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tv   Senate Commerce Committee Takes Up FCC Nominations  CSPAN  July 22, 2017 3:49pm-6:20pm EDT

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interview -- two part interview with mr. gero who talks about whichok "rising star" covers president obama's life of to the presidency -- up to the presidency. >> over the course of his presidency, there were scores and scores of people in illinois who had known him earlier, who would deeply disappoint -- were deeply disappointed in his presidency. number one, disappointed that barack obama forgot the people, many of the people, most of the people who work essential to his political rise. announcer: sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. now a confirmation hearing for the fcc chair to serve a second five-year term and for two other fcc commissioner nominees,
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democratjessica rosenworcel and brendan carr. this is two and half hours. this hearinge: will get underway. because we have time constraints i will forgo my opening statement and ask for unanimous consent to be put into the record and we will proceed directly to introductions that we are going to hear and hopefully to the panel. senator nelson wants to make an
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opener and we will do that after we recognize senator roberts, the senior senator from kansas who is here and will open things up this morning. senator roberts? sen. roberts: thank you. thank you ranking member nelson. and fellow senators, senator moran. and members of the committee. it is a great privilege for me to introduce a friend, ajit pai , for his reappointment to the federal commission. it is not often i find myself on the side, but i have to imagine that on occasions such as this i must be calmer than you are. [laughter] an. roberts: that is sort of inside story. my staff wrote that. i have no idea what it means. [laughter] >> you look really nervous. sen. roberts: it is hard to believe more than five years have already passed since we introduced ajit for his first
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confirmation hearing to serve at the fcc. at that hearing in 2011i highlighted his impressive professional background, both in government and in the private sector, a background that made clear he was a talented man capable of leadership. today having served as commissioner and chairman of the fcc, his record of success for itself. in his time at the sec, he has taken on robo calls, he has increased transparency and accountability by releasing commission documents to the public prior to agency votes. he has traveled the country highlighting challenges and opportunities for rural consumers that currently lack sufficient access to broadband. so more than anything, i want to thank him for his dedicated work on behalf of consumers across the country and especially for kansas. and i want to thank you for in kansas and alan
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last fall to highlight the importance of the work rural providers are doing to connect families into small businesses in rural communities to broadband that is so vital to success in today's economy. as chairman of the agriculture committee, i regularly hear from farmers and ranchers that have come to rely on broadband to run their operations and to connect customers and markets all around the world. and i take heart in the fact that those constituents that feed the nation and world have a fearless advocates at the home of the fcc, who understand the challenges that lie ahead in closing the digital divide between rural and urban communities. to my colleagues on this committee, i urge a swift confirmation of for my friend and a proud kansan. thank you. chairman thune: thank you senator roberts. i always tell senator roberts, if you close your eyes you can hear paul harvey. yes. thank you. i will turn out to senator nelson for his opening remarks
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and then we will go to some other introductions of some of our panelists. sen. nelson: thank you mr. chairman. and there seems to be some passing interest in this subject matter today. it would be impossible to get all these people into our little committee room, so thank you all for all being here. and it is because everybody here understand that the commission plays such a vital role in protecting consumers and competition. incumbent upon us to review the qualifications, to carry out the role of all persons nominated to serve as commissioners to this agency. forjessica rosenworcel, it has
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been a long and winding road. when in reality, she should already well be into her second term on the agency. i want to thank you for your patience, your perseverance, and your continued willingness to serve the public. your expertise, your good togment, the dedication the public interest is noted. and it is a central. -- is essential. brendan carr, congratulations on your nomination. there you are. it seems clear that you are well-liked and well-regarded by the communications bar. and i enjoyed my meeting with you. , yesterday. we have concerns about two consecutive terms, not one term, but two consecutive terms.
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to which the senate is being asked to confirm you. and it would provide you with the longest single initial. period of service to the fcc. in addition, it is hard to recall a similar situation where someone was nominated to serve at the commission alongside rather than to follow their current boss. we must have commissioners with an independent voice at this critical regulatory agency and ones that will fight for consumers and the public interest. and that is why i will urge our colleagues to take a particularly hard look at the question of two consecutive terms. it seems to me that the wiser course would be to hold this
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hearing, consider the gentleman's qualifications and if he is confirmed see how he does over the next couple of years before confirming him to an additional term on top of the original one at this agency. and finally, let me welcome back chairman pai. you have been busy since your last appearance. i want to give you do credit for many of the actions the fcc took at the open meeting last week. they included several solid proconsumer actions aimed at improving the lives of americans. you, these most recent consumer protection actions, however as mere icing on what is cake.ise, unpalatable
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ak constructed out of actions that would -- a cake constructed out of actions that would eliminate protections that threaten consolidation, that free andinternet less less open and that we caaken critical consumer protections for those most vulnerable. many of us cautioned you other earlier in the year that we would judge her success on your ability to put the public interest ahead of certain special interests. us there are a number of concerned, are you heating that advice -- heeding that advice. that advice was offered from the heart. ultimately, we need commissioners that have consumers' backs. we need commissioners that are not afraid to use the robust
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statutory authority that congress has given to the fcc to protect consumers. and on behalf of those consumers, this committee is going to be over seeing and doing our duty as the oversight committee, and will be doing that robustly. mr. chairman, thank you for the opportunity. chairman thune: thank you senator nelson. i will ask if our three nominees would come forward. they are very well-qualified nominees. missrosenworcel and brendan carr as we consider the nominations for the commission. before we go further, i want to welcome, i know there are a number of the families here today and thank you for being here and for being a part of public service, which i know ames in many cases with sacrifice on behalf of the families. i will flip it now to our other
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senator from kansas, senator moran, to introduce the chairman. and following that i want to recognize senator blumenthal for two minutes to introduce jessicarosenworcel. and it senator gardner is going to introduce brendan carr. we will go in that order. senator moran, senator gardner, senator blumenthal, and then remarks from nominees. sen. moran: thank you. thank you to the ranking member. i joined my colleague from kansas and welcoming mr. pai and his family to the commerce committee. i consider him a friend, which is a word that you have to choose carefully around here so that it retains any meaning. of i also consider him one the most intelligent and hard-working diligent public servants i have ever met. in my time in congress and as a citizen before elective office.
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and i have seen him in kansas and washington dc. we appreciate the fact remains a kansan, even when he is surrounded by the influences of the nation's capital, so i consider him also a person of integrity, common sense and good judgment. i had conversations with both jessica and mr. carr in recent days and i asked them to hold ajit accountable and bring the fcc to a point where there is camaraderie and cooperation and the last time that chairman pai was in front of the committee, i indicated to the other commissioners that if you failed to do that i would call his parents and ask them to intervene. i have no doubt that will not be necessary. we want an fcc commissioner networks together, even in differences of views and policy professor, -- perspectives, takes the higher road, working together with respect and
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dignity for all commissioners. something i think that this committee would appreciate, particularly based upon past circumstances. so i am really here to just say ajit, thank you for your public service and i look forward to your confirmation. and i believe you are totally worthy of the opportunity to serve americans in the capacity that the president has asked you to serve. i will ask my colleagues to join me in that confirmation. chairman thune: thank you. senator blumenthal? sen. blumenthal: thank you. i could not be more delighted and proud to welcome jessica rosenworcel here today along with her family, emmett and mark. they come from a wonderful family in west hartford and she has really served with extraordinary distinction and dedication. not only at the fcc, but also with this committee. in letting be remiss
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this moment pass without paying tribute to two of the giants that have served on the committee, senator rockefeller and -- because she worked with them as their counsel. she has been a champion of important toy everybody on this committee on a bipartisan basis, our schools, emergency responders, everyday consumers. i have been privileged to welcome her several times to connecticut where she has championed the interests of the victims of cramming. and although the homework gap, which is the hartford current recognized a few days ago in an editorial, a term that she coined. advocateeen a tireless of public safety mode working to cc'ste the sec's 9/11 -- ffc
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9/11 rules. and she has been pushing to update our spectrum policy and unlicensed use. i hope to continue to welcome her back to connecticut on issues like the pervasive scourge of robo calls, which she visited connecticut to highlight. and i want to thank her and again her family, all the families here today because i know that your service is really worthy of recognition. who devote time and effort to your spouses, your parents, your loved ones. and i look forward to ommissioner rosen wurtzel's -- to ther confirmation. it is overdue. and i look forward to working with all nominees and congratulate you on your nominations. thank you. chairman thune: senator gardner?
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gardner: thank you. i have the privilege and honor of introducing brendan carr to the committee today. before i begin, i want to send a message to ajit, remember, it is our water. [laughter] and i am not from virginia, that because brendan carr does not have a virginian on the committee they selected the next best thing and that is colorado, part of it in the union today because of the louisiana purchase and a virginian, so welcome to the committee today it is an honor to have you. brendan carr has dedicated his life to telecommunications policy. after receiving his degree at georgetown university, he continued his education and telik medications at catholic university in washington, worked as a telecom attorney before joining the staff as a lead advisor on wireless public safety and international issues. he serves as the sec's general
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counsel acting as a chief legal advisor for the commission. during his time there, he has had the opportunity to visit colorado twice. i was fortunate enough to have him accompany me through this day, with the opportunity to visit startups, a great start up state. we met with podcasters and rural broadband providers and we toured a 911 emergency call center. throughout the tour i was impressed with his grasp of telik medications policy across the wide range of issues. and i believe he would make an outstanding commissioner. he is certainly committed to the success of our urban core doors of this country but equally important the rural quarter was of our nation as well. it is my pleasure to introduce brendan to the committee and i look forward to hearing him discuss what he sees as his role in the commission. welcome to your family as well. chairman thune: thank you. we have to vote at 10:30 a.m. and we will roll through that to try to keep the process moving
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forward and ask that the nominees confine their remarks to five minutes as close as optimum, giving an optim time for questions. we will start with chairman pai. ranking member nelson, members of the committee, thank you for holding this hearing. that has been an honor to work with you on many issues. i would like to introduce my family, my wife jeanine, our children alexander and annabel, collectively the nuggets, and my brother-in-law and his fiancee rachel. i am grateful to them for their love and support. especially i would like to thank my parents, who traveled from kansas to be here today. 46 years ago they left india with little more than $10 and a transistor radio and today here they said with distinguished
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members of this body, their son having been nominated by the president of the u.s. to this important post. only in america. i also would like to thank president trump for nominated me to serve another term, and to senator roberts and senator moran for their support and kind introduction to this morning. finally i want to congratulate jessica and brendan on their nominations. if confirmed, these public servants will each service great distinction. over the past several years, you have come to know me and where i stand. for the past several months, you have seen this work from closing the digital divide to combating -- to making the agency more transparent. i am sure we will discuss some of that work today. but i want to share perspectives from outside the beltway. one of my favorite poems is "song of the open road." he writes of the people he has met. i carried them, men and women.
