how you get to your customers. >> very well. your testimony discussed how in your line of work lots of jobs are being migrated to the digital space and how this is an opening opportunity for people of color. how do small companies and entrepreneurs alike end up on the losing end in a 21st century economy without open internet protections? >> there's a series of ways in that you lose out. from my experience as an actress and as a creative person, how are people going to find you online if somebody has a faster lane than you do? so they're going to win out in
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order to reach a client. i do, for example, voice work. if i recorded on my laptop at home and i send it in to my client, but if my connection is slow, that's going to cause a problem. so for an independent like me and folks like me, it's really important to have an open internet so that it's an even playing field. otherwise, we can't compete. we don't have the pocketbook to pay for access. and that shouldn't be the case. >> absolutely. thank you for your response. ms. gonzalez, anything you'd like to add on that? >> yeah, i mean, there's a lot of research out there, congresswoman, about how people use the internet and what even a couple of seconds of delay does, turns people away to different sites. if i'm an independent creator or if i'm like my friend vanessa who runs her own blog, she's two rows behind me with her
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9-year-old daughter today, and my site is slightly slower than other content produced by mainstream media, some of whom also own the pipes -- comcast owns nbc universal. they're producing content that competes with vanessa's content. she'll tell you herself, she can't pay to go faster to access audience. even a few seconds of delay, people want it now. we're in a rapid economy, rapid expectations about how we are delivered our content. it really would hamper competition and her ability to run her own business, reach an audience, earn a living. >> very well. mr. wheeler, in 2014 interconnection disputes involving edge providers, backbone companies, and the last mile isps resulted in netflix video service being degraded for some -- oh, i'm sorry. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you. >> i didn't realize the time. >> chair now recognizes mr.
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olson from the great state of texas. >> i thank the chair. congratulations on your having the gavel for the 116th congress. here we go again. or as the new york yankee sage wisdom yogi berra said, déjà vu all over again. it doesn't matter if a democrat is in the white house, a republican in the white house, a democrat speaker, a republican speaker. we fight, fight, and we fight and do nothing about net neutrality. our inaction has forced agencies like the fcc to try to fill the void. and that's sad. because the chairman mentioned in his opening statement, we have so much in common, so much
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common ground. for example, the title of this hearing. preserving an open internet for consumers. yes! small business, yes. and free speech, double yes. and then the donkey, elephant in the room, title two. that's where this whole thing breaks down. as mentioned, title two is based on the phone of alexander graham bell right over there. and sadly, instead of working together as neighbors and friends and solve this problem once and for all, we keep going down this road over and over and over. my first questions are for you, chairman powell. in y'all's testimony, it brought
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an in-depth analysis of how title two regulations would harm small isps. i was hoping you would expand on how shifting away from 20 years of a previous precedent under title one would affect small isps such as yours. >> thank you for the question. for the record, i graduated from high school and college in texas. so thank you very much. >> ♪ the stars at night >> so the reality of my world is -- and eastern oregon telecom has been around for almost 20 years. in those 20 years -- and we were created to provide advanced telecommunications in a market where the incumbent was not doing their job. and today that is still true. so in the markets that we serve,
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eastern oregon telecom, a nonregulated, competitive carrier who takes no federal dollars, no state dollars is providing 100 meg service to the communities we serve while the incumbent is still struggling to provide 10.1. we're doing that in an area that on the interstate takes about an hour to drive going 70, if you're driving the speed limit, from one end to the other and crosses into the washington border. we do that with 19 employees. >> wow. >> every dollar that we've made since we started has been reinvested in the company. there's not been a single distribution, even for taxes, to the owners, of which i'm one. so the tax thing is painful, by the way. so even as a nonregulated isp, there are reporting requirements. i still have to report the 470, 499, all of those reporting requirements to the fcc that helps with the mapping, even
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though it's not accurate. it's still a problem. you know, we're still doing our part. i probably -- between the state and federal requirements, i probably have a third have a third full time equivalent right now dedicated to regulatory reporting. now to put that into perspective, every fixed wireless tower that i put up, i can activate for about $10,000. and each one of those towers and serve a community or about 500 addresses. that means i'm probably not expanding my infrastructure by some percentage every year. if you add a layer to that, then i can't keep up and i can't continue to expand the network. >> if it's under title 2, your small business gets hit hard and over time fades away and eventually it's gone?
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>> or at a bare minimum is no longer able to continue and serve underserved communities in the rural remote areas of eastern oregon -- >> no new jobs, revenue, no equipment, no growth. thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. we now recognize mr. loebsack for five minutes. >> thank you, chairman, and ranking member. i'm happy that we have a good team here leading this community. i'm concerned if i'm going to have to keep following mr. olson every time given that we're up here on the top. we've worked on things and thank you so much. we're okay with navy. that's right. thank you. lot a great people on the panel. a lot of great issues that we've discussed. i've worked with a number of folks on the other side of the is aisle since i've gotten on this
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committee. we have over a hundred companies like yours in the state of iowa. my district is about the size of -- maybe not quite as big. walden reminds us all the time that my district is as big of his state. but i've worked with congressman walden to try to reduce some of those regulatory burdens on folks like you when i first got on this committee four years ago. i've worked with the congressman on agriculture. and working with kas tell low on the mapping issue. i have some faith. how much i don't know. but some faith that we can arrive at some kind of bipartisan solutionings to these issues. and i'm looking over here, and he's like why am i not talking about him. because we worked together as well on the last conference. and i appreciate that. i talk all the time by rural broad band.
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that's my thing. and we've got to do everything we can to make sure that the quality of services are there and we're able to build out going forward. i was going to ask a small business question. i want to go right to per vision agricultural, how -- i want to ask mr. wheeler this question, how important do you think the open internet connections are, what threats do you see for precision agricultural if these principles are not in place? >> thank you, congressman. it's interesting to watch how technology -- and you watch it far more closely than i do, but how technology has changed the nature of their agricultural activity. and, you know, the day when you had a gps to your tractor changed productivity for agricultural in a huge way.
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we are now moving to a period where fifth generation and next generation broad band services are going to be able to put out into the field things that we haven't even imagined, no more than we imagined the gps to the tractor those years ago. the reality, however, is that somebody is going to control whether or not that capability gets to that field. and when you say, we're only going to do blocking, throttling and priorization, then you say everything else that i can do to advantage myself as the provider of the service can be done. and so what -- a key component of the 2015 order was was how do we maintain flexibility to take
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a look at what happens -- what we don't know is going to happen but we know will happen. that's a key essence of how you deal with maintaining not just having an open internet today, but maintaining an open internet tomorrow. >> thank you. i want to move onto the mapping issue. we've got an rural electric cooperative, and they're trying their best to get the fcc to allow them to provide broad band service to their service area but the mapping as it now exists doesn't allow them because it says that there's a lot more coverage there than there in fact is. and as i said, i've worked with ryan on a bill on that, the fcc is supposed to be coming up with better maps as we speak. but it depends upon the date that they're using obviously.
