tv FCC Chair Ajit Pai on Net Neutrality CSPAN June 15, 2018 1:09am-1:36am EDT
indictment and ask 12 lay jurors somewhere to decide the fate of the republic. mike: we promised we'd get out to church on time or at least to the hill. so just 30 seconds, you have a great summer tradition with your son, now 15 years old, a road trip, sometimes a train trip, right? what's coming up this summer? mr. schiff: we were just having that conversation over dinner last night. i think we're going to go visit a friend at an army base at fort irwin. we may head off to nearby vegas for a couple of days and then not be able to tell you what happened. then we're thinking about climbing a mountain. i'm trying to find one that's not too steep. mike: congressman schiff, thank you very much for joining axios. thank you so very much. >> more now. we would hear from federal adications commission chair g8 pie we spoke about the future of the internet.
>> we miss you around the halls of the building. i wanted to jump right in with the news of the week and get some of your thoughts and there he will jump in around what the fcc is working on. ajit pai: i have a firm stand on ihop name change. [laughter] kim hart: it's been a momentous week for internet policy and something you do with him for a long time over there.
monday the fcc officially dissolved net neutrality rules that a been in place since 2015. on tuesday at&t's merger with time warner was effectively approved with no conditions. and then yesterday we now have a bidding war for 21st centuryfox with comcast over disney. in a lot of ways what entry kind of a new era for the internet. at least in terms of internet policy and how consumers get their content, internet clearly still works even though the net neutrality rules are gone, the on switch is still firmly on. know one has those a huge difference right now. the concern is that we may start to see differences in how consumers interact with the internet going forward, depending on how the fcc and other regulators intervene. i wanted to get your thoughts on -- given all of these changes and their happening put rapidly what is your hope for the internet?
what kind of interesting hope to see going forward after your chairmanship? ajit pai: great question. first and foremost i want to thank you and axios for hosting me. it's a pleasure to meet congressman schiff backstage. the internet is one of the greatest innovations in history. it is hard to remember this because live in the day-to-day but if you go back to 22 years ago when the congress last pronounced judgment on what in the policy should be, looking at a different era. the internet has become intertwined with everything we do, how we serve this is a, educator kids, get healthcare, help grow our crops and the like that it's increasingly abortive -- increasingly important. access to the internet. my goal going for is the light touch approach of the sec once but much more infrastructure investment, to get more people on the right side of the digital divide. there's many millions of americans who don't have access at all or have insufficient competition. we want to change it to make sure every american has digital opportunity.
we also want consumers to be protected both through transparency will that requires every internet service provider big or small to disclose its business practices and with aggressive federal trade commission enforcement retargeting actor that is behaving in an anti-competitively. light touch approach served us well for about 20 years. going for the internet will be better than ever. and in the future. kim hart: a lot of, pretty much the major in the providers have said they also believe in net neutrality. they don't plan on blocking or throttling or creating fast lanes with the sec transparency rules. they do enter some sort of business arrangement or offer a new bundle or service that changes the way consumers get content or bundle come how to -- bundle or how they receive their data or what they pay for, they would have to disclose that. ajit pai: absolutely. if you don't do that it is a violation. in addition if it's an ethic of infringement the ftc has brought authority on an fair and deceptive trade practice authority or unfair authority.
the new chairman of the ftc has stated before congress inhering -- that he is willing and determined to do just that. kim hart: do you intend, do you think the sec and ftc will work closely together to try to figure out if the company is transparent with you guys and therefore compliant with the fcc but the ftc may have considered -- have concerns what that means for consumers and competition landscape. you will work together on that? ajit pai: not only will we, but we are. we have a memorandum of understanding with sign that i spoken to chairman simons about the need to share information on a real-time basis. going forward we will work hand in glove to make sure that consumers are protected, we had a competitive marketplace. kim hart: you talked with the importance of investment and infrastructure make sure we get more people on the right side of the digital divide. when we are talking about these large providers and making sure that less regulation will help incentivize them to put more money back into the networks,
are you concerned about some of these companies focusing more on the already urban areas, helping make sure they can accommodate increasing traffic there rather than putting their money into expanding their infrastructure into the hard-to-reach areas? ajit pai: to me, this is the central problem with internet policy in the united states, there is simply not a business case to serve many parts of the country which are rural. not many people per square mile surrey get less return of investment or to point fiber and/or they are low income so people would not be up to afford the services. to me we need to have serious national effort nor to promote much more access. the fcc is doing that. the license regulations were adopted across the board to try to modernize our rules to encourage companies, smaller companies that are critical to provide access, to give them a stronger business case are reaching those individuals. one example of what uses a small company serves the parts of
vermont that the big play simply -- parts of vermont. it serves parts that the bigger players simply don't server -- serve or don't want to serve. they submitted a letter unsolicited to the fcc and the senate appropriations committee which said for the first time they are investing $4 billion to upgrade our 4g lte service that rural vermonters, spending many more millions on fiber deployment and whittemore -- and we are more optimistic about the future than we ever have been and the light touch market-based approach of the fcc is a major reason why. that letter is posted on the internet. happy to share with anyone if you're interested but that's a simple example of the power of the regulatory approach in d.c. shaping our companies are -- shaping how companies are willing to attack the digital divide. kim hart: in some ways it is less about the role of the companies that have the resources to comply with regulations but it's more so about the small players who are operating in these communities who don't have the resources perhaps to do with it? ajit pai: i think that's right.