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i carry them with me wherever i go. i swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them. i am filled with them and i will fill them in return. i can understand what walt whitman meant, for i've had the privilege of meeting countless people, both in washington and around the country. stay with me. i carry them wherever i go. they fuel my passion to help deliver digital opportunity to all americans. i carry with me steve currier. during my visit to the suit reservation in south dakota, he told me about a woman that was found dead in her home. she had out for help 38 times but the call never went through because there was no wireless coverage. i carry with me mike frost of allen, kansas. he runs a feedlot that uses broadband technologies to monitor every cow's unique intake in real-time, that way he can assure particular buyers that his beef is of the highest
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quality. i carry with me a carnegie mellon professor. several years ago she founded a company that creates apps for sports teams and venues, delivering information to fans. the client included sports teams, including her beloved penguins. her personal story is inspiring. her family came to america through india and she is a great role model for indian americans and women in the stem fields. and i carry with me a doctor from the cleveland clinic. 2stroke patient's brain uses million brain cells every minute and the doctor explained how connectivity of the self has allowed the units to cut the time for stabilizing a patient by 38 minutes. i carry with me mike bosch, andy newton, travis carter, and others. they helped run competitive fiber providers, one in kansas,
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southern lights at the gulf coast, u.s. internet in minnesota, and rocket fiber in detroit. i have seen for myself how they are building fiber networks in small towns and big cities. i have even strong fiber myself in a by you in louisiana and in a crowded city block in minneapolis. i carry with me when gilmore, who helps run my hometown radio station. enabling others are generations to make their own lifelong connections through the station and town. i carry with me alex alex gard, a seattle-based company which helps consumers avoid unwanted robo calls. me forg of, i carry with the treatment of new york city. she wrote to me calling robo calls the wild west, an area of lawlessness. hopefully you will put this high on your agenda, it is disruptive to one's life. ist but certainly not least carry with me my coworker that the fcc. they are the strongest advocates
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this agency or any agency could have and it is an honor to work with them. are just a few of the stories i carry with me every day. i am filled with them. should i be confirmed, i will do my best to ensure that the fcc byls them in return empowering them to help americans everywhere improve their lives and connectivity and technology. thank you for, holding this hearing. i will continue to work with you and hopefully my colleagues in the time to come. chairman thune: thank you. ms. rosenworcel, welcome. ms. rosenworcel: thank you. good morning members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. i am honored to have been renominated by the president to service commissioner at the federal communications commission. i would like to begin by introducing my family.
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sitting behind me is my husband of 17 years, mark balin. and sitting next to him as our son, who is seven years old. his 10-year-old sister, caroline frances, could not be here today. she sends her regrets because she is at summer camp. as you may know, i previously had the honor of serving as commissioner, but i stepped down from the position at the start of this year and i headed home. since that time i have had the privilege of attending every school performance and a little league game. i have had the opportunities to reacquaint myself with the world es andh my children's ey experiences as digital natives. i it is trite but true, but distance provides perspective and in my time away one thing has become abundantly clear -- the future belongs to the connected. no matter who you are aware you
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live in this country, you need access to modern comedic haitians to have a fair -- modern mitigation to have a fair shot at success. we make today about technology, infrastructure and access are in inheritance for the next generation. how we grapple now with the disrupting and democratizing effects of digitalization will play no small role in determining america's success in the future. the stakes are high, so a little humility helps. that is why i believe the work of the agency must emphasize what is time-tested and enduring. to this end, i believe the work of the commission must be guided by four essential values that have informed communications policies for decades. first, public safety. we need policies that ensure
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that our networks are available when the impeccable occurs and we need the most -- when the unthinkable occurs when we need them the most. second, we need modern communications, not just in urban areas but in rural areas. third, condition -- competition. it is the best way to increase innovation and lower prices. and forth and finally, consumer protection. communications services are multiplying in our economy and in their importance in our daily lives, so we should always be on guard for opportunities to help consumers make good choices. these values derived from the law and in form my work as a commissioner. that includes my efforts to strengthen 911 service, which were based on input from visits with first responders all across the country. it also includes my efforts to
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increase access to broadband in our schools, and increase opportunities for digital age education. furthermore, i am proud to have worked on spectrum policies for both licensed and unlicensed airwaves. i have made this country's wireless markets competitive, innovative and a strong. however, there is more work to be done to bring communications policies into the future. that includes work following the world's first spectrum incentive options, managing the impact of those options on our nation's local broadcasters, and building on a wireless success with the next generation of mobile service known as 5g. it will require new ideas to spur innovation, spark entrepreneurship, incentivize the deployment of new networks, and help bring the benefits of modern communications to everyone, everywhere across the
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country. if reconfirmed, i look forward to working with the individuals at the table and all others at the commission. if reconfirmed i will be guided by the fundamental values in the law i discussed with you here today. if reconfirmed i will continue to respect the priorities of this committee. in closing, thank you chairman, ranking member nelson and members of the committee, i appreciate the opportunity to sit here before you today and i look for to answer request and you might have. chairman thune: thank you. mr. carr, welcome to the committee. thune,r: chairman ranking member nelson and establish members of the committee, it is a privilege to appear before you today. i am humbled by president trump's decision to nominate me to serve as a commissioner at the fcc. and i am honored to have this committee consider the nomination. i want to start by thanking you and your staff for the courtesy
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you have shown me over the past few weeks. the chance to meet with you has given me the opportunity to learn more about the issues important to you and to your states. these meetings have only underscored the important role that the fcc plays in the lives of all americans, whether it is promoting broadband deployment by protecting consumers, or advancing public safety. with the committee's indulgence i would like to introduce my family, my wonderful w ife, and are two terrific boys, quinn and emmett. we are blessed to be their parents. i also want to introduce my parents, tom and barbara. for my dad, this is a homecoming, this was his first job in washington dc, a mail sorter. so he is glad to get a chance to come back. [laughter] mr. carr: i also want to pai andms.e mr.
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rosenworcel. i have worked with them for a number of years and i can say that they are exceptionally thoughtful and dedicated public servants. i currently have the privilege of serving as the general counsel at the fcc, not the first job i have had at the agency, however i joined the commission over five years ago as a staffer during the obama administration's. i worked in office of general counsel providing advice to the wireless bureau, public safety bureau and international bureau. i then had the chance to work on issues for commissioner pai. i have a passion for technology and it started well before i joined the agency. in fact, i went to law school over 15 years ago now specifically for the purpose of studying telecommunications law and policy. after graduating i worked at a law firm where i gained experience in the area and exited clerkship with the
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judge on the fourth circuit, which helped spark my interest in public service. looking back i learned a lot in the past dozen years working in communications. i have come to know and admire the fcc's terrific staff. they are passionate. i have come to understand the importance of bipartisan consensus and working toward common ground and if confirmed i will certainly work in that spirit as a commissioner. i will talk briefly about the focus i bring to the commission if confirmed. first, we have a tremendous opportunity in a telecom space to create jobs, to spur investment and grow the economy for the benefit of all americans. i believe the fcc's policies should do that. broadband will play a key role, whether it is the economy with high-speed connections, the workers that manufacture the network infrastructure, or the
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businesses that use the connections to reach customers around the world. broadband can harness the talents of all americans. you can create good paying jobs, they can drive the nation' economic growths. maintain thest united states leadership in wireless. and other competitive networks come on want, spectrum will be a key piece of that. connecting every american or expanding the internet of things. fcc must always promote public safety. this includes the transition into 911 next generation and ensuring that there are first responders to have communication technologies that they need to do their jobs. so in closing i want to thank the committee again for taking the time to consider my nomination. i look forward to answering your questions. chairman thune: thank you. i will start off and i will ask,
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because we will have a vote coming up quickly, and the republicans are all invited to the white house for a meeting, so we will have to try to wrap this up by that time. if everybody can be respectful of everybody else's time. i know that each of you appreciate the importance of cooperation between fcc and congress, nevertheless these hearings give us an opportunity to underscore that point. if if confirmed will you pledged to work cooperatively to provide timely responses to our questions and requests for information? >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. chairman thune: and in every broadband report since the sec adopted reforms in 2011, the commission has stated that broadband is not being deployed to all americans in a reasonable fashion, while also noting the disparity between urban and rural areas.
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nonetheless, many small providers deploying broadband to the hardest to serve parts of america have seen funding for the projects cut repeatedly. the law requires the fcc to ensure broadband is made available in rural areas in a matter that is reasonably comparable to services in urban areas, but by its own account the fcc has failed to do so. i would ask will you commit to conducting thorough economic analysis of the impact of these cuts on broadband deployment and row areas before allowing any for the reduction in the percentage of recovery for high-cost areas? >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. chairman thune: thank you. chairman pai, you have proposed an fcc inquiry to evaluate new uses for spectrum, something i called for in a letter last month. how can congress support the fcc's efforts to bring spectrum forward for commercial use in a timely fashion and what issues does the fcc think will need to
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be addressed to make this happen? mr. pai: i think you highlighted in your area -- in your letter, an area that is key. and pursuant to your letter, we took a look at the lay of the land and thought this is right for inquiry and recently i propose to colleagues that we will be voting on sin the notice of inquiry that would key of providing bands between three and 24 gigahertz, in particular the three. bands and we are hopeful that these bands in particular will generate substantial public comment and that we will be able to maintain u.s. leadership in spectrum policy by figuring out which areas are possible for licensing and licensed innovation. we would certainly want to keep you informed every step of the way and if you have the killer views on bands that we should be focusing on we would certainly welcome the input. chairman thune: thank you.
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hearing earlier this year on broadband infrastructure we looked at a number of states that passed legislation on reducing barriers to broadband deployment, some states and municipalities have streamlined their processes to foster new commercial services while others have not. to help address barriers we are also exploring potential legislative solutions. the question is, apart from direct investment, what do you think can be done at the federal level to speed broadband and for structure and clement? ms. rosenworcel: thank you for the question. i think there are a variety of things that can be done, some of which have been discussed before the committee, including ensuring that all federal actors use the same contracts to facilitate deployment on federal property. furthermore, i think it would be useful for the fcc going forward to contact other federal actors in this country, like the department of transportation, the department of the interior, bureau of indian affairs, that
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have facilities across the country, and it kiev through a memorandum -- and see if it through a memorandum we can reach a commitment to accomplish those initiatives in a short amount of time. with one third of the nation's land being federal lands we can set a good example in support the example across the country. chairman thune: thank you. chairman pai, the policy center reports that 1.3 million comments were filed in the net neutrality proceeding. they are from, i should say 1.3 million comments from international filers with more than 3000 coming from the same address in russia in support of the 2015 title ii rules. there have been other stories of abusive comments filed or fake comments. how do you waive those? mr. pai: it is a key issue. obviously the fcc in undertaking
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the new rulemaking wanted to establish an open process were anybody with an interest could voice his or her views. i understand there have been concerns on all sides about the comments. at the end of the day, once the stafft period closes, looks at the records and we're ultimately guided by the substantial evidence test, outlined in the administrative procedure act, expounded by the supreme court in 1966, essentially the quest and as -- has the agency collected evidence that a reasonable person would agree is adequate to support conclusions that were made. northstareen our on those issues. that is the standard we will apply and we will figure out what the appropriate judgment is based on those facts in the record. chairman thune: thank you. senator nelson? sen. nelson: it is interesting that we have to be concerned about comments filed from russia. [laughter] sen. nelson: it is a new day.