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and i guess i want to ask both the former chairman, how the heck are we going to deal with this? this is something that we're just fighting with all the time. and especially to make sure that we get people who want to provide that service who might not be an incumbent carrier, it's an rec. >> i think you've all been articulate as the essential essence and the importance of mapping and the commission is working hard to improve the map. so hopefully we will get an improvement on that. specifically with respect to the circumstances of your company and constituent, i would recommend to them that there's a process in place to challenge and appeal the current mapping to be able to demonstrate to the commission that an area that she show as underserved or unserved is unserved. and i'm sure that they've been counseled and are pursuing that
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process. i think that's very, very important to them. >> i know my time is expired. thank you so much for letting me go. if you get back to us on that, we would appreciate it. >> we agree. >> the gentleman yields back. we'll now recognize bill. >> we congratulate the ranking member as well and thank you for the bold name plates because i've always had a difficult time seeing the name plates and identifying the witnesses. so i appreciate that very much. again, first i want to acknowledge that we need to protect users from any blocking or throttling of services. at the same time i do not want to subject the internet ecosystem to a system of heavy
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handed agency control regardless of the administration in charge. this too will lead to limitations on consumer choice and limits on broad band deployment. since the 2008, 2009 rescission, private broad band spending increased year over year except during the period of time title 2 scheme was in place. and in october 15th, 2009, letter to the fcc, 72 democrat members agreed that the commission should and i quote, carefully consider the full range of potential consequences that government action may have on network investment, unquote. and urged against government regulation. i would like to submit the october 15th letter, 2009 letter into the record. >> without objection, so
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ordered. >> thank you, sir. i have a couple questions. in the absence of a federal solution, how does the prospect of state patch work legislation impact any interest you may have in expanding services and creating competition just north of you to washington state and beyond? >> congressman, thank you for the question. so we currently do provide internet service across the river. we serve some wineries, so you should come visit. and some large farms we also serve a small community that's right on the river on the washington side. and anytime there are cross border jurisdictional differences or regulations, it creates a layer of uncertainty where, okay, what's different in washington than in oregon? washington's got a net neutrality, oregon's got a net neutrality law. they're different. how do we manage that? it's less of a problem for us because our goal is not making
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money by manipulating things. our goal is to transform rural eastern oregon, eastern washington and perhaps other areas with broad band and so that's our focus. this other discussion about manipulation and all that, that doesn't even fit into our culture as a company. anything that makes things more complex, it slows us down, it adds a lair of uncertainty when we're dealing with different regulatory environments. so i would prefer to see a national standard for this. and, again, light touch, i'm not absolutely advocating for title 2. i think that's a bad idea. legislation from the federal government solves this uncertainty as we look at other states in the pacific northwest and expanding in those areas knowing what the playing field is the same would provide us a lot of confidence. not having that creates uncertainty and makes us hesitant to expand in those
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areas. >> thank you very much for the input. also again for you, for the most part a business thrives on maintaining a good relationship with the customer. how has the public misunderstanding of the 2015 order impacted the relationship you have with your customers despite your business not engaging in anti-competitive acts? >> it was actually quite disturbing how angry people got over the topic of net neutrality and when i talked about the inability to have a conversation about this that was rational, i started talking early on about some of my concerns about net neutrality in the local newspaper and the feedback was visceral and irrational and i think it was driven off of fear. so people were afraid that even though we stated up front, we don't manipulate traffic, that
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they just were suddenly fearful and distrustful of all isps and somehow it became an eventual entity. and so it was disturbing because our business is built on relationships. >> what about now? are you still getting that? >> we'll see when i get home after this hearing. >> good answer. good answer. thank you very much. i yield back. >> thank you. the gentleman yields back. t >> thank you for the leadership that you're demonstrating on this issue and the leadership that you're providing this committee. i'm going to start off by apologizing to my staff who worked so diligently on questions last night. but i'm going to go off in a little bit of a different direction. i am a recovering trial lawyer -- >> bless your heart, sir. >> thank you. and as such, i am impressed by
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analogies and what i would call stare decisis and mr. wheeler has taken us back on a journey where the ferrymen in england couldn't discriminate. that has certain appeal, aren't you a ferryman who's taking me from one part of the internet to another? >> yes, sir. and that's why we don't discriminate with traffic. >> well, and i heard you give some support for the motion of a legislative scheme coming from washington that ensures that -- what would that look like if it's not title two? >> and i'm not an attorney and i'm not a legislator, i'm -- >> we forgive you for that. >> i'm a small business man. but i think that we need to first define what is our desired
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in state and it's a free and open internet, unincumbered by interference from any provider whether it be the isp -- we focus so much on isps, but rightly so, a lot of this discussion has to revolve around the browsers, the end users, those are the folks that today are actually engaging that more often than the isp. most of the isps that i know, that's not our business model. and so we don't do that. we have to figure out a way to address that issue to create clear boundaries on behavior so that when people -- an end user like myself goes on the internet, i have confidence that i'm going to get where i want to go without somebody interfering. now i did talk about prioritization and i think priorization is i shouldn't be deciding on prioritization, society should be deciding on prioritization. we've talked about public safety
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an awful lot and how they need prioritization. that's at the heart of the first network that we're spending hundreds of millions of dollars on it maybe with a big "b" where it's this network that provides prioritization for public safety. that solves a lot of that problem. but that's a national decision. that's not me making that decision. although i would love to be able to prioritize every 911 call. but title two and net neutrality says, joe, you ought to stay out of that because somebody's going to yell at you, somebody is going to get update at you and you're going to end up in front of congress, and here i am. >> mr. wheeler, i'm in my second term in congress and new to these discussions, so i urge you
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to write a book called net neutrality for dummies. but until you get a chance to do that, can you comment on what others have said and tell me where the pitfalls might be? >> i think thank goodness the people and the eastern oregon telecom of the world because delivering to rural america is an essential. several things, one, the laundry list that he went to in terms of the kind of forms he has to file, most of those are not a result of the open internet order. they deal, for instance, with the mapping question that we all talked about. they deal with other issues that the fcc needs to collect information on. number two, prioritization for public safety activities is specifically allowed for under the 2015 act.
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and three, it's not just the firefighters or the policeman who ought to have -- who are affected by the lack of an open internet. but it's also the people who are the victims of those emergencies who themselves need to get online and are -- experiencing the same blocking or throttling realities and as a result of this decision of the fcc have nowhere to go because that is not an unfair act or practice so long as you say i'm going to be doing that. and so there is no place to go. we need to make sure that we have open networks and open a network includes openness and prioritization for basic and
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essential public services. >> thank you. my time is expired. i yield back. >> thank you. and i apologize if i keep butchering your name. the chair recognizes -- yeah. billy, you're recognized for five minutes. the great state of missouri. >> am i that forgettable? >> i couldn't see you over there, billy. >> i'm -- welcome to this round of double jeopardy. and today on double jeopardy, you need to form your answer in the form of a question. so, if i were to show you mike pence, you would say, who is the vice president. all right. ms. gonzalez you're up. first round. who is this? >> what is mr. baner.
