tv Communicators with Kathy Grillo CSPAN October 2, 2017 8:00am-8:31am EDT
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>> host: kathy grillo is the head of bryson of a policy washington pictures also at senior vice president at that cooperation. she's our guest this week on "the communicators." where are we when it comes to introducing and implementing 5g? >> guest: we are right at the beginning that we are taking off past. verizon what's been the first company in the u.s. to offer commercial product in 2018 and with commercial trials in 11 cities. we are very excited that we look at different aspects of how the spectrum works come have quit the works and we'll put ourselves in a position to launch a product in 2018. 5g is going to open up a completely new wave of innovation in the market pick is going to give extremely fast feed so you be to use 100 times what you use right now on your smartphone or your tablet. it will also provide low latency which is a fancy way of saying
you can have instantaneous response time between devices. what does that mean? that means we can change the way we deliver health care, the way cities work and operate, and the way we educate our kids. that's what we're looking at going forward for 5g. >> host: to put on your washington hat, with the implication of 5g and if it's all successful, does that broader the lines between wired and wireless, and how we regulate all these different industries? >> guest: in order to have 5g the way i'm talking about it, the innovation were talking about, you need three things, spectrum, fiber and infrastructure. you only spectrum which is more of a wireless term. you also need fiber and infrastructure. you will blur the line some of which are really going to have a can a product that is going to work amazingly in any context. >> host: let's bring in our guest reporter as well and that's margaret harding mcgill of politico. thanks for being with us. >> thanks for having me.
i want to follow up more on those trials are doing. can you talk about what you're working on right now, what this could look like in the first iterations? >> guest: what we are thinking that is a fixed broadband wireless, kind of what you have right now with bios or cable broadband. you can get up to a gigabit of connection to your home, ultra high-speed. so in theory this could be maybe a replacement for cable once it's up and running? >> guest: it may or may not. it's hard to tell right now. it would be that kind of service you can get to your home. >> do you think the u.s. has the right regulatory framework for 5g and making sure we are first in getting it out there? >> guest: we done a good job on spectrum, so the se fcc issud an order last year and it is open up high-frequency millimeter spectrum for the industry. we've done a pretty good job on fiber, where private industry
doing a good job on getting fiber out what needs to be. we could do some work on the infrastructure part. in order to get 5g to the homes the way i described it we will need to put a lot of different small cells all over the country. many, many more than we have today. once we do that i think we'll be in a good position. >> one of the concerns i've heard from providers are the city permitting process, the cost at the time. what role do you see as the fcc in having helping in the area? >> guest: we do have an issue in that respect. a lot of the policies exist today were put in place for these large towers so the cities and the considerations that go into it are really from a different time. the fcc could issue some sort national framework that would set the rules for the cost, the permitting processes, the timeframe set we need to meet. that would really help deployment quite a bit. >> a national framework. i'm sure cities would be huge fans of it because they would say hey, the city is different,
what we need, what things need to look like. so do you see that as a real possibility of the fcc putting it out there? >> guest: there's concerned the locales and the city and the states have and we want respect of those. i think what can set up a national firm of that takes those consented to count but also make sure there's a consistent process across-the-board and that we can get that kind of investment and facilities in the ground quickly. >> host: kathy grillo, does the whole attachment issue it comes to implement think all this wi-fi and 5g, it's a little bit mundane but its pretty extensive, isn't it? >> guest: it is. it is. it is a little mundane but it makes a big difference in terms of how we can rollout these facilities. the real issue comes down to what does it cost and how quickly can you move these facilities and get the services up? this is an issue that localities and states play a role in and have some concerns about. if we can get the policy right we can also make a big