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mr. carr, i want to follow up. i have a policy question. it is hard to recall a similar situation where somebody was nominated to serve at the fcc alongside, rather than what has been typical, to follow their current boss. and of course it raises the question of independence. and it is necessary that this committee raised this question of independence, how independent can you be of chairman pai? can you name for the committee a time at which you disagreed with chairman pai on an fcc matter or proceeding? mr. carr: thank you for the question.
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it is a good one. independence is important for the agency and for the decision-makers at the agency. i have been at the commission for over five years in a variety of roles and i've had various clients in those jobs and i hope i've always served their interests. when i had a chance to work for the commissioner, i gave him my best candidate advice, sometimes he took it, sometimes he did not, but going forward i will make my own decisions. i will call it the way i see it based on the facts, the record and what serves the public interest independent of where other people come out. at the same time i hope that if confirmed all five commissioners can find common ground far more often than not. sen. nelson: ok. but that is not the question. the question is, can you name an instance substantive disagreements as we evaluate your independence? mr. carr: thank you. as i noted, i gave him my best
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advice i could on a variety of issues. he did not always agree with me on this. but given the importance of having free importance of the exchange with staff, i think i want to leave it at that for now. i commit you going forward i will be independent in my decision-making. sen. nelson: we appreciate that commitment, but we have got to evaluate your independence. you simply will not name an instance for the committee's's inauguration where you might have disagreed with him? to leave i just want those discussions. sen. nelson: do you see any instances in the future that you would disagree with him on? mr. carr: i have no interest in agreeing with him when i don't believe that is the right outcome. as i noted, i hope agency works best when we work in a
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bipartisan basis. the vast majority should be consensus-based. i would like to work with all commissioners, but there is no one individual that will move me off that position. shows id over the years am not and incompetent of getting on my own feet and making decisions. sen. nelson: that is not confidence building of those of us who are wondering about your future independence from your have so ablyu served in the last number of years. ell, let me ask you about the rate program. it is a great success story. act, as youtelecom know. students have access that they never had before, just in my
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state alone. libraries have received over $160 million in the race funds funds, it is making a real difference in the lives of citizens in our state. students and the teachers in the libraries are going to hold us accountable for any changes if we roll back the erate program, a bipartisan program i might say, that has been bringing internet connectivity and broadband to schools and libraries. ask the chairman on previous occasions, and i will to you, will you commit wait, and i will remind you, the
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fcc said it would wait until next year before attempting to make changes to this critical program? we need to see how the fcc's previous modernization efforts are working to guarantee the nature and destination and in particular our students can realize the benefits from the reforms. can you make that commitment? mr. carr: thank you for the question and for your work on the erate. this is an important program. as i approach this issue with an outcome, with timing, i don't have a preordained view of the approach. sen. nelson: so you cannot commit to waiting before we get the reports on evaluating the program? mr. carr: it is important before
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making changes that we know if it is working or not working. sen. nelson: i did not understand the question. to waiting to see the evaluation before you start making changes to the erate program. mr. carr: i am not familiar with the specific terms of the evaluation or timeframe, but i to say i will not cast of change of program until we have information whether it was working or not working. sen. thune: thank you, senator nelson. next up is senator lee. senator lee: thank you, mr. chairman, for you being here. this is a good opportunity to talk about how the american people can best take advantage of emerging technologies. it gives people access to more information.
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we are currently facing a lot of problems in this area, challenges. some of the challenges our physical and logistical. other challenges relate to and are the product of government interference, legal and regulatory problems that the federal government itself has created. the federal communication commission's open internet order is a perfect example of the intrusive heavy-handed government regulations causing delay in industry, causing uncertainty in the industry and in the long run, limiting access by the american people to this technology that has the ability to benefit so many people. a recent new york times article claimed total investment by publicly traded broadband companies increased 5.3% between
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-- as compared to the two-year order,before the 2015 during the two-year period of 2013 and 2014. to the end of the year following it, 20 15 and 2016. but this highlights a couple of major problems that result from under regulation -- overregulation. that actualdisclose investment, what the actual investment in infrastructure is. this 5.3% figure refers to total topline investment, not capital investment in the united states. not the expenditure in this type of infrastructure here at home. depressing investment in broadband actually plummeted --
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domestic investment actually chromatid -- plummeted. some found this as large as 5.6%. they are saying in fact the relevant number actually went down, went down to a greater degree than the new york times was suggesting it went up. dealing with this issue, mr. be not possible to cause causation? do you agree that the open internet order has discouraged companies from investment in broadband infrastructure, especially in rural areas and 's?ng smaller isvs -- isp mr. pai: that is one of the problems we have raised. we are addressing that. sen. lee: i want to follow-up on that with my second concern i have with the point raised by .he new york times' article
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the second one is more abstract. the internet to risk writers are not inviting prop and infrastructure. where is the money going? they might conserve cash or pay dividends, but in many cases, the providers choose to invest elsewhere, either overseas or in other industries. so for example, at&t announced after the 2015 order was issued that it was an $3 billion in mexico to expand access to 100 million potential subscribers by 2018 just as in countless other industries. overwhelming regulation of the internet promotes consolidation instead of competition and helps incumbents instead of disruptors, competitors. one thing we know about competition is when we have more , prices go down and cost goes
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up. -- quality goes up. so we need to buy and promote competition between internet service providers in the united states, shouldn't we returned to the clinton era light touch approach to the internet? mr. pai: that is what the s -- the fcc has proposed. we want a free and open internet and to promote the massive amount of infrastructure to connect rural and urban americans with opportunity. that is what we are looking at in the current proceeding. sen. lee: my time has expired. sen. thune: senator markey. senator markey: thank you, mr. chairman. in 2016, almost half of all in venture capital at the same time
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to meet americans' insatiable demand for the u.s. broadband and telecommunications industry, invested more than $87 billion in capital expenditures in 2015. that was the highest rate in the last 10 years. we have hit the sweet spot of investment in broadband, wireless technology is high, venture capital investment in online startups is high. so the net neutrality problem, doesn't need any fixing. the system is working. you are proposing to undo the open internet order. what is the problem you are trying to fix? mr. pai: thank you for the problem, -- the question, senator. we talked about dampening infrastructure investment.
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be,tor markey: they might but they are not. some say the fcc should have a declaratory ruling that these are the way the laws will be, but we want to test this in an open process. sen. markey: publicly traded companies are required by law to provide investors accurate information reporting including risks and burdens. i have found no publicly traded isp has reported to investors by law, by title ii, has negatively impacted in the networks. many have increased deployment and investment. evidence that you are relying upon that you proceed with towards a potential repeal of the net neutrality protections? mr. pai: we cited some evidence
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that among the top 12 service providers in terms of size, investment is down, also a ,umber of smaller providers fixed wireless providers, small cable companies and others. we want to hear that perspective as well that you just outlined. we want to make sure what artifacts in this context. this is part of the reason why we have the process incident the administrative decree we find with the usual results. sen. markey: since the net neutrality rules have been in place, the internet has thrived. jobave seen tremendous creation. it is the spot where younger people, they were companies go. it is the company of growth, the greatest we have had in generations of the country's history, so from my perspective as you look at this, i feel that
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the evidence right now is not there. if it was, the companies, the broadband companies themselves would have been providing that indence to their investors their filings, and they have not done so. anecdotal evidence is not evidence, ok. basis foro factual the change, and i think it will go right to the heart of the internet growth and coming job creations. moving onto that the rate -- erate, i was the host author of in 1996e when it passed into law. question in your mind, mr. chairman, this program is working, and that the funding that meet at a level
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the needs of our country? mr. pai: for years i have said the erate is a program worth fighting for. schools in alaska, south dakota, i have seen how the program is working. every student in every library -- sen. markey: you will commit that you will preserve to the success of this bipartisan program and not decrease its funding level? although there are problematic changes that undermine the erate ? mr. pai: we have not made any decisions on that score. we're trying to make sure the program works. mr. markey: you won't make a commitment you won't reduce the funding? mr. pai: senator, we are studying ways to improve -- mr. markey: ms. rosenworcel, you will not reduce the funding? ms. rosenworcel: erate is our program, and is successful, and i believe the changes put in place in 2015 have been successful. they have reached schools and students in every state across this country. mr. markey: mr. carr, will you
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commit that you won't reduce the funding? mr. carr: senator, thank you. i have an open mind as to what the budget and number should be. have to make a decision when the record is developed on it. mr. markey: i haven't heard clear commitments, and i think that's very troubling to be honest with you. because this is the democratizing force within our society as each of you made clear. you believe that it's key for our future. reducing the funding of course is not going to make sure every child has access to the technology they are going to need in order to compete not only in our own country but globally in the 21st century. so i have not been satisfied with the answers which i have heard. again, ms. rosenworcel, are you saying you will not reduce the funding? ms. rosenworcel: i will not reduce the funding. mr. markey: thank you. so mr. carr, mr. pai, i wish i heard the same commitment from you as well. thank you, mr. chairman. sen. thune: thank you senator , markey. i arrived at the appropriate time which is my turn to talk
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and hold the gavel. let me start with all three of our nominees. we're following the repack issue closely. last week the fcc announced the total reported reimbursement cost received for broadcasters required to repack as a result of the spectrum auction was over $2.1 billion. we know the relocation fund is only authorized to $1.75 billion. if that is the correct number, there is a significant funding shortfall. any request or suggestions that the commission and congress need to act to provide additional resources to prevent broadcasters from going dark? and do you believe that the 39-month repack deadline is sufficient? mr. pai: senator thank you for , the question. as you just pointed out the , estimates have come in. a little bit above $2.1 billion.