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>> kind of close. who is speaker baner. thank you. and there's $45 for each correct question. i have your $45 up here. and next we have mr. powell. mr. wheeler, would you not bother the witness. next we have mr. powell. mr. powell, the answer, you need to ask the question, the answer is -- >> who is speaker pelosi. >> very good you get $45. and mr. wheeler, you are adept at history as you have proven here today and i know you're a great historian. >> i'm terrified. >> i have great faith that you know the answer to this. and so the question -- this is the answer. >> wait a minute. >> correct. that is -- >> that is john sherman, is it
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not? no. who is it? >> i'll get my 45 bucks back. >> okay. >> this is henry speaker. who is speaker henry thomas rainy. he was speaker of the house when title 2 passed congress in 1934. >> a wise man. >> and i think even speaker rainy would admit that a bill passed should not be governing this century's internet. so question for mr. powell. if we all agree that the 21st century congress should establish basic net neutrality rules, can't we solve the problem by putting them under new authority and not use a set of rules passed by the distinguished speaker rainy. >> it's a little frustrating to hear people cite certain virtues
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of certain elements of title two which could be in some form or the other written into anything new or organic, without considering the millions of pages of other things. it's the difference between should you dump a mountain of regulations on a new emerging service and hope you could make it optimal or should you write from a clean sheet of paper up? i have always believed that the internet is so different, so radically varied from the telephone system that any thoughtful effort to write regulations with respect to its oversight should be done from the ground up, not from the historical mountain down. so there are no limits to congress's power. it can have rules strong. it can create a sufficient amount of nimbleness on situations. i think it's a red herring to suggest that only that body of
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law affords that possibility. >> chairman powell, we've seen a rise in the number of comments filed in response to policy making at the fcc. the underpinnings of the procedure acts legal requirements involving the fcc's treatment of those comments remains largely the same as when you were the chairman. the apa requires agencies to consider all comments received. but to the apa require the fcc to identify the identity of a commenter. >> no it does not require that. is the fcc under any legal obligation to adopt identity verification procedures. >> not that i'm aware. >> in the public had to supply proof of identity, could the burdens not to mention forced
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public be one of the believes impacted by the full and robust public participation that have enjoyed and i think that's probably it. okay. now in my final 15 seconds here of jeopardy. i'd like to ask for unanimous consent to enter into the record a report from the obama administration over the wheeler fcc's decision to go down the path of title 2. >> without objection. so ordered. >> i yield back my one second. >> thank the gentleman. the chair recognizes the gentleman from the florida for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chair. and i think we're developing a consensus that we do need to update the law a little bit and i'm glad to hear that much agreement in the committee t. communications act was from 1934 under frankly della noer roosevelt.
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but radio and telephone were covered under the time in title 2. and in 1984 congress did an amazing thing. we actually added another chapter. chapter 6, on cable. that was ten years before the worldwide web was before. bell system was broke up at that time. mark zuckerberg was born that year. people used pagers and cell phones the size of bricks costing thousands of dollars. i think we all understand it's time, right? the internet is not a fad. the fcc tried to legislate but that's also going to be a femoral. it's always going to be ping-ponging back and forth between administration. so i think the most constructive thing we can do is hear from everybody is develop a new chapter. it's time for congress to act. it's time to have a new chapter covering the internet with new rules for the 21st century. but i reject this being used at
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a stall tactic. it's time for a call for action for it rather than using this to just have more of the same for the next two years in this congress. but we need rules of the road for not only isps but content providers and others. there's a lot of folks who make up the internet. and so it would be great to hear briefly one priority from each of you that -- of what should be in that chapter and keep your remarks brief or i will have to cut you off. we'll start with mr. -- chairman wheeler. >> on the field with the ability to throw the flag for unjust and unreasonable activities. >> okay. and ms. livier. >> i'm going to piggyback on that and have folks need to be held accountable and not repercussions if they're not playing fairly. >> and mr. powell.
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>> i would endorse the original four freedoms that i addressed. >> and ms. gonzalez. >> i'd support legislation that adopts the full protections of the 2015 net neutrality order. >> and mr. dickson. >> ms. dickson. >> i'm sorry. ms. dickson. >> we would support legislation that has flexibility for enforcement. the most important thing making sure there's a cop on the beat. >> i would add that all pieces of the internet be treated equally. again, not my focus on the isp, but the whole entertainment so that the experience of the end user is equal across the board,
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thank you. >> okay. thank you for your input. that's what we're really here for, to actually use this committee to hear testimony and develop a new chapter at least from my opinion and i appreciate all of your advice on that as we're looking forward to working with everybody to develop actually a new chapter for the internet, for the 21st century. so thank you for that. and i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. chair now recognizes the gentleman from ohio, mr. johnson, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate it and congratulations on your gavel. i look forward to working with you this session. my colleague mr. long submitted for the record the 2016 senate report entitled regulating the internet, how the white house
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bowled over fcc independents. it documents how fcc staff were working on a new order that did not use title two for consumer broad band right up until the moment president obama announced support for title 2. chairman wheeler, it's good to see you again. >> sir. >> are you enjoying your requirement? >> it's a different life. >> it's a different life. good. you stated publicly that title two is the only legally sustainable way to protect net neutrality. putting aside, for the moment, the fact that the d.c. circuit gave the fcc a road map for adopting net neutrality without title two, and your lead proposal for open internet regulations relied on title 1, isn't it true that congress can create new authority to protect net neutrality? simple yes or no would be helpful. >> i need to respond to thes a
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pirgss that you have made about me and my decision-making -- >> i need an answer to the question. we're not going to debate -- >> there were five hearings over nine days -- >> isn't it true that congress can create new authority to create net neutrality. >> congress always has the ability to do whatever they want -- >> good. i appreciate that. we're done. >> what's the quality -- >> we're done, mr. wheeler. we're done. i've asked my question to you. so now we're done. your written testimony states that since the repeal of net neutrality, investors have been much more willing and perhaps eager to invest in rural tell communications. as i represent a rural district in eastern is and southeastern ohio, this is encouraging to hear. do you think the broad band market is more competitive or
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less competitive than it was four years ago? >> i think today we're seeing -- and i can speak only to my area. so not the whole world broad band market. but the pacific northwest. i see more competition, more robust competition, more effective competition. and i'm part of a group northwest communications association which is rural competitive carriers, so nonsubsidized, nonincumbents and the work that's being done by them competing in markets where again the incumbents have failed to meet the needs of rural markets, i'm seeing more competition now. and it's not the last four years. again, the cash is only really freed up over the last 12 to 18 months. so that's when we've really seen the market at least in the
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pacific northwest start to really lift again. >> okay. do you have any suggestions for the committee on how we can continue to improve the ability of isps to provide broad band internet access to rural areas? >> so while that's a big question and we have a minute left. i would say, first of all, find ways to encourage competition. find ways to get the middle mile out to these rural areas and then the isps like mine will take it from there. it's getting that long haul out into these rural markets. it's long distance is what we're talking about. certainty is one of the big things. i love the idea of legislating this instead of being regulatory. if it's regulatory, every four years it seems like it's changes. we're talking about infrastructure that we're looking at five or ten year oris
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times. to invest that money and not know if i'm going to have certainty for that is really different. so this is encouraging to me that we're talking about legislating to solve this problem. it's not just a regulatory thing that changes when the chair of the fcc changes. i hope that answers that -- >> i appreciate it. chairman powell, what's been the impact on consumers over the past year of the fcc's restoring internet freedom order? >> well, i think if anyone goes home and uses their internet they won't notice any difference from any other time they use their internet other than to perhaps to notice it's a lot faster two, three, four years ago. i would also highlight the fact that both the wireless industry have announced investments with new generations networks. you're hearing about new deployment announcements.