difference and get broadband deployed more quickly. >> host: do you find the fcc and the washington regulatory committees and commissions are on the same wavelength as the state and locals, or is a sometimes competing regulation? >> guest: i think they understand the concerns on both sides. at the federal level is the concern about having a patchwork of different regulations across the country and providers would have a different obligation in different places. then the state i think they understand it makes sense to some extent of a national framework. >> host: verizon has talked about densa fine it' spectrum os use of spectrum. what is that, what does that mean? >> guest: densification is a fancy word for saint we have to deploy a lot of small cells a lot of small clay places quickly. the way the wireless network, billy go a certain distance. you have to have these facilities, almost radios that you play pretty close together
to make sure the network can handle the capacity loads we are seen from customers that love using their smart phones for video and text. so densification is another word for making the network stronger. it's something we have spent a lot of time on at verizon because not only do we want to make our 4g network stronger than this today, we also want to set the foundation for 5g and densification is a way to do that. >> going back to how verizon is working with the cities, i know there's a partnership with sacramento involving verizon investing in next-generation smart city technology in exchange for streamlined approval processes. do you expect to replicate that partnership with other cities, and maybe that's the answer to some of the issues with getting things moving? >> guest: we would like to. in sacramento river partnership with the city where we will invest a lot in infrastructure. we would get some streamline processing for our small cells
and in return will work with the city to deploy some smart solutions, smart city solutions like smart transportation, intelligent video and will also offer free wi-fi in some of the parks there. so that kind of arrangement, that win-win situation that we could have put the cities we would like to be able to do that in other places as well. >> have you approached cities that even resistant to that? >> guest: we've approached cities. this is a dialogue we have because we are deploy our network across the country. we are trying to get our small cells in place as quick as possible and also trying to part with cities so they understand the benefits of this technology, what 4g can do and what 5g can do for their infrastructure and the economy in the city. >> host: do you see at some point the disappearance of some of these huge towers, the cell towers that we see? >> guest: i don't think you'll see it disappeared because you still need them in the network. it's just the nature of 5g is going to spectrum that travels to smaller distances.
you need the small facilities that go in between the towers. you don't need replace what exist today. you'll just have to amplify and that too at. >> host: what do you spend most of the time in washington working on, what issue? >> guest: ice then time on infrastructure, 5g, small cells. verizon, our core business purpose at her core business relation with the customer is about our network. networks to preorder your, network leadership. make us with the balance in place on the policy side to be able to strengthen our 4g as a new to 5g. that's been one of my primary focus. >> host: th the president as doctor infrastructure prevent in the united states. is it your view that broadband should be a part of that improvement? >> guest: i think it should, yes. there's a lot we can do. we done a good job in the private industry into . broadband but there's a lot of places where we have made as much progress. some sort of research proposal
that has the money set aside or subsidies for broadband can help with that problem. >> i want to hear about ruling out 5g. you can see in cities, there's lot of buildings and infrastructure to put things on and try the signal but what about in the rural communities? is there a business case for world deployment of 5g and that he thought what that looks like? >> guest: what we did with 4g 4g which will also happen with 5g is you start in the big cities and then you have outwards. if those consideration of an important and you won't have a vision of technology is going to fall and will move to those places, but you're right, the costs are more in rural areas. to the extent the government and policymakers can start thinking critically about ways to facilitate that, that will probably solve that problem. >> the other piece of it of course is spectrum. the sec did the spectrum front your order i did last year with a designated some of the high
band spectrum for 5g. chairman pai recent said they want to locate even more airwaves for 5g, what you think the fcc needs to do next in making this available and you think auctions are on the horizon? >> guest: i think options are on the rise. they can look at mid-band spectrum which is another very interesting area. there's a lot of spectrum in the mid-band as well as high band that can work in this context. >> what do you think the timeline looks for high band auction? >> guest: could be a couple of years. it could be a couple of years. i think it makes a lot of sense to focus now on this mid-band and try to focus on some of that spectrum. we will get there. it will happen. >> host: go ahead, margaret. >> ups going to ask about some of the opportunities in the mid-band, and i know they just started. the very beginning process of looking at that so seems like that might have a longer timeline and some of the high bands.