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our fund administrator as well as the fcc's career staff will have to evaluate those cost estimates and determine whether they are appropriate or not. that number $2.1 billion could go up or it could go down. i am in the position to say at this point that we expect, our anticipation is that the required expenses to reimburse these broadcasters will be above $1.75 billion. and so i would expect that it would be necessary if broadcasters are going to be harmless in this repack that congress would have to provide additional funding. sen. moran: any other nominees want to add anything? let me follow up, if not, about the time deadline. mr. pai: oh yes, senator. we're obviously -- this is a very complex process. we have a number of different phases to which broadcasters have been assigned. we have also given broadcasters the opportunity to seek position in a different phase. some of them have taken advantage of that. i am not in a position at this point to say whether the 39-month period is not going to be sufficient. but if we get any semblance of record that would suggest it isn't going to be sufficient, we will certainly notify the committee promptly.
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sen. moran: thank you. let me turn to 5-g. we're the world leader in 4-g. i am worried that we're not taking the necessary steps to maintain that leadership as we attempt to deploy 5-g. i'm told by carriers that the regulatory barriers to deploy small cell networks are outdated, hampering investment in economic growth. would you agree that 5-g deployment is critical for our economy? and what in economic growth. steps, if se fcc taking to eliminate barriers and costs to deployment? mr. pai: senator, i do believe it is absolutely essential to develop 5g quickly. our goal is to make sure the u.s. is at the forefront in innovation of 5g. there are two basic building blocks in terms of the successful 5-g economy, one is spectrum and one is infrastructure. with respect to spectrum i think the agent has -- agency has spoken for several years now we want a unified voice we want to be as inclusive as we can in terms of low, mid, and high band spectrum.
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we want to see as much high band spectrum as we can for commercial use and 5-g innovators to experiment with. thuneted out to chairman we did this inquiry that we'll vote on august 3. in terms of infrastructure you have pointed out one of the key problems is that there is a lot of infrastructure that's required for 5-g networks. large cell towers, we are talking about tens of thousands of small cells and other small infrastructure. we need to make sure our regulatory review is tailored to the nature of the deployment and make sure we work cooperatively with all stakeholders, including governments, in order to make sure that our 5-g economy thrives consistent with the public interest. sen. moran: commissioner rosenworcel or mr. carr. ms. rosenworcel: thank you for the question. on a going forward basis, the network topology, 5g will be very different than was 4g. we'll have small cells dotting our landscape. we are need to to make sure that not just fcc policies but national environmental policy and national historic
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preservation policies are adjusted to reflect the realities of those facilities which are very different than traditional large cell towers or macro cells. mr. carr: i would point out the same points. 5g deployment is very different. i tend to view it through innovations and jobs and the economy. we get the framework right it could be $275 billion in the --t decade to deploy five j 5g. when you combine it with iot, you are looking at a trillion dollar boost to the economy so we need to get this all right. sen. moran: thank you. let me ask chairman pie. when do you expect to have the hearings finalized to have spectrum available, the status of the spectrum frontier proceedings? mr. pai: senator, we don't have a particular time we can from -- report to the committee at this time, but we are actively studying it and we are working with stakeholders to look at the frontier bands that are teed up and we can take action where more deliberation is needed, we will obviously put those on
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hold. so i can't give you a specific time frame, but i can tell you it's the top priority in terms of spectrum policy at the commission. sen. moran: thank you all three. senator schatz. senator schatz: thank you, chairman. thank you to all the nominees, their families. i want to follow up on a question. mr. carr, i want to ask you the first question. whether it's seven of million, eight million, 10 million comments, would you say it's a record number of comments? mr. carr: i believe that is right, senator, yes. sen. schatz: so my question for you is, what weight in the legal process does that get? i understand you have a legal matter when considering this, but what weight is it the fact that millions of people have expressed themselves with the fcc an historic number, what , weight does that get? mr. carr: i think it is very important. i think it shows the level of interest and passion on this issue and its interests, and
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that is something we need to take into account. sen. schatz: thank you. commissioner pai, during your confirmation hearing i asked if you agreed with the president's comments calling the media the enemy of the state. at the time you didn't answer the question totally on point. and i understand. you're a trump appointee and you're trying to strike that right balance in terms of being an independent agency but still understanding that you are a trump appointee and not wading into either presidential politics or politics. since then the president has made a number of things about the media. he consistently refers to the media as fake news media, garbage media and made unsubstantiated claims about various networks and newspapers. for example on july 2, the president posted a video of himself wrestling cnn with the #fraudnewscnn. on june 28, the president tweeted, the amazon "washington post" sometimes referred to as the guardian of amazon, not paying
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internet taxes, which they should, is fake news. so chairman pai, since we last heard from you, and given that context, have there been any direct or indirect communications about the media between you, your office, and the white house that this committee should be aware of? mr. pai: senator, thank you for the question. i have consistently stated that i believe and i dare say my colleagues at the fcc believe that first amendment freedoms, including the freedom of the press are critical, that we , value what broadcasters, newspapers and others do to keep people informed, and i consistently stood up for that value throughout my time at the commission. and if i were ever asked by anyone in the administration to take retaliatory action, for instance, immediate regulatory proceeding, i would not do so. sen. schatz: ok. so have there been any communications about the media between you, your office, and the white house that the committee should be aware of?
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mr. pai: senator, i've been aware of the comments that the president has made. sen. schatz: right, but has there been any communication that this committee should be aware of in light of the exchange that you've had with members of the committee during the confirmation hearing? i understand your position. i understand that you're saying, were you to ever be asked to do anything inappropriate, you would decline to do anything inappropriate. my question is, have there been any overtures or communications direct or indirect that we ought to be aware of in light of the sort of unsatisfactory resolution of this issue in the first hearing? mr. pai: senator, i don't believe so, but if that ever changes, i commit to the committee and to you i will make sure that you are informed. sen. schatz: thank you. mr. carr, in 2014 when president obama expressed his support for net neutrality rules, the department of commerce submitted an ex parte notice with the fcc officially putting the president's statement in the record. did the white house -- this white house, file an ex parte
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with the fcc yesterday when it announced its support for the current proceedings unravel the open internet order? mr. carr: i am personally not aware of any filing at this time. is one required? as gc of the commission, do you believe one is required? mr. carr: there is a reticulated standard under the ex parte rules. sen. schatz: a what standard? mr. carr: just a standard under the ex parte rules. reticulate detail standard in the ex parte rules, i have to refresh my recollection. sen. schatz: can you follow up with the committee on this issue? mr. carr: i would be happy to. sen. schatz: commissioner rosenworcel, i have nothing to say to you other than thank you to your family. what happened to you is unfair. we have to move expeditiously on your nomination. and a quick question for each of the nominees on erate. it is one of the nation's leaders in school broadband thanks to erate modernization, , do you commit to keeping the current erate program intact to make sure all of our country's students can get the
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connectivity that they need? mr. pai: senator, absolutely. i believe in a strong erate program, and that is my commitment going forward. sen. schatz: thank you. ms. rosenworcel: yes, absolutely. mr. carr: yes, i agree. sen. schatz: thank you. sen. moran: senator blumenthal is recognized. senator blumenthal: thanks, senator moran. commissioner pai, thank you for the conversation we had yesterday. i just want to pursue very quickly the questions that my colleague, senator schatz, asked regarding contacts with the white house. are you aware of any contacts or intervention by the white house in any past or pending merger, including the at&t-time warner merger? mr. pai: senator, i am not.
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no one has asked anything of me on any kind of pending transactions. sen. blumenthal: those kinds of things contacts would be absolutely improper and probably illegal, is that correct? mr. pai: i will simply say as leader of an independent agency it's our goal to be an , independent actor reviewing the facts as we see them, not as others see them. sen. blumenthal: i have been alarmed by reports, and i've written to the nominee by the trump administration for his attorney for antitrust expressing my concern about those reports that indicated that the white house might try to use the merger as a way to impede or intimidate the exercise of the first amendment rights. and you would be troubled as well i would assume? mr. pai: senator, absolutely. as i suggested to you yesterday, i'm an antitrust lawyer by training. i look at the facts in the law , and i don't allow extraneous political considerations to
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intrude on that inquiry. sen. blumenthal: thank you. are you familiar with the lawsuit brought by state attorneys general against broadband providers for advertising or offering speeds that they have failed to deliver? mr. pai: i've seen press reports of one. i am not aware if there is a class action of some sort i should be aware of. sen. blumenthal: as a former attorney general, the allegations and the complaints certainly seem to me like fraud. they are charging customers for internet speeds they fail to provide which seems a little bit like theft, stealing. would you agree? mr. pai: senator, i am not aware of those particular allegations, but obviously i believe, as we made clear last week when we took action on slamming and cramming that a consumer should get what they pay for and not pay what they did not ask for. sen. blumenthal: section 706 of
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the telecommunications act requires the fcc to report annually on whether broadband internet is being deployed to, quote, all americans in a responsible and timely fashion, end quote, and to take immediate action if it is not. so i would assume that it would be important to you in fulfilling that obligation, conducting that review that companies lying to you about what the speeds they're delivering to their customers would prompt some action by the fcc, correct? mr. pai: senator, i am not familiar with that interpretation of section 706. traditionally, it's been focused more on deployment. but i'd be happy to look at that or any legal authority that the fcc may have to vindicate consumer interests. sen. blumenthal: would you commit to reviewing the lawsuit that's been brought by 35 states and taking action if appropriate? mr. pai: senator, absolutely. if you wouldn't mind, i will follow up with your staff and give you the answers that you need. sen. blumenthal: i want to talk
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briefly about the cost of wired broadband. are prices for broadband internet going up or down? mr. pai: senator, it depends on the marketplace. i think that in some places it is prohibitively expensive and some places where there's more competition, the prices are lower, and our goal is obviously both ubiquitous access and broad competition in all markets so that every consumer has the chance to enjoy the benefit of the digital revolution. sen. blumenthal: i think that the fcc has responsibility to know what's happened with broadband prices, does it not? mr. pai: it does. but again it depends on every marketplace. every marketplace is different. and so overall we want to make sure that we have rules in place that promote competition in every single jurisdiction. sen. blumenthal: do you have an assessment whether broadband prices are going up and down? mr. pai: i don't currently. this is part of the reason why we have initiated the section 706 inquiry that i proposed to my colleagues back in june.
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but is one of the reasons why we tea that up to figure out what are the facts in the marketplace as of 2017? the most recent one was done a couple years ago. sen. blumenthal: i'd like to invite comments by any of the other nominees. ms. rosenworcel: thank you for the question, senator blumenthal. this is purely antidotal. in my house the cost has gone up. i believe that the agency has the responsibility to assess broadband pursuant to section 706, as the chairman mentioned. and i think on a going forward basis it would be good for price consideration. i think consumers would benefit from that. mr. carr: senator, thank you for the question. i agree. i think we need to take pull stock of the market when we are deciding whether it is competitive or not. sen. blumenthal: thank you. my time has expired. so there are a lot of other questions, including going into this one in greater depth. and i look forward to working with you on them. thank you. sen. moran: senator gardner. senator gardner: thank you, mr. chairman.