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and at cse this year, the cable industry announced to move to 10 gig ga bits which is a tenfold increase of any speed available today. >> i yield back. >> he yields back the chair now recognizes the gentleman from arizona for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chair. i thank the witnesses for discussing this issues. i've heard from so many arizonians about an issue that has ramifications for economic opportunity and investment across rural america. my district the american people have spoken loudly about net neutrality. they've spoken out clearly and in strong support of free internet. i do support those principles
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and know how critical they are to ensuring every entrepreneur, every small business, every school in town across rural arizona and america has a fair shot at success in competing in today and tomorrow's global marketplace. hearing from my colleagues here today it seems clear to me that we stand in broader agreement than was realized. we agree that the internet must remain open. that the rights of consumers be protected and that innovation can thrive. as has been stated the question now before us comes down to what we can do about it. rural america needs a permanent enforceable solution. we can't get that -- the investments we need as long as the courts, other states in this body all fight over a patch work of rules. and so i think that mr. soto
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took some of my question away, but i'm going to ask mr. wheeler and chairman wheeler and chairman powell the same question and we have a couple of minutes to get this done. if we had to waive the many things under a title two, why can't congress write a new title? i want to get right to the question that was proposed by a couple of people up here. in your experience, how do we stop the creation of a new title from becoming stalled and how do we prioritize or identify the pitfalls that we're going to be doing through if we go down that course. >> it's a great question. thank you. first of all, we have to agree on what title two means. to my friend, title two is a list of awfuls. to my friend jessica, it's a list of positives. we've got to figure out how to do this. on the panel, i might be unique
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because when i was running the wireless industry association, my members came to me and said we want you to go to congress and have us made common carriers. for precisely the reason that you said, we need uniformity of rules. and so this body passed legislation, created section 323 of the communications act which made wireless carriers at their request into common carriers. that was my a-ha moment. after that happened, one thing happened was that the rules were modernized, we went through and did the same kind of forbearance, and secondly, there were hundreds of billions of dollars that were spent after that on the basis of being a
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common carrier under title two, and having that kind of certainty which the industry sought. so i think you have put your finger on the key driving force which is how do we have a national program, and how does that national program adhere to the kind of concepts that have always been established in protections of title two. >> i would agree with what mr. wheeler said with a couple of exceptions. i would note that he said congress established a section making a public determination as to what the parameters of regulation for the wireless industry be, not the fcc creating it itself out of a patch work of laws available to it. secondly, wireless telephone service was regulated as a common carrier, wireless broad band service was not. and to thing that has driven the explosive growth of wireless is with smartphones, apps and broad
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band connectivity, ask your kids how many telephone calls they make with their apple iphone and you'll see the difference. i wouldn't assume that title two is a competition empowering regime. i think it's the regime favored by ma notary public lists. >> i have to cut you short. i got my four seconds to say the american people have the right to free speech. they don't have that right if we do not allow them to have free and open access to these systems. they have a right to be heard. >> yes. >> gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes mr. wahlberg for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman and i'd like to take a point of personal privilege first of all to express my love and care for john and debbie dingle. john really was the one who gave me the enthusiasm about fighting to get on this committee and
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ultimately on the subcommittee. when i asked what the jurisdiction was of this committee and he pointed to a globe and said it's the entire world. and debbie and i served together well and respect that and so i appreciate your opening comments about supporting, giving prayers to john and debby at this time. also congratulations to you as chairman of this subcommittee and also to my good friend and border protector leader -- the republican leader. i'm happy to serve on this subcommittee. finally in congress. and in that spirit of biparti n bipartisanship, i hope this provides a good foundation for finding a new consensus. that ratchets down having had a
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fire bombing threat -- and i take that personally, and the fbi thankfully did as well. and took action relative to that. and my position which at this time i didn't serve on this subcommittee. and it wasn't involved in that debate. it's an emotional issue and i hope we all can ratchet it down. i stand ready and willing to find a compromise that protects consumers from anti-competitive harms while not satisfiesing long-standing bipartisan policies that should and could promote broad band expansion in the rural parts of my district, in southern michigan. something that remains a challenge today in which i hope we address in this congress. so when it comes down to your business decisions, which probably mirror a lot of what goes on in my district as well, like investing in expanded broad
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band access and upgrading networks to higher speeds, does the content preference drive those decisions. >> no. >> it's broader than that? >> it is broader than that. if i may, i don't want to -- please, don't lose sight soft fact that there are large swaths of the united states that are underserved or unserved. any legislation or regulation that we put in place together, we have to keep in mind the fact that whatever we do should not impede our ability to expand into those areas and take care of those folks. if i could give one quick -- >> is there any reason for you block throttle or -- >> no. heavens no. every dollar i make i spend on infrastructure. we responded to an rfp to provide broad band to any address in wheeler county in
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oregon. it's 750 aware islands. the state of rhode island is 1214. so it's larger by a chunk. rhode island has over a million people. wheeler county has about 1,400. and so -- but those folks still live, work, contribute, and in trying to access them and provide broad band to them is only possible if i don't have barriers that are unnecessary, hurdles that i have to jump over and we can provide broad band to them. we responded to the rfp. we're hopeful. there is hope for that. >> i appreciate that. and that's based upon what the customer wants, what they need and what you're able to give -- >> absolutely. i have no incentive to throttle, block -- that's not the business we're in. >> thank you. mr. powell, when you talk about upgrading your networks to 1 g speeds and the consumer demand for faster internet, that's
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mostly driven by evolving more data driven applications, web services, websites, correct? >> yes, sir, it is. >> as the internet matures, is it fair to say that your member companies are going to need to continue innovating and finding ways to manage their networks in order to ensure that consumers get the lawful content that they want and they can access, that content without a noticeable delay. >> yes. and your first question just by way of a data point, according to sysco, by 2021, almost all of internet traffic will be video. we have to increase network capacity. >> that involves a lot of capacitily. >> is there adequate enforcement
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to make sure you're not gaming this exception? >> we believe so. >> so what you're telling me today is the fcc can protect consumers from blocking, throttling and paid prioritization in both isp and edge providers will still be able to manage their networks, innovate and make updates to keep up with consumers if the fcc is given title one authority. >> yes. and i would add the fact that you have the additional enforcement capabilities of the fcc which remain viable but would not be viable under title two. >> thank you, i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes my friend and colleague from california for five minutes. >> thank you. this is an important hearing. and i want to thank each one of
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the witnesses. i'm so proud to represent the company, they're headquartered in my district. and you gave excellent testimony about one of the most important things that happens in silicon valley and that is new ideas being born every single day. and they don't have the tools to do that, we represent the innovation capital of your country. so your testimony is very powerful. to ms. livier, you just killed it. you really did. i'll tell you. your writing is powerful, your artistry is powerful, your voice is powerful and amen. >> thank you. >> i don't know how you do all the things that you're doing, an actress, a writer, a ucla
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doctoral student, my goodness. jessica, thank you, you're always out standing and represent a great organization. you're a good man and you're in the struggle of doing something that really needs to be done and that is when we have one-third of the american people who either do -- republican either underserved or not served at all, you're a hero in my book. your congressman is a terrific representative. to michael powell, i haven't seen you in a long time, it's great to see you. i wish we agreed with each other. we don't. but our friendship is going to survive net neutrality and to -- and both of the former chairman, you're both really distinguished people who have done extraordinary work in the public sector that isn't always appreciated.
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i haven't changed my mind. and this is not a bragging point but i'm proud of where i am and it's an important debate. everyone says that they love the internet. how important it is. where were so many people when two years ago this last month when privacy ripping off -- ripping privacy off of the internet went through here like a bolt of lightning? who came in? were you here, michael? you weren't here. were any of the people that you represent here? no. this title two has just been beaten to a pulp. i want to read out what applies. you decide in the audience and maybe the american people that
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are listening in how really men nancing these provisions are. it prohibits unjust and unreasonable discrimination in charges, practices and services. so are we fore discrimination? in a lot of references have been made to old laws. whoun what the oldest one is, the constitution. you know that's got so much dust on it. maybe we should throw that one out too. common carriers are liable for full damages in attorneys fees, fcc can recover or order on their behalf, carriers are liable for actions of agents when acting within the scope of their employment. what's so horrible about that? provides process for fcc to receive consumer complaints and assist consumers in working out the issue with the carrier.