>> guest: it expect him a long time for the time you identify it to the time you can use it in the network. it really does matter and makes a big difference on when you start the procedure we were very encouraged to see the chairman talk about announcing that sometime in the fall. >> host: refresh us on verizon's participation in recent auctions a spectrum. refresh our -- >> guest: we didn't participate in that auction. we had bought spectrum just like that about ten years before, they called the seve seven megaz spectrum and we felt comfortable with our portfolio both low band and high band at the time. >> do you think there were lessons with sec and incentive auction in terms of how a structured and some of policies that ma maybe should apply to future auctions? >> guest: i think in some sense there was. we saw there was a big focus before that auction on limits. so there were reserves and separate roles that applied for
verizon and at&t versus some of the other carriers. the way it turned out the smaller carriers, t-mobile was one of the largest participants, the largest purchasers of spectrum. i think it does make sense to look back and wonder whether some of the reserves and aggregation limits make sense. >> host: what is your reaction to the fcc's recent conclusion, report on competition in the wireless industry? >> guest: the commission concluded the wireless industry is effectively competitive. from our perspective we've been there for quite a while. we see an exciting competitive market every day, to think with the fcc did was look at the facts and confirmed what on cmos people probably think about the wireless market. >> host: comcast is getting into the phone/wireless market. -- comcast pic is her partnership with verizon with comcast or is this a totally separate? >> guest: there is an
agreement, a wholesaling agreement. we are used to having competitors in the market. since the wireless industry started 15 years ago it's been very aggressive competition. from our perspective we welcome whatever players are going to come in. competition is good for us and it's good for our customers. >> host: i want to go back to the blurring of the lines between wired and wireless, cable and broadcast at all these different silos that we have in our world, the telecommunications world. as these lines blur does this call for maybe one type of regulation? because people don't know whether they're watching broadcast or cable anymore or wired or wireless but they are all regulated differently. >> guest: they are. it does make sense at some point to take a step back and look at how much the market has changed and i much the industry is changed. a lot of which identify, the problem with a different regular
schemes that applied to different companies and industries goes back to statute that was written for a world without was the case, where there were different companies that do different things. now we are already in this complex universe where we all compete directly with one another. at some point it makes sense to go back, look at the statute and is and whether there's a better way to address some of these issues. >> on the fcc front i know one proceeding going on is looking at his broadband is being deployed in a reasonable i thik a timely manner and one issue there is, if you have mobile broadband inventory is a good enough or do you also need mobile and fixed connection? what are verizon's thoughts on that? is mobile a substitute for a fixed connection? >> guest: going back, the 706 report, what it really is supposed to be is a look at the market to say where's broadband being deployed, or the companies doing it and were of the areas
where we can do better? when we look at the entire market its reasonable to say broadband is being deployed in a timely, in a reasonable way. there are going to be areas where we could do better but the conclusion itself still mix a lot of sense. i think with sec did was the right thing. >> if the sec is look at that and saying rod bend is being deployed, how do you think that plays into the net neutrality debate? >> guest: i don't know if it will honestly. like i said it's been, there's been a lot of controversy over what these terms mean, what the right amount should be, what the speech a beaver i'm not sure it's all that relevant. really what it should do is tell us where can we do better, where are we doing well and what is the whole market like. i'm sure that we will will feed into net neutrality but i think that's an important purpose and is something the fcc seems to be moving forward in.