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and thank you, again, to our nominees today. pai always chairman great to see you. hearing as wen discussed many times we have an orphan issue in colorado. commissioner rosenworcel saw firsthand during her last tenure at the commission. while the fcc included la plata's decision, the application, out-of-state broadcasters lodged opposition against it, and we had back and forth comments now. it's my understanding the fcc record is complete, and the commission may either reaffirm or reverse their original approval decision. it's my hope that the commission will act swiftly to act on this issue. i would just like to have your commitment that they will review the la plata county application and review the comments submitted? mr. pai: absolutely, senator, i will. sen. gardner: the rest of the commissioners would like to follow up on that. ms. rosenworcel: if confirmed, yes. mr. carr: yes. sen. gardner: mr. carr we are
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, facing a spectrum crunch as more opt to stream video and use other intensive applications over there mobile wireless. the economy benefits from billions of dollars annually being invested in expanding access to commercial spectrum and seeing platforms and devices develop over the airwaves, and i think we have to have a mix of low band, mid band and high band spectrum to continue this incredible economic progress. and so mr. carr, do you believe it's important for congress to promote the benefits of establishing a spectrum pipeline to highlight the need for continuing to free up spectrum for commercial use through relocation and better coordination among incumbents? mr. carr: thank you, senator. yes, i do. when you look at, you know, data traffic from 2010 to 2016, some estimates say it's grown 35 times over that period of time. so i think we need an all-of-the-above approach. i think your efforts and those of congress on a spectrum pipeline would be very welcome. sen. gardner: other nominees would like to comment on that? ms. rosenworcel: the answer is yes. sen. gardner: thank you. mr. pai: yes, senator. sen. gardner: very good. thank you. chairman pai, i want to commend the commission for releasing a
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draft order on phase 2 that recognizes the existing form 447 data is not adequate for determining accurate mobile coverage across the country. and i would hope to get your commitment at the commission. the commission will continue to work to ensure that mapping data used at the fcc represents an accurate account on the ground -- accurate on-the-ground account of mobile coverage. mr. pai: absolutely, senator. we are going to be voting on august 3 to make sure the steps we take into the commission is accurate so that our output is similarly worthy of the american people's trust. sen. gardner: thank you because obviously on the western slope of colorado where you have significant mountain valleys and peaks and we have vast expanses of land, what appears to have cell phone coverage on the map i can tell you at the mile marker where the map is not true. commissioner rosenworcel, if confirmed would you make sure the mapping is accurate? ms. rosenworcel: yes. mr. carr: thank you. senator gardner: chairman pai,
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the united states being an incredible leader with 5g, i think you and mr. -- senator moran had an important discussion about that, but i would just reiterate the importance of 5g, the opportunity it poses for our country, the challenge it poses. i know you already covered that. thank you, and i know a number of members will ask questions. i'll yield back my time. sen. moran: thank you, thank you and senator fischer is next. senator fischer: thank you, senator wicker. thank you, chairman pai, for visiting nebraska. a couple years ago we had some good meetings with a couple stakeholders. i understand you to a recent trip and you bypassed our state. we hope to get you back there soon. as you know, senator klobuchar and i along with 50 colleagues sent you a letter in april . and we urged the fcc to take consumersnsure rural can purchase stand-alone broadband. i want to thank you for your response and for your acknowledgment that this is a
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problem, and it's not yet fixed. will you commit to continuing to work with your colleagues and with congress to solve this problem so that our rural consumers can have that in a timely way? mr. pai: i will, senator. absolutely. senator fischer: and i would ask commissioner rosenworcel, same question. ms. rosenworcel: if confirmed, yes. sen. fischer: and mr. carr. mr. carr: yes. sen. fischer: thank you. chairman pai, in nebraska we have several counties that are considered orphan counties. and senator gardner just spoke about some of them, and that means they're in a designated market area for a state other than nebraska, and i think it's 26 of our counties out of 93 that are affected by this. in 2015, following the direction set by congress in the satellite re-authorization bill, the fcc adopted rules to make it easier for people living in those
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orphan counties to access in-state programming. and while these modifications are a good step, i still am concerned that they really are too burdensome, and they're really complicated for small committees to -- communities to be able to undertake those. what's your opinion of them? mr. pai: senator, we want to make the process easier, and that's part of the reason why we have adopted reforms. if there are others that are worth considering, please let us know, and we will be happy to take that into account so long as the constituents you are referring to are not denver bronco fans. sen. fischer: will you know, there are just -- we have western nebraska. we don't have sports -- pro sports teams. in nebraska we are all husker fans. so i'll clarify that for you. the fcc, though, are there -- are there any actions that you can take proactively that would be helpful? mr. pai: i think part of it involves taking sure that we process these applications
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efficiently. part of it is also encouraging who might be stakeholders, local governmental entities, for instance, or individual consumers, to be able to put into place any of the facts that they think are necessary for us to make an informed judgment. and for them to be able to tell us, look, we want to hear what the local weather is in western nebraska, what we are getting information outside of the state, that is not helpful to us. the core value of the entire broadcast business is localism. that's one of the things that i think is important for constituents in western nebraska and around the country to know when they tune on the tv, they will be able to get information that's relevant to them. senator fischer: i'd be interested in visiting with you more about options that you believe the commission would take and with the other commissioners as well, or if you believe there are actions that congress should take in order to have that localism truly be effective. and commissioner rosenworcel, i am sure that you recall as he
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was about to end his term, chairman wheeler asked the fcc's wireless bureau to initiate an 11th hour investigation of whether certain carriers, zero rating services, violated the net neutrality rules. and i was glad when chairman pai rescinded that report and stated that the fcc would not focus on denying americans free data, and these plans are very popular, and they provide innovative benefits to consumers. i also find it concerning that chairman wheeler issued a report on his way out the door after congress had already requested that he refrain from issuing controversial items after the 2016 election. so commissioner, what is your view of the zero rating services? do you believe that they provide a tangible consumer benefit, or do you believe or do you agree with chairman wheeler's report? ms. rosenworcel: thank you for the question, senator. to be clear, i believe that
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that investigation and those reports were issued after my departure from the agency. i understand that with zero net rating there is a possibility of free services, and i understand the allure of free services for some consumers, but i also think at its extremes, some types of zero net rating can undermine network neutrality, and that leads me to be concerned. i think it's an area that merits more study, but to be candid with you, i do have concerns. senator fischer: mr. carr, do you have any comments on that? mr. carr: thank you, senator. i think as an agency, the fcc should be trying to promote competition, innovation that includes across different types of service plans and pricing plans. so i think we need to promote those types of innovations. sen. fischer: thank you very much to all of you. thank you, mr. chairman. sen. moran: thank you senator , fischer. senator peters. senator peters: thank you, mr. chairman. and nominees, thank you for your willingness to serve the public. this is a very important
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position. thank you for being here today. ms. rosenworcel, i certainly appreciate your strong commitment as a commissioner to maintaining a free, open, and fair internet. if confirmed, i hope you're going to continue with this commitment to broadband internet as an essential tool for millions of americans and also for small businesses and fast growing startups in michigan as well as all across the country. allowing established corporations to prioritize their services or slow down their competitors i believe would put these small businesses at a competitive disadvantage and could very well stifle innovation that's so important for our country. would you agree that net neutrality, under fcc's 2015 open internet rules, helps level the playing field for small businesses and startups, allowing them to compete fairly against large established players? ms. rosenworcel: yes, senator, i agree. sen. peters: great, thank you.
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chairman pai, an issue that i have talked about many times, including with you yesterday in is --ice yesterday appreciate the opportunity to spend some time with you -- is the 5.9 gigahertz band which is vitally important to automotive safety systems which will dramatically decrease highway deaths when fully deployed. given the fact we have nearly 40,000 people dying on our highways every year, this will be truly lifesaving technologies deployed by auto companies. and for the past two years, this committee has engaged with the fcc, the department of transportation, ntia, those agencies conduct joint testing of two proposals of the 5.9 spectrum sharing. your commitment, i certainly appreciate our meeting again, and your commitment to keep the members of this committee informed of any developments on the 5.9 docket i think is extremely important to determine -- to ensure that any decision made for spectrum sharing are based on data that's both rigorous as well as fully transparent.
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so could you please provide this committee a status update as to where the testing process is now and the timeline for making any decisions in that area, please? mr. pai: thank you for the question, senator. i appreciate your concern and i extend your appreciation -- a new round of testing began and was clear that supplemental testing was appropriate. the agency targeted nine different devices that i believe are currently being evaluated at the fcc lab in columbia. we are studying a variety of data points coming out of those tests, and we haven't yet reached the point where we can draw any definitive conclusions. therefore i can't give you a specific time frame. if and when that testing does conclude, we will keep the committee apprised and in particular you because i know you have a great interest on this issue. senator peters: i appreciate that. also just a follow-up question how would you characterize the , coordination you are seeing between those three agencies? have you run into any roadblocks
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or in that coordination? is there anything that these agencies or players can do that would allow for a more transparent and smooth process, in your mind? mr. pai: thank you for the question. i think thus far we have worked very cooperatively with our sister agencies on this issue as in many other issues. we are all trying to figure out the best answer here. thus far at least it's been a very fruitful and productive relationship. sen. peters: great. also i want to follow up again, mr. chairman. i understand one of your biggest priorities at the fcc is expanding broadband coverage, closing the digital divide. we had a long discussion about that yesterday. as you know one of the most important aspects of this is accurate data collection, as we heard from senator gardner as well as i think senator fischer brought up the issue as well. so that we can understand which areas truly have internet access and target our efforts to those that do not. and i know you've been working on this through the mobility fund phase 2 in the form 477 reform process. i'm proud to be a co-sponsor of
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the ryall -- the rural wireless act of 2017 with both senator manchin and senator wicker. i appreciate senator wicker's leadership on this issue. which would require the fcc to main more up-to-date and accurate data on wireless coverage, particularly in rural areas. if the legislation -- it would direct the fcc to establish methodology within six months to improve the validity and reliability of wireless coverage data and to ensure that coverage data is collected in a consistent, robust, and efficient way. i'd like to hear more about your plan to reform form 477 data and particularly would your plan contribute to the type of methodology that we have outlined in our bill? mr. pai: i appreciate that, perspective, senator. with respect to mobility funds, phase 2, obviously we are not relying on the form 477 data. such given some of the concerns that have been expressed, we have tailor made data collection to ensure we are able to proceed with that mobility fund auction in a timely way as we consider the broader issues with form 477.