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oh, my god. god help us if we help people with their consumer complaints, protect privacy of consumer information and data. that is really darkly menacing. the sky is saving in, ensures fair access to polls and conduits. that's a showstopper, isn't it? is your heart stopping? ensures access to tell communications services for people with disabilities. we can't have that. that is -- that's off the charts. applies certain universal service principles but does not require universal fund contributions. you know where the whole thing rests? it rests around just and reasonable charges and practices. it's money. it's money. that's where the whole debate rests. because on the rest of it, no
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one can hold their head up just as he said, absolutely not. i don't block and prioritization and all of that. and the industry has really behaved themselves for a while until the court decides what it's going to do. but you know what, the worst example is public safety. it's like ripped the veil of this whole thing. firefighters and someone at the other end saying, you know what, if you want more service, we'll charge you more and you can get it. and people's lives are at stake. come on. so, you know, to say that these provisions, these are the -- what i just read are what apply. the majority of title two, there is forbearance. so -- >> the lady's time is expired.
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>> you don't accept this. i don't think these are menacing things and i think they're worth fighting for. i really do. and how this is going to be settled, i don't know. but the internet is an open, free, accessible internet. i think it's consistent with our constitution and the values of the american people and i thank the chairman for his forbearance. >> the gentle lady's time has long expire you had. the chair recognizes my constituent from montana. >> for 20 years it was open and free. it ushered in innovation, transformed our economy, leading to a new high-tech sector and
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good paying jobs. that open and free internet gave us amazon, facebook, google, and the company my wife and i started in our home in montana. we had an idea that the internet might actually make it possible for folks to work anywhere. that the internet might actually remove geology fi as a restraint. we had 1,100 employees within an average wage of almost $90,000. our business is just one example of how a free and open internet created more high-paying american jobs and increased opportunity and greater prosperity. in 2015, however, the obama administration throttled the free and open internet and with unnecessary regulations, the red tape was a solution looking for
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a problem. the internet is a lifeline for our rural communities. it contributes to our rural economies, it ties together high-tech and agriculture, education and health care. one in three montanans lacks access to broad band. unfortunately these heavy handed regulatory approach has been a challenge for small tell communications providers. even the smallest federal mandate could impact our rural providers and their ability to extend their service to new communities, further and exacerbating the divide. i think we have a lot of agreement. i don't see anyone who opposes opening the doors of opportunity to americans in rural communities and i don't know anyone who wants to disencourage the expansion of broad band into more communities. and i don't know of anyone here who wants providers to block or
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throttle consumers. i think we all agree on these issues. but the internet of 2019 is not the rotary phone of 1934 and it shouldn't be treated as such. i came to washington to solve problems and that's what montanans expect. the committee should work on a permanent fix to promote a free and open internet with a light-touch regulatory framework. ultimately congress can't and shouldn't turn over authority to unelected bureaucrats who can change how they treat the internet from administration to administration. the internet has changed our economy in this country. it's created jobs, provided better quality of life for many americans. we must be cautious about how we approach this and i work forward with working with my colleagues to find a solution that works for both sides. so in the little bit of time i have left, i would like to
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direct a couple of questions to you. you testified earlier that these o balm ma era regulations cut off access to revenues. when a business like yours that's provideding broad band to rural communities does not have access to capital, what's the impact? >> for instance, now that capital is freed up and i'll answer it because now we have capital, there are three rural communities totaling about 8 or 900 homes to our east and they're remote. they currently are all underserved, our plans now are to build fiber to the home in those three communities with no government subsidies. that will transform those communities in dramatic ways. i mentioned the wheeler county rfp. with capital, we have a plan to provide robust -- at least 253,
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but hundred meg service to every address. that's a frontier county. one of the most difficult to get to. without that capital, i can't do that. all i can do is maintain in these -- >> in these communities are you providing broad band to school. >> we will -- it's not just residential. we do residential and commercial. >> do you provide broad band to critical access hospitals? >> we do. >> and without capital you're unable to do that. >> that's correct. >> thank you for your testimony. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina mr. butterfield for five minutes. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman and thank you to all of the witnesses, we're going to be having to rush to the floor in just a few minutes and so i'm going to try to get through this as quickly as i can. and i'm surprised to know that so many of my colleagues also represent rural communities and that's good to know because i too represent a rural community
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in eastern north carolina, but the it's not been expressly mentioned here in this hearing and so i want to put it in on the table and make sure that we are very clear. we've got to continue to work on the last mile. we've got to encourage investment, i certainly agree with that, and internet access in rural communities is of paramount importance. too many citizens are without and they're being disadvantaged. let me move to chairman powell. you offer clear support for net neutrality rules including no blocking, no throttling, no paid prioritization. we thank you for that. this tells me that providers are taking the net neutrality protection very seriously. but as you know, net neutrality rules, the 2015 rules are being challenged in the courts and they're working their way through the courts and so my -- we will have a decision, i suppose very soon. why are you calling on congress to step in considering that
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these 2015 rules are being litigated? why should congress step in at this time. >> i think that's a good explanation of why, because the -- this is the fourth time these rules have gone to court. each court cycle is three years in length. whatever happens -- >> i'm a recovering judge, now. >> it was good to you. even if we get a decision this summer, there's going to be appeals to the u.s. supreme court no matter how the result comes out. that's a whole other year or so before you reach a decision. if the court reaches a mixed decision and part of it is upheld, there's a whole other fcc preference before we get a compilation of those rules. there comes a point where it's the absence of clear direction
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and that would bring finality and moot the court jurisdictional fight. >> what regulatory framework will best assist in expanding broad band access? >> one that's very favorable to insentizing the investment of capital. the fundamental problem of a rural community is its uneconomic to serve, there's either not enough revenue to cover the cost of deployment. anything that might raise those costs significantly only further impedes the ability to meet those remote areas. >> you mentioned the need for stronger protections for consumers and providers, do you support congress creating these new protections and what types of proposals would you consider to be strong? >> i do wholeheartedly. in many ways it's odd for me to here people criticizing the rules. i've watched this issue for 14 years. the movement of rules was
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proposed by advocates of net neutrality in order to bring certainty and clarity to what's covered. we have evolved with the debate and we fully endorse those debate. we fully endorse those roles that the commission adopted in 2015. others were adopted in 2010. we are willing to work with you on any new set of rules you might consider. >> thank you. finally, mr. gonzales, thank you for highlighting the traditional media for minority communities. i sure those concerns. can you tell me the effect net neutrality violations like blocking and throttling might have on the communities? you have 1 minute. >> thank you for the question congressman. i think traditionally we have not had a voice in the media in the same way that white folks have. the open era has democratized our access to find an audience
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to create small businesses, to make sure where able to tell our own stories in our own words. and so if there is walking or throttling, that would lessen our access to having our story told in the american fabric. it has otherwise been defined by mainstream media gatekeepers. >> you said it would disproportionately affect minority communities. >> i would say yes. we have had less access to mainstream media. and the access to the internet to tell our story has been critically important to change the narrative and invite people to understand who we are. >> thank you for your passion. i support you completely. >> mr. chairman. i yelled back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas mr. flores for 5 minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. i appreciate the witnesses joining us today. i am picking up a consensus that congress must act. and needs to develop a new section two prohibited
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throttling discrimination on the internet. i think we can find a way to do that and do it anyway that keeps the fcc out of the litigation logs if you will. that said, my concern about the way title 10 has been attempted to be used in the past is that it does not have anything to do with neutrality. and so it is not an effective tool for that purpose. that is the reason congress sees it. let's answer questions about title ii so we can get an idea what could go wrong if you have an fcc they want to go further than the 2015 fcc. chairman powell, could you confirm whether title ii would lead the government setting prices? >> that is possible. >> the government determining what services isps offer consumers and whether and how they're bundled? >> that is also possible. >> that the government can be directing where isps put
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investments and how much they should earn? >> yes. >> that the government can dictate how parts of the internet should be interconnected and on what terms? >> most definitely. >> and the government requiring isps to share their networks that they built with private capital. >> yes. okay last, and this is -- could it be used, we are excited about the potential fig, but is there any way that title ii could be used to inhibit the effective and efficient rollout of 5g? >> as we said, 5g is a service. it would suffer from the same restrictions we talked about all afternoon. >> i look at 5g as a dynamic information service and communications is a small part of it. mr. for now, i represent several rural counties in texas. i am concerned about trying to make sure those rural counties have the opportunity on the dynamic side of the digital divide. you discussed in your testimony however there is regulation,
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there is $8 that does not going to broadband infrastructure. took these kinds of owners onerous regulations in title ii limit competition and for small operators out of business? >> yes. i have specific concerns about title ii if you will bear with me. i will listen. >> be brief. >> the first one is determining price. the cost to build infrastructure and deliver broadband varies widely based on location. >> correct. >> and so determining price can be catastrophic for rural broadband. the second thing is taxation and fees on broadband, if you were to apply state universal service fund of oregon, federal universal service fund, and then franchise fees to broadband, because applying title ii and removing that exemption you could end up with a 20-30% increase in end-user
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broadband cost. >> okay. >> with no productive outcome. >> those are the things that concern me about title ii. >> that is the reason congress is coming up with a new title to deal with a new era of technology. my friend mr. shimkus ran out of time. i heard chairman wheeler and chairman powell answer this question about prioritizing internet traffic to protect orders. i wanted to see if the rest of the panel agreed. should ms. dixon, should internet traffic be prioritized? >> we have an exception in the 2015 order. >> that would be i guess. mr. for now? >> yes. >> ms. gonzales. >> no. >> if not, why? quickly. >> i do not want to construct anymore walls on our border. i am morally opposed to that.