another example, rocket fiber, folks in detroit who were dissatisfied with some of the services the incumbent were providing some of those incumbents were not serving parts of detroit that a been written off for decades. they decide we want to do something about it and they run into roadblocks here nuts and -- roadblocks. nuts and bolts stuff like axis to utility poles or pipes. these are the companies necessary to provide a more competitive marketplace in detroit and provide access in some of these parts of the city. it's emblematic of the problem. we want to have a light touch approach because, in terms of access and competition. kim hart: you have said you think rolling back the net neutrality rules will be better , faster, cheaper internet access and help the competition. how will the fcc determined that? is it anecdotal? you have a lot of ways of tracking data and extensive reports on the state
competition. how do you think the fcc should continue to track that? is there a need for better data, more data? if you find that one of those values, if it's not ending up being faster or cheaper or not as much competition as you might have hoped this would spur, do you think the fcc should consider taking action? ajit pai: measure it in a few different ways. first and foremost every , broadband provider submits form 477. they have to detail their broadband services. aggregating that data gives us a picture of what internet access is and what isn't and where the trends are from your to you. -- from year-to-year. we also have a number of different programs that with universal service fund, $10 billion fund that subsidizes telecom buildout for parts of the country. we holding next month and -- a auction to put fixed $2 billion broadband service to unserved parts of america. next year we hope to get 4g lte to unserved parts of america and
we track as of these providers are getting the sons in building -- these funds and building out how that is going. that's on the aggregate level. on the personal level i make it up or to try to collect as many parts of the country as i can to see where -- >> you been to something like 28 states already? ajit pai: puerto rico repealing -- puerto rico, the virgin islands. puerto rico repeatedly in the wake of hurricane marie. to me it just helps to underscore the importance of our effort. the promise of internet access in some parts of the country, companies are now building business and trading jobs thanks -- and creating jobs thanks to high-speed fiber. some of the challenges in places like west virginia where a resort for many years was unable to attract as many customers as it would like because they lack access to internet. we want to make sure we get a sense both personally and affordably through the process about how internet access can be promoted going forward. kim hart: we were talking about the big platform companies, the net neutrality fight in a lot of
ways is seen as this ongoing battle between the big platform companies, google, facebook, amazon, netflix of the world and internet service providers like verizon on comcast and at&t. if we're seeing at&t, now owned directv, will own time warner, also has broadband service. comcast also is a number of different platforms. verizon is getting into the area. are you saying and internet that -- are you seeing this internet that is made up of an almost -- and almost controlled by these huge companies that a lot have a huge market leveraging can be gatekeepers for the internet? ajit pai: with the caveat that none of my comment would be construed, and opinion but any any transaction or transaction could be pending, the usual caveat, we do want to make sure there is a competitive marketplace. that involves taking a holistic view of what the market structure is.
this is a task for the federal trade commission and the department of justice. they want to have a firm sense of what the denominators are. the marketplace is changing quickly. of the revenue growth in 2017 from digital advertising the two companies. what does that mean for the overall internet economy? that's something, edition authorities will be interested in going forward. kim hart: is that almost a case for allowing different kinds of vertical combinations to create a new form of competition? ajit pai: i can't express an opinion that because there could be,, there are, could be pending transactions. i will say we die with on a -- i will say we evaluate it on a case-by-case basis. we don't start with the premise which is it's good or bad and then work backward from that to express an opinion about a transaction. we do the particular transaction
determined as best we can weather that transaction would be in the public's interest. start from the ground up i guess. kim hart: we talked about the broadband networks that are in the ground. let's talk about wireless for a minute. to'save made a huge party free up a ton of spectrum. talk a little bit about the pipeline. >> i'm excited about the promise of 5g. it is becoming clear the world is going wireless. we are now in the 4g era of course. but the 5g era can promise even better consumer benefits. superfast wireless connections, high-capacity from everything from virtual reality, gaming, artificial intelligence, machine learning and the like. we want to make sure we set the stage for the u.s. to maintain leadership in wireless and a particular 5g.
that requires spectrum policy that smart and for thinking and for such a policy that thinking. on the spectrum side we been very aggressive in trying to open up more of the wireless spectrum band, the airways, for commercial use. will be holding america's first 5g auctions. sec teed up a number of current -- different bands consideration. put as to make sure we much spectrum out there for every wireless entrepreneur to be able to use. in addition to the high-end spectrum we are looking at mid-band and low band spectrum. this would enable the next generation of entrepreneurs to experiment, what is the next great unlicensed technology like wi-fi? we're confident people will be able to figure it out if we set the table for it.