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with respect to form 477, we have undertaken a comprehensive review. and at a high level, essentially the goal is to make sure the agency has a very clear picture of where coverage is and where it is not because the substantial distorting effects that can result from us operating on the basis of bad data are tremendous. and obviously we're diverting subsidies to areas that might not need the help, that we are disincentivizing companies of not building out in areas and -- building out in areas that are underserved, and given the upper peninsula of michigan or detroit, you need to be able to have coverage if the fcc says, according to your data you have coverage. i commend your work on that legislation which would help us establish some of these standards along the way. sen. peters: i appreciate it, appreciate your efforts. mr. pai: thank you. sen. moran: thank you, senator fischer. senator peters. next up is senator cortez masto. senator cortez masto: thank you for the opportunity to meet all of you and welcome to your family.
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very exciting day for all of you. i will have to say i am a little partial to mr. carr because he is a native of nevada. mrs. rosenworcel, let me start with you. in the conversation we had as you well know, we talked a little bit about the intersection of innovation-transportation which obviously is of interest not just to me but to the state of nevada as well. where do you see the constructive place for the fcc to work toward the safe and reliable advancement of autonomous connected vehicles, unmanned aircrafts, and smart communities? ms. rosenworcel: thank you for the question, senator. lots of interesting things are happening with drones and with autonomous vehicles. a lot of them involve tests, and those tests are going to require spectrum. i think the fcc should develop part 5, experimental license practices that make those tests easier for industries, research
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institutions, and universities. we can do a lot more with these new facilities and -- if we can test them and have spectrum necessary to facilitate those tests, and then get those services in the marketplace. sen. cortez masto: thank you. i appreciate that, and i also appreciate your comments with respect to erate. not only in nevada -- not only did school superintendents visit me here, but i had an opportunity to sit down with our public libraries, and it's a benefit not just to our urban but rural communities connecting many people that wouldn't have access to education, to information that is necessary for work force development, applications so many things. i am a big supporter. thank you for those comments. mr. carr, when we were together , we talked a little bit about a concern about cybersecurity and what we need to do in this space. in the last fcc hearing, i had asked commissioner o'rielly about fcc's place in the challenging cybersecurity
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sphere, including the commission's cybersecurity and communications reliability division that works with the communication industries to develop and implement improvements to help the viability and insert -- -- whatity and specifically can the fcc be doing to aid the concern and challenge of cybersecurity? mr. carr: senator, thank you for the question. cybersecurity is an important issue, whether it's i.o.t. or traditional networks. the fcc as you know has a group ic that works to develop best practices that the agency can help push into the marketplace. the fcc also has network-based expertise. in this space dhs has considered the agency in charge of communications in this area, and so i think we should be taking our network-based expertise working with the dhs and try to consolidate the efforts there so we don't have an alphabet soup of agencies potentially working across purposes in the area of
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cyber. sen. cortez masto: thank you. i appreciate that. and then commissioner pai, a couple of questions are you. let me follow up on what senator blumenthal started with. just for clarification, as you sit here today, you are not aware that u.s. telecom and ncta have asked the fcc for a ruling confirming isp's are following federal transparency rules by posting online or average performance during times of peak usage, is that correct? mr. pai: sorry. i thought senator blumenthal was referring to a lawsuit brought by states attorney generals. senator cortez masto: do you know that the telecom and in tca have asked the fcc for a ruling? mr. pai: yes, i am aware of it. sen. cortez masto: so i am aware that they are concerned that that petition to the fc see -- fcc apparently represents
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nothing more in an the industry's effort to shield itself from state law enforcement. what is the current status of the ruling, and can you speak to your perspective on whether this is fair consumer protection that you should be concerned about? mr. pai: thank you, senator. we are actively studying the issue. we have not made determination on it. we are focused on a lot of things at the commission, but i ensure you and ensure the committee we will keep you posted before any decision is made. we'll make sure that we take the appropriate steps to you up to date. sen. cortez masto: is there a timeline you can give us mr. pai:? mr. pai:we have no particular timeline. sen. cortez masto: thank you. yourhen i appreciate response to mike usr from the -- my qfr when we were talking about telecom on public and tribal lands. in the qfr you mentioned your broadband deployment advisory committee would be providing recommendations on how to reduce or eliminate barriers. you also noted your intention to invite federal representatives
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from key agencies such as the department of interior to participate. when can we expect to see the recommendations, and will they be made public? mr. pai: they will be made public, senator. the working groups of the broadband deployment advisory committee have been very actively working. we aren't given -- we don't have a specific time frame on when they are going to work back to us, but the general ask i gave of them when i initiated the first meeting was to give us a we aren't sense of -- with respect to the model state code and the model local codes deployment, at least by the end of the year, sometime by the fall ideally, if they could give us some primary recommendations when we can move productively there. on the other recommendations, they haven't given us a time frame. they are obviously working really hard. we want to encourage that in a full and transparent way without pushing them before they make a recommendation. sen. cortez masto: thank you. and i notice my time is up. i appreciate the conversation today. sen. moran: thank you, senator cortez masto. senator booker. senator booker: thank you, mr. chairman.
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are you aware that in the united , 1/3 of theerica incarcerated women are -- all the incarcerated women on the planet earth, 1/3 of them are in american prisons? mr. carr: i was not previously aware of that the distant. sen. booker: are you aware that the majority of them are parents under age 18? mr. carr: i now. am senator booker: are you aware that these women don't get adequate sanitary products and often have to scrape together dollars to buy tampons and pads, are you aware of that, sir? mr. carr: senator i am now. , yes. sen. booker: so you know the social science data that women who are able and empowered to communicate with their children, that it benefits society in multiple ways? lowers recidivism rates, lowers the rates of those children themselves being disciplined at
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school, lowers the rate at which those children are expelled from school, lowers the rates which those children are incarcerated themselves, do you know that? mr. carr: yes, senator. sen. booker: ok, so help me understand how in the united states of america -- have you been to a female prison, sir? mr. carr: i have been to a number of prisons. sen. booker: have you been to a female prison, sir? mr. carr: no. sen. booker: have you sat with female incarcerated prisoners? mr. carr: no. i can't recall. sen. booker: you can't recall? mr. carr: i have never sat down where that has been a topic of discussion. sen. booker: well, i have, sir. when you hear women have to make incredibly difficult decisions, whether they buy tampons or call their kids at homes because of the usery rates with which these charges, they are faced with trying to communicate with their children -- so can you understand the logic between the -- behind the fcc abandoning its defense of capping the cost of these calls which often are
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dollars per minute? help me understand that decision. mr. carr: senator, thank you for the question, and thank you for your advocacy on this issue. it's a critically important one as you pointed out. there is a market failure when it comes to the rates and services for inmate calling. i don't think there's any doubt about that. the question is how do we go about solving that. the fcc through a number of good faith efforts, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, took steps to try to address it. unfortunately when those decisions were appealed to the court, the dc circuit on four separate occasions found it's more likely or not the fcc's decision was unlawful. to your question when the administration turned over -- and there was one piece of one of those appeals that was coming up quickly on oral argument, there was a majority at the fcc that did not support the fcc's position there. so the question was, do we abandon the appeal altogether or do we try to work to see what portions of that decision we can
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cobble majority together to defend and then go to the court and strenuously defend them? i am glad it was the latter choice we did, and the court's decision ultimately upheld the fcc's decision to cap interstate rates and some of the significant reforms it did with ancillary fees. there are certainly more work to be done here, and i commit to working with you, your staff to find lawful ways that we can address this issue. sen. booker: but we abandoned our defense to -- of the authority of the fcc to cap and trust state prison calling rates. mr. carr: that's correct. sen. booker: and your feelings on that abandonment? mr. carr: i wish we had the authority to do it. it's a problem. the communications act is set up by congress, did not in my judgment give the fcc authority to take that step. but i would welcome specific grants of authority that would give the fcc the jurisdiction to act here. sen. booker: well i patently disagree with you the authority
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of the fcc. the urgency of the problem and the harm that that failure to defend has caused. i have other questions, mr. i have other questions, mr. chairman, but unfortunately my time has expired. and out of respect for my fellow colleagues, i'll conclude. sen. moran: thank you, senator booker. senator udall is up next. sen. udall: thank you. chairman thune, thank you very much. chairman pai, the last time you were before this committee, you were hesitant to answer direct questions about the president's against fcc regulated media companies that have reported stories critical of the administration. and i appreciate that you were more clear and direct in your written responses on march 17. however, president trump has continued his unprecedented and dangerous attacks on media organizations that report
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stories he does not like. on june 28, president trump tweeted, and i quote here, the amazon "washington post," sometimes referred to as the guardian of amazon, not paying internet taxes, which they should, is fake news. many people viewed this tweet as a threat by the president of the united states to pursue higher taxes against a company in retaliation for negative news coverage. and i believe that's outrageous. on july 5, a "new york times" reported this about the white house and cnn, and i quote here. white house advisors have discussed a potential point of leverage over their adversary, a senior administration official said a pending merger between cnn -- cnn's parent company, at&t and time warner. reporting,with this the president himself was clear on this topic in october, -- in
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an october, 2016 speech just before the election. i quote then-candidate trump. as an example -- this is a quote, direct -- as an example of the power structure i'm fighting, at&t is buying time warner and thus cnn, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few, end quote. speaking of concentration of power, there is another major media merger pending before the fcc, the proposed acquisition of the tribune company by sinclair broadcasting. there are real concerns this merger would violate media ownership rules, but the f.c.c. has already helped pave the way for this merger by reinstating the so-called u.h.f. discount that enables tv companies to get bigger. sinclair now requires all their local stations to air video commentary pieces by a former trump administration staffer who generally supports the trump administration.
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sinclair's c.e.o. has also been quite complimentary of you personally. the contrasting approach here creates the very real perception that the trump administration would act to reward friendly coverage and punish negative coverage. so in light of the development since march, i'd like to seek renewed answers from you on two questions i posed in march. first, will you reassure us that you will exercise your authority as chairman of the f.c.c. to regulate the media in an impartial manner? mr. pai: yes, senator. senator udall: thank you. have you had any communications with the white house directly or through an intermediary regarding any media regulatory issues since march? mr. pai: senator, i have not had conversations with anyone in the administration with respect to media regulatory proceedings.