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>> okay. leslie, mr. chairman, i would like to, there was a comment made in the testimony both verbal and read that says to the extent that mozilla would not exist today without net neutrality, i want to give you dates for the record. the first version of the phoenix which ultimately became firefox rolled out in 2002. firefox 1.0 rolled out in 2004. the fcc opened internet rule open internet rule was rolled out in february 2015 and became effective in june 2015. mozilla prospered before net neutrality was in place. thank you. i yelled back. >> thank you. the chair recognizes the vice chair of the subcommittee ms. matsui. >> thank you mr. chairman. welcome to the witnesses. i know it is been a long time sitting there. i know many issues have been covered today. one of the issues i want to concern ourselves with is the continuing to grapple with next-
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generation networks. the issue has gained more notoriety because of the potential it intelligence by gte. these companies have provided access to inexpensive and readily available networking equipment to carriers in the u.s. and around the world. as many of you know, the fcc is currently considering how to balance its universal service mandate. there is a need to ensure the communication networks are secure from the threat of foreign actors. now, in the larger conversation surrounding that neutrality a broadband expansion and next generation networks how should we balance the security concerns? i expect the chairman would have some things to say about it. i wonder if anybody else on the panel wants to start. okay. mr. chairman powell. would you like to say something? >> yes, congresswoman. thank you.
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we have to put it in center concerns increasing concerns about supply-chain security and it needs to be designed from the beginning up. >> yes. >> congress has address supply- chain issues recently in the defense authorization act which we support. dhs recently launched a supply- chain risk management effort with members actively participating. we think this is extraordinarily important activity. we are committed and highly focused on these issues. >> okay. chairman wheeler. >> history is clear that networks are attack vectors. and we should expect that the network of the 21st century is an attack vector for cyber attacks. the question is whether we are going to sit back and play a
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game in response to those attacks or whether we are going to get in front of them. >> all right. >> mike just talked about.supply-chain. as we left the commission we put out a report on the importance of supply-chain cyber management to networks. the trump fcc pulled that. the trump fcc has repeatedly said they don't think they have any jurisdiction over the security of the network they have been entrusted to oversee. they pulled the requirements that we put in place for 5g cybersecurity. and what we are in the process of looking at is the opportunity to deal with cyber as a forethought rather than as an afterthought. >> okay. you know, i mentioned here as part of this thing the
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universal mandate, i know a lot of people probably think this is boring. it really isn't. the contribution of form regarding the universal service fund i think in 2006 this committee considered an effort aimed at ensuring a stable contribution base for universal service. universal service codify the police that all americans should have access to advanced communication services and row customers should have access to reasonably comparable services and reasonably comparable rates. contributions to the federal universal service support mechanisms are currently based on percentage of carriers interstate and international end-user telecommunications revenues. and that is a big part of the discussion surrounding broadband classification. it is issues of reform. in the first quarter of 2019 the contribution factor is 20%. that number may well continue to climb. 13 years ago the committee considered several different
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methodologies for the fcc to use when assessing universal service contribution. michael, we should not make broadband access less affordable. do you have suggestions on how to ensure the long-term stability of the universal service fund? we don't have much time. you might comment on it. >> yes, you need to expand the base. you cannot rely on an idea. >> absolutely. >> every time you want to talk about expand the base, you here today, that is going to increase costs for this broadband service for that. we have heard today the importance of delivering to wheeler county. i like that. and to rural america. and we have also heard, but let's don't raise the money to support that. >> right. >> that is the conflict. again, >>
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>> the gentle lady's time has expired. we will try to get this in before votes. we have 4 more votes. we think the gentle lady for her patience. the chair recognizes mr. welch. >> thank you very much mr. chairman and i want to thank the panel. a big concern i have no matter what we do is to get broadband built in rural areas. you just mentioned that mr. wheeler. and mr. franell i congratulate you. i live on an 8 mile dirt road with high-speed internet. it is a local small company, nonprofit, that somehow figured out to do with the big telecoms have not done and we have done that as well. i have a question on this question of repealing the net neutrality rules that were part of the wheeler fcc, one of the arguments that was made is that we if we got rid of the heavy- handed regulation it would result in an expensive capital
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intensive commitment by our major telecom carriers. that would build out into rural america. and it turns out that is a fairytale. this is a question i think i asked german high. without the overhang of heavy handed regulations, and i don't know where this heavy-handed deal is coming from, because everyone who is complaining about the heavy hands says it is what the light had a compass. there is a lot of rhetoric here. what the chairman said specifically was without the overhang of heavy-handed regulation companies would spend more building the next generation networks. those networks if they expand many more americans especially low income rural and urban americans will get high-speed internet access for the first time. and it turns out my skepticism of that assertion has been proven right. today the financial times reported that the big 4 u.s. broadband companies invested
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less in capital projects last year than they did in 2017, which is when the wheeler net neutrality rules were still in place. it totally undermines one of the rationales for repealing the net neutrality rules. it also showed that in that article that the 4 companies collectively undertook less capital spending in 2018. that is the first time there has been a drop in 3 years, when the net neutrality rules were first put in place. mr. chairman, i would like to put the financial times article published today in the record if i may. >> without egyptian. >> >> without objection. >> 24 million americans lack access to broadband and high- speed internet space. 31% of americans in rural areas lack access to broadband. 44 million americans lack access to both six broadband and 25 three speak.