>> host: why did verizon go back to offering unlimited plans? >> guest: because our customers wanted it. it was important for customers. we listen to the market and its had great success. there's been a really good response from our customers. >> host: if t-mobile and sprint, there's been chatter about a potential merger there are other potential mergers in the telecommunications world. does verizon have pointed you want it? >> guest: it's artistically hary great about that given particular because it hasn't been announced. we don't even know if there will be one. they are just rumors. in general we don't comment on other companies mergers. but i can say whatever happens in the market, competition is a good thing. it makes us better. whatever happens we will stick to our strategy and our plan. >> i want to follow up because of been a lot of talk of deals and with the trump administration and he ended incentive auction people say now we'll see a lot of him and
activity but it hasn't come to pass that. why do you think that is? i know verizon has backed with legit cable companies. >> guest: that's hard to say. i think we're in a time where it's by the one of the most complex times in the industry that we've seen in years. companies the use be in one basis are now and another and we are all competing against each other and people trying to figure out the white what way to position themselves. that's not a lot of what's going on behind the scenes. >> one deal that is going on is the at&t-time warner do. time warner owns cnn and hbo. thoughts on if it puts pressure on verizon? >> guest: from our perspective our business plan and strategy is around 5g, irt and mobile video. we just have i think a different approach than they do they were focusing on not just 90 our network but also diversifying
and building new businesses like telematics and iot and the properties of some of the digital content, digital media. we are comfortable with our strategy, we have taken a scientific one that's fine. i think we are comfortable with where we are. >> host: how was the acquisition, the limitation of yahoo! going to verizon? >> guest: it's going well. both properties notches yahoo! but aol and some of the other great content that consumers love like "huffington post," write, tumblr, it's going very well and it will be hopefully a third player in the advertising market, third player that companies have been asking for an looking for. so it's good. >> host: with that, facebook and google, et cetera, are now essentially competitors of yours any sense. how do you differ from a businesswise from them? when it comes to issues like
privacy, et cetera? >> guest: we compete and we work together i guess is the easy answer. in some areas we compete directly. mobile advertising, some of the digital content market. in other areas with partner and work together on different products or things our customers might want. in terms of privacy, in a lot of ways our companies use information in the same way for the same purposes. we don't have the same policy structure or same regular framework most of the time, but we we use the information or content the same way. >> there's been i think increased interest from both democrats and republicans on possible regulation of some of the big companies, like google and facebook. what do you think by the going concern about the power of this companies and if the government has any kind of role in regulating them? >> guest: i don't know about the role of the government in this.
throughout the history of our industry there are always siren calls for different regulations at different times. there's a lot of issues, important issues that are coming up the regulators and policymakers are getting more interested in that those companies are involved in. that could change. >> i do want to get at net neutrality just a little bit more, because it's the biggest fight of the fcc. i'm curious what you think a set of rules on sec will look like if the commission goes ahead and repeals the title ii classification of broadband? >> guest: that's a hard question. i'm not sure on that to be 100% on it. whatever the framework or policies are in terms of net neutrality and what the framework is in terms of how you protect an open internet, a sure net neutrality, it could happen at the fcc. it also could happen in congress. as you know congress is also looking hard at these questions and try to think about what kind of permanent framework would
make sense. you could see that play out in congress as opposed to at the fcc. >> what do you think the outlook is for possible legislation? do think the sec may be needs to act first,. >> action on the hill? >> guest: i think it's doubtful it's in the near term. congress has a lot on its agenda, tax reform, health care, some of these nominations. but we are hopeful it will happen sooner rather than later. there is a growing consensus that we need some sort of permanent framework and we have this ping-pong match now with net neutrality where one chairman has one role and other chairman has another. that just doesn't make sense for consumers. at some point congress is going to step in. when that is is probably hard to call as you point out, but i think it will happen eventually. >> it seems like there is consensus among rules about blocking websites or throttling intentionally slowing them down.