kim hart: how do you balance the need to make sure that we are, that the u.s. is staying had in -- staying ahead in terms of 5g development and pulling out of -- rolling out of the next generation networks, along with other huge priority which is closing the digital divide, considering a huge swath of the country barely has 2g and 3g. how do you balance where the resources go between the future of the internet and making sure that we are keeping up with china and south korea versus the ones who are still trying to get the things we take for granted everyday? ajit pai: is a great question. it is part of the reason what i travel around because i recognize there are parts of the country that are still struggling just to get the 4g lte access that we enjoy in this building today. part of it involves and turns -- involves that we maintain leadership and pushing her spectrum bands out there. part of it in terms of a picture the other parts of the country that are on the wrong site at
-- making sure the rules for strong as possible for company to build the wireless towers and avoid the small cells that are necessary for these airways to be used. 5g could have a very powerful business case in rural america. precision agriculture. i was in charles city, virginia where i visited the owner of redwood farms. folder ford order -- corn yield. part of the reason why is because he has pretty strong 4g access. imagine what he could do with 5g and monitor incredible precision every square foot of his cropland. figure out where the fertilizer needs to become what doesn't need to be, deploying the water across the field a very smart way. these are the things 5g could portend and i'm confident we get the infrastructure out there in
rural america we can create a business case are doing that. there could be incredible benefits. a lot of human capital in america is on the shelf in some cases because they don't have access to the next generation technology. kim hart: a huge benefit of these next-generation technologies and the faster speeds and all the data that is being created by the computing that is happening is artificial intelligence, machine learning. you are working on something that it wanted to let you talk a little bit. ajit pai: absolutely. one of the best aspects about this job is learning about new technologies. i don't think there's ever been a better time on active time to work at the fcc. i feel like every day or every week there's some new technology that i'm learning about and reading about and listening to podcasts about. how can fcc overall state of -- overall stay abreast of some of these developments? what i like to do going forward you start convening some forums or four i guess for you latinate sticklers out there which he fcc can bring in some experts to talk about some of these new technologies. we are going to cover hopefully a number of different topics but what i like to do is by the end of your start with a four-month -- end of the year start with a forum on artificial intelligence, machine learning. this this is a huge area of
innovation that will have tremendous effects on society. we want to explore what they can mean for business operating in the marketplace. on the consumer side, a couple days ago, i had a chance to me with a team from microsoft working on ai research project that is tracking artificial intelligence to help people with disabilities and low vision. that's an exciting harbinger of what ai can mean for consumers. same thing on the business side. how will it affect our companies, use spectrum more smartly. that's one of the things we want to explore. hopefully we will convene that by the end of the year and maybe more with time to come. kim hart: with the promise of artificial intelligence also comes downside that a lot people have brought up especially when it comes to kids and how technology -- the more we are staring at our phones and the more we are on the saps that are
almost incentivized to make them , wective to us as possible both have two kids. you have fears for how your kids interact with the internet and communications in general. ajit pai: it's a positive and potentially negative tool. some the programs because able to watch on ipad are really educational. i think it's great to see them learn to some of these applications. on the other hand, i do worry a little bit about how it changes the way you interact with the world. when i was growing up, the world was defined to the analog communication system, three broadcast channels and the local newspaper. i just think i wonder sometimes or my kids cognitive processes shape by interact with something on a screen as opposed to reading something on a printed page?
one of the things i will try to think about as we raise them, we want them to be wholly functioning, well adapted members of society so you want them to look at the world around them. in addition to what they see on the screen. it's a challenge for parents. >> one of the things that i have noticed is with the algorithms that tell you what's the next new story to reader what to present, what kind of movies or shows or documentaries or ,dvertising to target to people you are almost seeing a mercury diversion of the world. making the internet more open is in some ways a bit more narrow. is there a role for the fcc? ajit pai: i'm not sure if it's a formal regulatory role, but that is one of the things i think about as a parent.
i don't let them serve on youtube unattended. i want to see what the next video they see is in addition to the one about the starfish and might happen to watch. we don't want them to go down the rabbit hole for a variety of different reasons. it is something a lot of parents are struggling with. we want our kids to be able to learn about everything in the world and that's one of the great things about the internet now. a lot of people forget not long ago to learn about these things you're to crack open the encyclopedia britannica or go to your public library and to find out whatever you could. it was hard to get access to information. the great thing is everything is at your fingertips. the danger is as you pointed out sometimes you can just in the focusing on a real narrow little sliver of the world, and to construe that as the entirety of the world. i don't want my kid, i don't think anybody wants their kid to have that narrow of a vision. kim hart: at the end of your tenure at the fcc, you've been there for a while. what do you think defines success for your as the -- for you as the chairman? ajit pai: to me closing the digital divide. if we can make a dent in that problem, our time will be viewed
as a success. increasingly, as i said society becomes increasing did in on the digital platform, it follows that people don't have access to those digital platforms are going to be left behind. that pains me as someone who grew up in rural america. in the heart of american lives the thirst to give themselves and their kids a better life. i want to make sure they have the opportunity to do that. another controversies of the day and people will clash with whether they appreciate the us to see policy are not. mark is going to be made is helping get people onto the internet. thank you so much for being here.
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