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and mobile out to eat but been at 10 three speeds. we are on the verge of abandoning rural america. that has to change. it is not just regulations it is about investment. somehow you figure out how to do it. companies figure out how to do it. in my view the big 4 don't care to do it. there is not a lot of money to be made for them. now we have a situation where we do not have the protection of the net neutrality rules in the wheeler administration. in rural america. we are not getting a build out. i will just ask you mr. wheeler are you surprised by the earnings report that indicated no increase in capital expenditures since the net neutrality rules him off the books? >> no. >> mr. pelican you! the decrease in capital expenditures last year compared to the previous 3 years? i can. the headline numbers and those
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reports are wrong. capital expenditure net involves more than network. -- mr. powell can you explain -- >> that was due to the video business and not the network connectivity business. if you sorted out the decreases, with lots of video investment, because of competition, you would find the increase, there has been an increase in networks. >> i don't want to dwell on this. i don't understand a word you just said. >> i don't mean that -- i really don't understand it. these are year-over-year numbers. what i am seeing is whatever that expedition is there is not more internet access in rural america. we need more people like your company. mr. gonzales would antitrust law prevent an isp from blocking access to alaska
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website the presents an opinion the isp does not want? >> no. >> would antitrust law address address the situation of ms. gonzales, where an isp slow down unlawful internet traffic after it was pressure to do so by political figure? >> no. >> the gentleman's time is expired. >> i get back. thank you. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from new mexico lohan. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. mr. chairman, we know that this definitely matters. otherwise they would not be so much interest. not just here in this committee room but with the millions of people across america who responded to this order. i know that we are still trying to make sense of the number of bots and trolls that are part of that filing. but nonetheless, i hope that the chairman allows us to make sense of who is a real person
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and which part of those filings should be taken out. i hope we all agree with that. the foundation of a record in order to make a decision is only as solid as the quality of the information collected. i think that german powell and sherman wheeler you both agree with that, with the importance of what happens at the commission. -- chairman wheeler. german powell. when chairman pai said he was in favor of the open internet order, he said "many more americans, especially low income rural and low-income americans will get high-speed internet access for the first time. more americans generally will benefit from faster and better broadband. mr. wheeler the question i have there is is this true? does the repeal of the 2015 open internet order mean more new mexicans will have access to high-speed broadband? how does the repeal of the
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order meaningfully change the economics of building out rural communities? >> mr. lujan, this self-serving economics manipulation has been used by the trump fcc like a drunk uses a lamp post. to lean against, to support the unsupportable. we have heard comments about what investment was before and what investment was afterwards. there is only one reason to invest. that is to get a return. you don't say i am not going to invest because regulation. you say i'm going to invest because i'm going to get a return. one of the things we have to do especially in new mexico and other rural states is to make sure we have programs in place that get that return. the universal service support
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program. which itself needs to be directed toward building toward capital expenditures rather than uprooting them. >> mr. powell i think you touched on this. do you have the same viewpoint as mr. wheeler? would you agree with the sentiment of my question? >> i would say since 2016 we have had a very significant increase in our network investment. 2 years ago 4% of americans had 1 gigabyte speed. as of 2018 and the industry, 80% of american households had -- >> mr. powell my question is specific to tribal communities and rural america and places like that. does the same hold to in spates with the -- in states with the statistic? what i see a correlation in new mexico? >> the low income hard to serve areas are a problem we all agree with serving. i'm not so sure what any of the
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orders fundamentally change. yes, i believe some of this advancement for the citizens of new mexico is as viable as other states. >> i appreciate your response. we agree with these challenges. chairman pai said it would revolutionize access and rural america and tribal communities in places like elea. >> he is the other brown guy. >> my point is it is not true. it is not true. that is the concern that i have for the constituents that i represent. i will part that aside. there are a few things mr. chairman i want to get into the record. i have a question for ms. gonzales i want in. there is an article i want to submit into the record. it is clear none of this opposed
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benefits of net neutrality are real. appoints to the question i asked. it is an article by carl bode with motherboard. if i may mr. chairman. >> without objection. >> a letter from the internet service providers to chairman pai with concerns associated with the order as well. mr. chairman, dated june 27, 2017. >> without objection. >> an article filtering out bots when americans told the fcc about net neutrality. it goes to the essence of my opening statement as well, mr. chairman. >> without objection. >> and statements from a district as well associated with net neutrality that i would like submitted into the record. and ms. gonzales, i apologize. >> without objection. >> i will submit this to you for the record. i have a few other questions i will submit to the panel's. >> [gavel pounding] >> i appreciate you being here. thank you for taking the time. >> the gentleman's time is expired. the chairman recognizes mr. schrader orca 5 minutes. >> thank you mr. chair. thank you witnesses for coming here. i came to this hearing with
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some degree of trepidation about how it might be conducted. -- the chairman recognizes mr. schrader for 5 minutes. -- >> everyone seems to be in agreement we should fix it. the devil is in the details. everyone came on a favorite of the key elements of net neutrality. it is encouraging from my standpoint. folks seem to be interested in actually solving the problem going forward. this thing has been floating around since the bush administration. the rules of the road seem to be depending on which party occupies the central office, the presidency. i think chairman powell you mention six different fcc chairman from different parties wrestled with this issue. net neutrality has been in the courts 4 different times. more coming up from what you're saying. i have to believe this leaves consumers virtually unprotected
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and businesses in the dark as to what the rules of the road are. that is not good for anybody or everybody. at the end of the day. consumers and folks in the industry i think all agree we need transparency, no blocking, no throttling, no pay by organization except by health and safety. that came out today. and no discrimination. thank you very much for the testimony that ms. gonzales gave. i think that is very important. i am on article 1 of the constitution, i am that person at heart. the job is to legislate. it is to legislate the body. we have for far too long abdicated our responsibility to the executive branch and we ended up with mr. powell and mr. wheeler doing the best they can. they have done human's work. i appreciate what you have both done. i think what we have heard so far today is to provide the fcc with clear legislative and congressional direction. i for one like several others here who have said today favor
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that we go down that route. the last congress, chair mentor's resolution of disapproval. and chairman pai 's rule. it is pretty responsible for chairman pai to robach the wheeler order without putting in any other enforceable protections for consumers. i would need love to see our subcommittee work in a bipartisan manner and codify some rules with all your help and people out there in my home district, that will protect consumers with those clear rules of the road. i think there is an opportunity. for my colleagues who are truly concerned, following chairman pai office action about consumers not being protected right now, if we choose not to solve this problem in this congress, those consumers will continue to be at risk over the next few years and quite possibly into the distant future. i think it is time to end the uncertainty for consumers and businesses. do your job. legislate net neutrality. with that a yield back to mr. chairman. >> the gentleman yields back. i recognize the gentleman from
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california, mr. cardenas. 5 minutes. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. thank you so much for having this hearing. i take it everybody at this panel is for open and free internet. is that true? >> i am. >> yes. >> yes. >> you bet. >> mr. chairman, what are we doing here? problem solved. it is not an issue. some people have believed that just allowing things to be the way they are is solving a problem. i believe that doing nothing and from today, watching the courts decide the fate of consumers of smaller businesses, actors like herself, mr. franell i am impressed with your intent and actions. thank you. not every actor on the playing field we are talking about today has that kind of will and
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commitment to not do things differently if in fact the lanes are not defined of. that is the biggest problem that we have here. i think we have 2 former incredible chairman here. i have so much respect for both of you. former chairman powell and former chairman wheeler. every time you are here i feel enlightened. i am not kidding. your ability to decade -- articulate the decades of knowledge. some of my colleagues said i don't understand what you just said. that is amazing. and thank you for your service. thank you for your service when you are in the public sector as chairman of the commission, and thank you for your service and the private sector continuing to try to wrap your head around how do we make a better world? for everybody? thank you so much. to all of you, ms. gonzales, for what you do, and i believe