may be less consensus on what to do about paid prioritization, the so-called fast lanes. where does verizon stand? >> guest: we've said clearly from the beginning that's that something we do as a company. it wasn't something we're trying to do. it is something we have supported if there was a rule or framework in place. it just depends on what the jurisdictional basis is. so the fight over net neutrality has never been about an open internet. it's always been about how do you put those rules in place, what's the legal framework. that's where the division has been, that's what the partisan battles have been. there's a lot of agreement about the rules in paid prioritization is one of them. >> host: just to follow up on margaret, she talked a bit about potential legislation. is there any legislation in congress right now that you are following that would affect telecommunications? >> guest: there's been discussion about net neutrality and an open internet. there's been some discussion of what that should look like and
we had discussion with industry and with members about what that should be. those kind of issues have been important. tax reform is hopefully going to be one of those, if we can see on tax reform, there's an announcement today the administration and some members of congress have come together on a framework that might make sense. that's a very important issue for verizon and the u.s. economy that we would love to see action on that this year or early next. >> host: what's the future of bios? >> guest: it's a great product. customers love it. we keep offering higher and higher speeds. we still have room to grow in some cities. wwe've had really terms of customers that have chosen our service yet. wwe're going to pursue that, but it's great. we are very happy. >> host: so a lot of these companies are expanding into production as well, netflix and amazon and youtube, et cetera. original content.
is that something that verizon is looking at? >> guest: it's not something that we look at right back in the way i think you're thinking of it, movies or kind of a netflix type service. but we do have a product called go 90 and we have with a lot of companies that have short form content. content in smaller forms. it's really targeted to a millennial audience, folks that watch a video on their devices or on the tablets. we've worked a lot with companies to come up with some original shows and series that you could watch on go 90 or you can watch through some of the other properties. our content strategy is more directed towards that short form mobile video. >> host: what's the future of wearables and verizon? >> guest: it's great. we have apple watch that would be available on verizon, of the best networker it will come out shortly. that isn't an issue with the internet of things, another
exciting development. there's a lot that you can do with watches or different things like that. >> host: you mention the iot, internet of things. there's some security concerns surrounding that, especially when you see a hack like equifax just had. what type of safeguards need to be put in place for iot? >> guest: that is a a competent issue and it's a good point. in terms of the devices themselves -- complicated -- that's, in terms of the overall network in general, that something you probably need for national standard, operability standards, things like that. >> i wanted to ask about the recent hurricanes and how communication networks have fared. we just had harvey, irma, maria, knocking out cell sites and in puerto rico looks like they were
hit the hardest, maria i think took out 95% cell sites in puerto rico. i wonder if you talk about what verizon has done to try to keep its networks done and if there are lessons overage from the storms at what needs to be done better in the future? >> guest: the storms in florida, and taxes were terrible. there was incredible devastation that occurred. we are proud of how our networks held up under the circumstances. we spent a lot of time before storms. the real secret a lot of the storm prep and adding a resilient network is beforehand. what do you do to prepetition generators? what do you do to make sure your personnel and people in the right places. during the worst part of texas there were 2% of our sites were down in florida it was probably about ten. we were proud that was well above the industry average. a lot of the folks working on these efforts were people who were also suffering to on problems at home. their homes were damaged or their loved ones were in distress. it was a tough road but we are
proud of the way our network elda. there is lessons we can learn and do better next time but we're very proud of how our network held up. in puerto rico we actually don't have sisterly spirit we are not the wireless company. we try to reach outcome if there's anything we can do to help, we've reached out to government officials. we've donated to the red cross. whatever we can do to help in puerto rico we are going to try to do that. >> when the fcc put out daily status reports and ufology reports on have different networks are faring, including cell sites, but they were all anonymize, you couldn't tell. do you think the agency should identify each companies doing individual? >> guest: one of the questions with that is how do you get that information, when to recover it? in middle of the front door to make sure people are focusing on restoring the network rather
than reporting information. that's a big concern in these situations. in terms of the individual company numbers, verizon would have concern and were proud of the way our network holds up, vis-à-vis our competitors. >> host: that speaks in a sense to firstnet, and the fact that emergency responders have a chance to be able to communicate. was at&t getting the first contract, is verizon out of fiction when it comes to firstnet? >> guest: no. we have a very strong public service, public safety business now and we want to continue that relationship. we've tried to reach out to those customers pick we've reached out to a lot of the government agencies and localities to try to make sure that they understand they have an option in verizon. >> host: kathy grillo is the deputy general counsel, senior vice president and head of verizon's public policy of government affairs operations in washington.