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to the best of my knowledge, no one on my staff or any f.c.c. has indirectly had any such conversations as well. senator udall: thank you. finally, do you believe it's appropriate for any federal official with power over media organizations to attack or threaten them with legal or regulatory retaliation over negative news coverage, media coverage? mr. pai: senator, i certainly have never done so, and i commit to you i will not do so long as i have the privilege of serving at the agency. senator udall: thank you very much for that answer. i am going to follow up with mr. carr and ms. rosenworcel. mr. pai responded on march 17 to a letter from every democratic member of this committee that posed six questions along these lines. will you both commit to answer these similar six questions for the record prior to a committee vote on your nomination? ms. rosenworcel: yes, senator. senator udall: mr. carr. mr. carr: yes, senator. senator udall: senator hassan, we wanted a hearing on the landscape. we have not had a topic in over eight years. i hope it's a timely one and hope you reconsider that. i -- one quick question and this should be quick because i think
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it's a yes or no. recently there's been a spike in violence and intimidation against individual journalists. republican congressman famously body slammed ben jacobs, a reporter for the guardian, after being asked about his position on the house health care bill one day before his special election. a west virginia reporter was arrested while asking h.h.s. secretary price about the health care bill as well. trump white house staff reportedly threatened to keep files of dirt on white house reporters. f.c.c. security also manhandles c.q. reporter joe donnelly and pinned him against a wall after he sought to ask questions of commissioner o'rielly. will each of you speak out against violence and intimidation against reporters and commit you will personally
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set a good example for press access in your own public activities? mr. pai: yes. ms. rosenworcel: yes, absolutely. mr. carr: yes, senator. senator udall: thank you. senator thune: thank you, senator udall. what i will do, i am going to intend to stay through entire at least first round for everybody but senator wicker does have to go. i am going to recognize him next and then we'll continue to move down the list that we have here. so senator wicker. senator wicker: thank you, mr. chairman. chairman pai, accelerating broadband development in rural areas is a priority for many members on both side of the dais. i worked with you to make sure data collection methods regarding mobile broadband question is standardized. it's necessary to make sure that funds to use broadband deployment are targeted to truly underserved and unserved communities. in rural america and in my state of mississippi. would you agree that standardizing data collection is important to target funds accurately to deploy the broadband in underserved and unserved areas, and will you
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commit to ensuring that the baseline coverage data collected from carriers for the mobility fund phase 2 challenge process be standardized? and please discuss how the draft order circulated last week on the mobility fund challenge process achieves that objective. mr. pai: thank you, senator. and this is one of the reasons why we broke with long standing practice in my second week in office and instituted the policy of publishing every single proposal and order the f.c.c. was considering at least three weeks in advance. nowhere is the thicket more complicated than this one. we want to make sure we get it right for wireless consumers. last week as you pointed out we published the proposal we are going to be voted on august 3 to ensure this data is accurate. i understand that standardized
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data collection is one of the issues that's been flagged. we'd love to work with you and your staff, any interested stakeholders to make sure on august 3 we have a process that makes the input accurate so that the output can be worthy. senator wicker: will this be a one-time data collection? mr. pai: with respect to mobility fund phase 2 currently that's our expectation. obviously we are always open to suggestions on ways to improve our overall data collection. senator wicker: well, i'd like to mention to all three, the various -- a serious question as to how the mobility fund challenge process will ensure that recipients of the funds are meeting buildout commitments over the 10-year period. would you like to comment on that? mr. pai: i would happy to, senator. every dollar spent by the f.c.c. that is ultimately collected from the taxpayers has to be deployed.
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it can't simply be point of order down the drain. that includes -- poured down the drain. that includes buildout. we ensure that money goes to building out 4-g l.t.e. we don't want that money to be wasted. americans don't have time to wait. senator wicker: let's have conversation with members of the commission. while the draft order says cell edge probability and the cell loading factor will be used by carriers when creating rural coverage maps.
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some people remain concern that additional factors such as the assumed signal strength also need to be standardized or disclosed in order for the data you received to be reliable. will you commit to working with me and those stakeholders to address these concerns before the order is finalized? mr. pai: i would be happy to, senator. senator wicker: thank you and i look forward to you briefing me and my staff on -- about your efforts in this regard. mr. pai: thank you. senator wicker: now let's talk about the federal permitting process. i go back to you, mr. chairman. i understand the f.c.c. is working on a proceeding to modernize the commission's approach to the national environmental protection act and the national historic protection act to accelerate the deployment of wireless infrastructure. there are many onerous rules in place today that prevent or delay deployment, including the implementation of antenna sites that are critical to wireless network buildout. please discuss how an update to the commission's approach towards environmental and historic reviews may accelerate the deployment of mobile brought to you by and the proliferation -- broadband and the proliferation to both urban and rural areas with existing right of ways that have already undergone environmental and historic reviews where broadband infrastructure has been deployed and do you think congress needs to act on this issue? mr. pai: all great points.
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obviously the regulatory review, including environmental and historic preservation review that applied traditionally with 100-foot cell towers may not be as relevant when you are talking about a small cell that could be -- small as a pizza box or you can hold in your hand. we want to make sure for these less obtrusive, lower power deployments that we tailor the regulatory burden to the commission, as commissioner rosenworcel pointed out. it's one of the things we are looking with all interested stakeholders to see what is the appropriate calibration with small cells and distributed antenna systems and the like. it may be helpful in some cases for congress to give us that authority with respect to field goal, for example. we would be happy to work with you, any members of the committee who are interested to find creative solutions to help us secure the benefits of the wireless revolution to come. senator wick remember mr. carr,
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do you think congress needs to act in this space or do you have the authority you have? mr. carr: there are things f.c.c. could streamline. congress' help is welcomed. work with federal lands where the f.c.c. might have limited authority. senator wicker: thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. senator thune: thank you, senator wicker. senator cantwell. senator cantwell: thank you. we had a town hall on net neutrality. i know the chairman mentioned comments that may be artificial in coming into the f.c.c. in regards to the possible change to net neutrality laws. i know that's not my -- my constituents have very real stories and we have a very big internet economy and app economy and want to continue to grow that with a very high concentration of software engineers and great schools like the university of washington. so i hope that you will be pulling out of that kind of data entered into the f.c.c. real examination of business models and challenges that any change -- and obviously we are against any change to this rule at this
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point in time -- that you are really going to look at the details that individual businesses and consumers in my state are filing with the f.c.c. as it relates to this and not just push out saying, oh, it was just a bunch of bots or a bunch of russians. mr. pai: we definitely will, senator. when i say we will make a full review of the record i mean that. we won't exclude points of view for any ideological or political reasons. we take an accurate assessment what's in the record. that includes the perspectives from startups an consumers of the types who voiced -- voices heard at the town hall you held. senator cantwell: we hope you will do that because it's important we continue that economy. secondly, when i look at this issue in general about cybersecurity and the f.c.c. and i look at the numbers,
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department of homeland statistics of 209 cyberattacks on critical infrastructure in 2016, you know, a big increase, don't you think that the f.c.c. should be doing more to look at the communication risk of the communication sector, specifically, not just advocating that to homeland security? we are certainly pushing legislation on the critical infrastructure side with d.o.e. to make sure it's on the pipelines and electricity grid. why don't you take more responsibility at your post in looking at the potential hacking and cybersecurity risk of our communication systems? mr. pai: senator, this is a critical issue and in this capacity, as chairman i have had the ability to be briefed in a secure facility at the f.c.c. on these issues. i can assure you you. at the end of the day we are guided by the rule of law.
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congress has given us sir come scribed authority in this area. we tried to engage with our sister agencies to provide them information about some of the threats to the networks we see. to keep myself apprised on some of the threats that are materialized. if congress gives us additional authority i can assure you that i would faithfully administer it to make sure businesses and consumers are protected. senator cantwell: ms. rosenworcel, is there more we can be doing more at the f.c.c. now and given direction on security? ms. rosenworcel: yes, senator. the very first sentence of the communications act speaks about the use of communications for the safety and life and property. i think congress was very clear that they intended the f.c.c. to have a role so i would disagree with my past colleague here sitting to my right. senator cantwell: maybe this is something for the future so we
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had, mr. chairman, a good cybersecurity hearing. everyone's devices now that everything is networked and now that everything is together, they are the entry point, obviously, and i'm very concerned after "the washington post" issued the story about how the russian government hacking of our energy infrastructure at a nuclear power plant, i just think it's time to take all of this serious as so many devices are the most vulnerable entry point to a network that now is controlled by people in remote situations. so i hopefully could follow on our last cyber hearing and get more input. thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. senator thune: thank you, senator cantwell. it's an issue i think will be an
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ongoing concern for this committee and for all the people across this country. next up is senator baldwin. senator baldwin: thank you, mr. chair. recently in wisconsin i held roundtables on rural broadband access in two communities. eagle river which is near the northern border in our state with the upper peninsula of michigan. and monticello, which is in green county, near the illinois border, southern border of our state. and they are very diverse communities but there were certainly very similar themes i heard in their communities with their lack of broadband access and how it harms their economic development, how it affects their ability to attract new families to live there or vacation there, how it affects local health care providers to fully utilize the promise of health i.t. and electronic medical records. an example of which is in green county, the southern county i visited, the local hospital does have a sophisticated health i.t. system, but patients can't access their electronic medical
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records at home without access to broadband or do something simple like uploading a photo of a healing wound to avoid a travel to a clinic or hospital if there's no need. and so these were themes i know you're well familiar with. i also heard intense frustration of those people on the ground who just want to fix this problem, who want to deploy the fiber or whatever means. the disconnect between the needs of these communities and the federal programs that they know exist to help get broadband to places like theirs. and so i know, mr. carr, we talked a little bit about this in our earlier meeting. how would you respond to the folks of eagle river,
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monticello, wisconsin, who ask, what is the f.c.c. going to do to make sure that people like them have access to this critical resource? mr. carr: thank you, senator, for the question and for your advocacy on these important issues. there is a lot that the f.c.c. can and should be doing. one is which need to reduce the cost of getting services, networks out to these parts of the country. the agency right now, some infrastructure proceedings that are teed up on that. spectrum will be a key resource as well. there's more we could be doing to push spectrum out in the marketplace. obviously at the end of the day universal service support will be critical to many parts of the country. we need to be making sure we're targeting those funds to those
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areas that need it. senator baldwin: i want to continue to focus on rural broadband deployment. and mention -- this is for the whole panel. two-part question. one is, there's been some confusion or lack of clarity as to whether the president's infrastructure proposal would include broadband or not. his initial proposal that was unveiled did not mention broadband but it was reported that last month in iowa he told an audience there that broadband would absolutely be a part of his $1 trillion package. because i'm concerned about the lack of clarity, i guess we'll start with you, mr. carr, and then ms. rosenworcel and then mr. pai, i want to know where you stand with regard to whether broadband should be a part of this infrastructure program. the follow-up question is, if we indeed successfully advocate for these resources in an infrastructure package, would you advocate for those resources to be deployed through existing
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f.c.c. programs through a new f.c.c. program or programs outside of the f.c.c.'s orbit? mr. carr, why don't we start with you? mr. carr: senator, thank you for the question. the usual caveat i defer to congress and the administration working out how to put together an infrastructure package, i believe the secretary of transportation has recently also said she believes that broadband should be part of it. i think that will be a good idea. the f.c.c. does have an existing mechanism, u.s.f., that could be one potential avenue for distributing those funds. ms. rosenworcel: thank you, senator, for the question. this may come as no surprise but the administration has not spoken to me about exactly what is going to be in that infrastructure proposal with respect to rural broadband so i have no special knowledge about it. but i do know this, that if we wind up having additional
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programs for broadband, whether it's at the f.c.c. or somewhere else, we need to make sure that the right hand and left hand are talking to one another. we have had many programs in the past, the department of commerce, the department of agriculture in addition to the f.c.c. and the one thing i have been struck by is the lack of conversation about how those programs work together. mr. pai: senator, in march my first major speech as chairman i said if there were to be an infrastructure plan -- >> and this hearing on f.c.c. nominations continues online at here on c-span, we're leaving as the house is gaveling back into session working on two bills today. one to increase interagency coordination among agencies involved in selecting gas pipeline locations. another bill to speed up the permitting process for cross-border oil and gas pipelines.