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you are in the public sector, in the sense that you work for a not-for-profit and you're just trying to make things better, for the least among us, and i don't mean it in a derogatory way, i mean the smallest of the smallest businesses, the mothers and fathers, who just want to make a life for their families and this happens to be the space they are doing it in. and for those of you who are in a smaller space, on the playing field, god bless you, because you can get squashed like a bug or run over in a moment's notice. most people would not know you're gone. thank you for all that you do. ms. dixon, if you want to take the opportunity, i think there was a question my colleague from texas mr. flores mention firefox. i think you may have wanted to comment . but we ran out of time. >> i did. i think the notion that firefox and mozilla was created at a time when net neutrality rules were in play is just silly. we are starting back from the status quo. as much as i have a ton of
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respect for 224 he did not actually create net neutrality. it existed on the internet for years and years and years. but we had, we had principles under chairman powell under that regime in the fcc. we also have merger agreements that had restrictions with respect to net neutrality. we had lexa protections in play. that is what the web was founded on. we were founded, mozilla and firefox, during an era when net neutrality was strong. it is now, today, for the first time, that we actually don't have net neutrality rules that protect consumers. thank you. >> and, the thing is, when you talk about protections, i call them lanes. i happen to have been a small business owner at one time in a regulated industry and some of my colleagues would get upset when more regulations would come on. i would look at those regulations and read them. and then he would realize that many of them actually helped us stay within our lane. and actually helped us make sure that we stayed out of the legal system because we had
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lanes that we could follow. when we followed them, we could defend ourselves and say we did proper practice when somebody was trying to sue us or what have you and things of that nature. lanes, to me, are very important. this is an arena where the lanes are basically muddled and right now the courts just might even make it worse as far as less lanes for us to follow by. also, mr. franell my complements to you. at the same time, you mentioned something in your opening statements about the bad actors and kind of like, you know what, the bad actors don't get weeded out, because they lose business. with all due respect, the smallest business is in the space, can disappear almost overnight because of a bad actor that they had, you know, run into, like a mack truck. that is my concern. when we have lanes, less of that, the smallest players on the field disappear. and i just want to thank
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vanessa, if you don't mind, i have met your daughter. if you don't mind me mentioning her name. people like vanessa, this is the means by which she feeds her daughter alina. >> [gavel pounding] >> i have to tell you we have to make sure what we do, mr. chairman, and i yield back in 2 seconds, we have to think of everybody, not just the largest players on the playing field. thank you. >> the gentleman yields back. the committee would like to welcome ms. mcmorris rodgers who weighed on today. you're welcome to speak for 5 minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. i appreciate the chance to join you all today. on an issue that i believe should have been resolved probably many years ago in a bipartisan fashion. up until really 2015 there had been decades of bipartisan consensus on the principles of an open free internet. principles that would ensure consumer protection without disrupting the free flow of information and innovation. that has made it the cornerstone of the 21st century economy. it is about this debate is
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about the merits of an open free internet. i support an open free internet. we have a large agreements on supporting an open free internet. colleagues on both sides of the aisle have mentioned that. this is really about how we as americans want to shape the future of our economy. do we want to regulate the internet as a 1930s style utility where we have more burdens burdensome regulation, controls, that i feel will stifle innovation? an internet that will leave many rural and underserved communities behind? like in my district. or do we want a 21st-century internet that will choose our economy, create jobs and allow us to be a leader in new cutting-edge technologies like ai or ing, autonomous vehicles. an economy that utilizes advances in technology to lift people out of poverty and provide them with more economic
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opportunity. i think we all agree we want the latter. that is why i am introducing the promoting free internet freedom and innovation act. this bill is based upon washington state law. it would codify the bright line rules of net neutrality, specifically no blocking, no throttling, no paid prior to station. this is a solution that passed in my home state on a widely bipartisan basis, a bill that was signed by my democratic governor, supported by democrats in the congressional delegation, and was praised by former secretary commissioner clyburn. most important lee, the solution does not cause changes to the internet they would stop innovation, stifle broadband deployment, and leave millions of americans behind. a solution that codifies the key principles on which both parties agree, and have agreed for many years. the internet has revolutionized every single aspect of our lives. it has changed how we communicate. it has changed how we approach our own personal health, or travel across town.
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it has improved the quality of life for millions of americans. we all agree it is vital to our future. the opportunity that it provides for economy, and hard- working men and women in the 21st century is really endless. i want to once and for all result what i believe is a manufactured political debate and provide certainty to the internet ecosystem so we can make that opportunity a reality for every single american. so, i would like to focus my questioning on the federal versus state debate. i believe the provisions of the washington state law are reasonable and consistent with the principles both parties have been discussing at the federal level for years. i do not believe it is wise to regulate a state-by-state approach. the internet is the key to interstate commerce. it does not and at our borders. a federal solution is the only way forward. chairman powell, can you
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briefly discuss why pursuing an open internet regulation at the state level can be harmful to innovation and consumers and why do we need the federal solution? >> the open -- for instance, it was said this was the death of distance. the network knows no boundaries, respects no geographical limitations and consequently cannot really responsibly be regulated in buckets and chunks. we have understood the principal since the days of interstate commerce and trucking in the environment, and all kinds of areas where you just don't have the ability to logically organize law around different state jurisdictions. i think there is no question the internet is interstate in nature. it would be hazardous to regulate it in anything other than a single company at the way. >> as a follow-up, do you believe the fcc currently has the authority to prevent attempts to regulate this issue
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at the state level? >> i do. that is been their position. i also believe it would fall under conflict preemption meeting. the two regimes are not reconcilable. >> one final question. do you believe the washington state law and the legislation are consistent with the 4 internet freedoms described in 2004 when you are chairman of the fcc? my limited number understanding of it is yes. i think there are some aspects we should examine more carefully like specialized services. i also would note it was a productive piece of work and did not include anything like that. >> [gavel pounding] >> i yield back. >> thank you. the chair will request unanimous consent to enter the following documents into the record. an article from free press, a letter from consumer reports, a letter from the american library association, a letter from tech freedom coalition, an article from motherboard, an article from financial times, and a 2010 letter to former secretary chairman janikowski.
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without objection, so ordered. i want to thank the witnesses for their participation in today's hearing. we genuinely appreciate you coming here and i want to remind members that pursuant to the committee rules, they have 10 this is days to submit additional questions for the record. to be answered by the witnesses who have appeared, i would ask each witness to respond promptly to any such question that you may receive. at this time, the subcommittee is adjourned. >> congratulations. >> congratulations. >> good, how are you? >> how are you? >>
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-- at this time, the subcommittee is adjourned. [gavel pounding]
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executives with t-mobile and sprint will testify wednesday about the proposed merger before a joint house hearing. the proposed deal would join the third and fourth largest u.s. local carriers. you can watch live coverage of the hearing at 10 am eastern on cspan3, c-span.org or listen live with the freight c-span radio app. -- with the free c-span radio app. there nearly 100 new members at the house of representatives this year. ohio, west virginia, maryland, mississippi and washington. they are five states that added one new member. representative anthony gonzalez was a football star at ohio state before the indianapolis colts drafted him in 2007. after injuries, and cut short his professional football career, representative gonzales
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earned his mba at stanford business school. he is the first latino elected to ohio's congressional delegation. representative carol miller served over a decade in the statehouse before voters in west virginia's there district elected her to congress. politics runs in her family. she is the daughter of former congressman samuel divine whose seat would later be filled by future ohio governor in 2016 presidential candidate john casey. congressman michael guest was a local prosecutor in mississippi for nearly 25 years. the last decade as district attorney before his election to the house. he is also a sunday school teacher at his local baptist church. representative david trump and his brother opened a small liquor store in delaware in the early 1990s. the company eventually moved its headquarters to maryland and has expanded to become the largest independent fine wine retailer in the country.

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