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also electric transmission lines. votes later. live coverage now here on >> i appreciate and congratulate to your family will particularly an incredibly well-behaved group of children. you know, everybody has their tolerance. i think they are all doing extremely well. i wanted to touch on a topic that you have raised. obviously there is a link between the string of our democracy and a free press. the first amendment enshrines this national value by
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guaranteeing freedoms to the press. i share many concerns that this administration has little regard for this value. he and i have asked for a hearing on the state of the media, since there hasn't been a hearing on this issue. beinge of the hostility directed at the free press and because of the increase in consolidation and the prospect of even more. i will reiterate that request as well. you, ifion for each of confirmed will you uphold the values of the u.s. constitution throughout your duties, ?ncluding those with press >> yes, senator. >> thank you very much.
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the eud to come back to rate program. you really worked on these policies about your work to help close the homework gap. efforts.eful for your because you are really working to ensure across the country our students have access to broadband so they can complete their studies and ultimately complete -- compete in the global marketplace. bring access to all of our schools. since that began more than 25,000 students have received broadband access. the program would not be possible without you rate. te; ♪.a
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in order to truly reap the benefits of a connected classroom, we are seeing simply having connection is not enough. we need greater speeds, at higher capacity to meet the needs of our students. but, we are still in a situation where nearly 60% of schools lack service providers who will be able to build out fiber connections. what is your response, and how can we help them succeed getting access? heard from chairman pike it will be from him. >> thank you for the question. is vital.
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it's the best tool we have to reach every school and every student with the broadband they need for a modern education. i think it has the potential. reforms were put in place in 2015 and promises were made to every school and library dollars would be available to them. i want to make sure that is cap. -- that promises kept. effort toud your advance balanced spectrum policy. with the rapid expansion of wireless services woven into our daily lives, we need to make sure we're doing everything to avoid a spectrum crunch and
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provide greater access. identifying licensed and unlicensed for better use ensure we have the reliable services we are accustomed to but will spur innovation and create new market innovations to thrive. just briefly, with the emerging prevalence of the internet of cars, dond driverless you believe we are postured to meet the demand given current policies. >> thank you for the question. if you have ever used a
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television remote control, or gone on wi-fi, you have used unlicensed spectrum. it powers our lives. as we connect more places and things we are going to need more of it. it is where innovation can happen. and innovation without permission. to give more material , if we give this wide swaths of spectrum, there is no telling what they can pioneer. we want the american news to be at the forefront of that.
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the fcc has spoken with unified voice and hopefully with congresses support to do that. >> thank you for letting me go over time. >> thank you. i was thinking of the last person here to ask questions. one more. colleagues of my have confronted net neutrality. country.rtant to our the second thing, broadband deployment. i've worked hard on this policy. onhave been pushing universal service funding, trying to figure out how we can get more funding into rural areas. i know we did some standalone care.
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the fcc came up with a compromised position. i wondered if i could get each of your thoughts about what you think we could do on this end to really get this moving so we don't have this digital divide which is getting tougher and tougher. >> thank you for your interest in this issue. fiber, somesome rule broadband companies talked about these challenges. fcc, i havee the endorsed the act which would have tax services to provide digital connections. i also think it would be helpful to be the law of the land. it would be helpful to have
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additional authority, some of the critical cost elements. meantime, we are committed to using every tool that we currently have to make deployment proposition an easy one, whether it is making , this is front and center for us. >> they should come out, a series of shot clocks. >> getting some funding on our end with the infrastructure bill would the helpful.
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>> the cost of the front end is relatively small. to help streamline that, on the usf side, continue to target our subsidies to the right places. aaron: you and i talked -- >> you and i talked about rule call completion. what can we do to get more transparency, to get the better completion rates? >> it's an important issue. there is some legislation that has been introduced as well. >> i work with the rural health
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care and activity act. >> the $400 million cap on the program was succeeded, exceeded for the 2016 funding year. i'm concerned it could cut off vital medicine and services. how can the fcc address providing medicine services? you for the questions. the rural health care program has been under subscribed. as a result of that success demand has increased. i don't think it should be the first application. i think that is what congress
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intended when he laid down this law. >> i had a few other questions. good legislation peace. -- piece. >> i what to think the chair and ranking member and want to thank nominees for participating. thank you for offering to meet with me. i had a terrible cold. . sounded like chewbacca we would not have had a good conversation. i'm hoping i turn into kathleen turner territory soon. i am transitioning. federal court struck down regulations of a phone call made by prison inmates. i know my colleagues asked about this as well. in that decision the u.s. court of appeals with the d.c. circuit stated while rates charged for in state prison calls could be
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rate they have exceeded caps for such highs. the new york times attributes this decision to you. am i correct that in opposing efforts to protect families and inmates, you are not endorsing astronomically expensive prices. >> thank you. i plan toead, to rein in video
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ridiculous prices prisoners and their families are forced to pay to communicate. it would provide clear authority to institute commonsense rules with inmate calling services including capping high rates that would require the bureau of prisons to institute rules to make sure video visitation service contracts are effectively managed. consumer oriented legislation will help establish visitation as a supplement to a non-replacement of and placement visitation with the goal of receiving -- reducing recidivism. i believe this would address your concerns about clarifying fcc authority. will you commit to working with me to pass this legislation? >> i will. i look forward to working with you on it. >> you previously committed to this as well.
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>> absolutely, i would commit to working with you. million children in this country who have a parent in prison. i think it is apparent the fcc continue its work here. you need to make sure that legislation is successful. >> i agree. on june 22, president trump announced his proposal will promote and foster broadband access for rural america. according to the broadband progress report 50% of your illinois and slack broadband service as opposed to 4% of urban communities in illinois ensuring every illinois and has access to find a job, improve their businesses, or educate
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their children. many kids can't do their homework because they don't have broadband. while we have not seen any actual details on the ministrations infrastructure package, several say it will rely on tax incentives to encourage providers to deploy an upgrade broadband enroll areas -- in rural areas. mechanism appropriate , and how would you modify the program to accommodate this role so funding supplements investment and does not take over? for the question. it is an important one, and complicated. i think what is most important to me is something i mentioned to one of my colleagues. if there are additional programs
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, it is absolutely imperative we think about how they work in conjunction with the end $4.5 billion fund for universal service. i think it is imperative to pry hand talks to the left and we don't duplicate efforts or crowd out private investment. >> along with your fellow expensedners, the fcc -- expressed frustration about delegated authority. is that a fair statement? >> yes. commissioner cliburn learned the fcc approval about learning about a press release.
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they voted to adopt new disclosure requirements for shared agreements. is that correct? >> subject to approval, each broadcasting station that is party to a shared service agreement, whether the same or copy int, would have to its public inspection file. >> i confess, i am not familiar with that particular information at this point. i have to get back to you on where that stands. >> thank you. or you aware of that development? >> because i no longer serve at the agency, i don't have
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up-to-date details on that. i can provide you with more information. >> thank you for being kind. i apologize. you have been very generous. >> thank you. i think that exhausts the questions for today. i want to thank all of our nominees for being here, for your testimony, for your responses. we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to advance the new technologies, and make sure people across the country have access to high-speed internet, and all of the advantages that come with that.
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we want to thank you for your dedication to the worthy cause of public service, and look forward to hopefully being able processhe nomination moving quickly. enter into the record on behalf of senator nelson, for letters of support for jessica nomination to the fcc, and would say we're going to keep the hearing record until friday, july 21. senators are asked to submit additional questions they might have for the record. we would ask our witnesses to submit answers by july 31 so we can get you scheduled for a markup soon.
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with that, i think this hearing is adjourned. thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017]
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[indiscernible conversations] >> right now i feel fairly confident in the process that is underway. seeing the questions get answered. >> do you share the concern the white house is trying to politicize this? >> i guess i don't.
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they have their views about that. concern.ave that >> can you give an estimate on when -- [inaudible] >> we are going to try to report them out in this work period. i don't know if we have a date scheduled. markup yetnoticed a we are planning to do it soon. democrats looked at mobile now, after he is back on the commission? >> i haven't gotten a formal commitment to do that but i have pointed out to senator schumer we are moving the nomination forward. hoping that we will soften up a little bit trying to get that through.
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>> do you think you can get a floor vote on a nomination before the recess? >> they are starting to get stacked up. that would be great. a lot of it depends on the democrats. right now, these nominations, some of them are in, some of the are not. it depends on the democratic leadership. they have slowed the process down for noncontroversial nominees. we would like to. nominationtes on the to the doj? >> no. no update on that. >> is there any prospect [inaudible] >> i think that we are -- we
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think that makes sense. there is president. this is suggested unprecedented. but it is not. independencebout could cause trouble? >> i don't have those. i think he is a smart, thoughtful and independent voice on the commission. he knows these issues. he knows the legalities. some of these issues are very complicated. i think you'll be a good member. we have to get these folks confirmed and over there. i think there is some good work they can do together. rates, -- alling we will take a look at that.
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>> thanks, guys. >> if you missed our live coverage, we will show you president trump speaking at the ford carrierl our. tonight. quite she is interviewed by eric wemple. >> you don't stick up for mccain.
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you feel he has not properly reported on this incident. one, --r [indiscernible] number two, i'm not here to cheer on or defend john mccain or donald trump. peopleia behavior, supportst for how it donald trump. i can see those as separate things. it means you must be supporting him or you don't like x or y because you said this. it has nothing to do with that. medialooking at fair or -- fair or accurate media coverage. c-span 2.fterwords on


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