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tv   FCC Commissioners Speak at Free State Foundation Lunch  CSPAN  December 9, 2021 9:22pm-10:25pm EST

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next >> i look at 5g
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technology. wireless innovation and broadband access. with fcc commissioner brendan carr and nathan simington at the free state foundations anniversary luncheon. >> okay, so we've got four speakers and i'm just going to ask them to come up one at a time and speak. we'll do that and then also in addition to those speakers, i want you to hear from seth cooper when they're through. first up is commissioner brendan carr. it is true that he needs no introduction. i've introduced him so many times. i have a tendency to short cut it. but let me just tell you a couple of an important things. he looks so young but he brings 20 years of private and public
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sector experience in communications and tech policy to his current position as commissioner. commissioner, that's hard to believe, but i know it's true. i know it's on your website. [laughs] he was confirmed to the senate seat -- to his seat on the commission and august, 2017, after having been appointed general counsel at the commission in january 2017. so, august 2017, commissioner, january 2017. general counsel. that's a pretty quick race there to the top. and in fact, during law school, i discovered that commissioner carr served as intern for than commissioner kathleen auburn earthy, who we saw earlier on the video. i'm going to shortcut all of
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these, because i could go on and on. just a couple more things about brendan. he was described by axios as quote, the sec's 5g crusader, close quote. for those of us who follow the fcc's work, where well aware and know how you earned that accolade. the more you've done on spectrum among other things. among the other things of course, work on infrastructure deployment. this is been so important and remain so important. and also tele-health, which is much the news now and deservedly so. so, i'm going to stop there. his full bio is on the website and that's through true of all the others. with that, i'm going to ask
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commissioner carr to come up. [applause] >> i thank you so much randi, for that very kind introduction. the youthful look is usually not one that i get, particularly with us here line. most of the time people ask me how my confirmation went to the federal radio commission. [laughs] but appreciate the accolades. it's great to see so many friends again. i don't know if it's just getting out of the house that has drawn so many people together, or whether it is randy and the free state that has done it. we don't really need to parse it. the good news is, there are so many people that are here. for my part, it's great to see people in person again. i'm used to seeing everybody in their little boxes on the screen. the bad thing about that is it makes it very hard to figure out what people have fallen asleep in my remarks when they're on zoom. it's difficult to find that out. but here, particularly after lunch, it would be very easy to see all the people that quickly not off during these remarks. it's great to see commissioner
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reilly here as well. you rent mentioned, randy, the good work. maybe i'll talk more about it. it truly was 18 efforts. some of those team efforts were commit spearheaded by commissioner o'rielly. the fcc, pursuing free market ideas that delivered for the american consumer. maybe you can talk more about that. but obviously, we're also celebrating free state. kudos on 15 years. a remarkable run. obviously this is an organization that is known for elevating the discussion, that discourse and putting forth some really great ideas. my team did some research and they told me that they found free state was mentioned in over 70 fcc dockets. which is a tremendously prolific reach for the organization site. it's something like 260 times an fcc decisions. so definitely influential voice and fantastic run for 15 years. so kudos to you and the organization. it's really been an invaluable
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resource to those of us at the commission. while reflecting, maybe i'll start back a few years ago. we look back to 2016. when it came to 5g build in this country, the outlook wasn't really the great back then. you had ernst and young, deloitte, saying that 5g, the u.s. was on the verge of getting completely left behind by china and other countries. i think it was deloitte that said china was about to unleash a 5g tsunami. maybe near impossible for the u.s. to catch up. and a lot of ways, they were right. back then, it costs too much to bill internet and fix structure. it took too long. the dais supported those conclusions. back then, the u.s. was building about three new cell sites every single day. at a point time when china was putting up 460 new cell sites a day. so, what it was taking us for years to build in terms of wireless infrastructure, china was doing every nine days.
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so, we were in some trouble. on the spectrum front, we virtually had no mid band spectrum available for 5g back then. so commissioner o'rielly, along with myself, we rolled up our sleeves and we got work. we tackle this with an infrastructure plan for 5g. we had a series of four or five decisions that eliminated red tape and tried to allow americas private sector to start building wireless infrastructure again. we freed up swaths of the spectrum. we move forward on 2.5 giga-hurts on kicker hurts. we took on -- a decision that had been sticking around the fcc four quite a long. time for giga-hurts, six giga-herds. as well as the big kahuna, the sea ban. so all told, we had something like six giga-hurts license for 5g. and that work paid off. the private sector got to work
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and they built. in 2016 we had 708 sales sites in this country. after our infrastructure and spectrum reforms, that number dropped jump to 46,000. a remarkable boost. the u.s. leapfrogged 20 countries on the global mobile speed index. we were bridging the digital divide. speeds were up three fold. prices, despite recent inflationary pressures, were down for internet services. which was a great thing. so some really really, good results, and i was proud to be on the team that helped enable the private sector to do that. of course, we can't stop there we've got to keep moving forward. for that reason i've laid out a spectrum calendar that shows how we continue to build on those spectrum winds that we got those last couple of years. at the end of the day, spectrum policy in this town right now is not limited to which
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organization is the best government agency. as the best engineer are the right policy call. whether we like it or not, clearing spectrum for flexible commercial use right now requires fcc leadership that has political capital and is willing to spend it. i remember a couple years ago walking down the street and a city bus drove past me and there was a c-span advertisement on. and the advertisement show these face of the then-fcc chairman. in some ways is funny, in some ways it's meaningless. but in other ways it goes to show someone had accumulated political capital in this town, and that's why we're able to get things done on five dot nine. in the face of pushback from the apartment of transportation. lower able to move forward on the el ban. and why we kept holding the line on -- the pressure such as it was coming from nowhere and other from weather services. and whether we like it or not, that is the model going forward. we need to make sure we have
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fcc leadership that is willing to stand up, have political capital, and be willing to spend it to deliver results for the private sector. the same on infrastructure. we've got to keep the winds going. i think one of the most important things we can do there is complete our broadband mapping process. back in march i called the complete that map by sometime this fall. very briefly, in july, there was a rumor that popped up at a senate congress committee that suggested that maps would be done by the end of july. i put out a statement. i was very pleased to see that and then on august when i was displeased to see that didn't take place. yet we still have a black box as to when are the spectrum maps going to get completed. and there's no reason for it to be black box. let's just be honest with people. first quarter? next year second quarter next? here because they're so many planning second take this what's we know when the math is going to get down. it's the key to moving to 5g. it's the key to unleashing money. but it's also key to all the
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infrastructure of spending that is going on in this town right now. if you put the current discussion to the side about the 1.5 billion that the current might or might not get across the finish line, my guess is that 800 million dollars that congress has either approved appropriated or agencies have budgeted that could be spent on broadband infrastructure. it could be spent on other infrastructure, but it could be spent on broadband infrastructure. some people of the estimated it is 80 billion dollars to finish the work of bridging the digital divide. but with that ten times much money sitting right now in the pipeline at the fcc, commerce, department of education, treasury and drag. in july, early july, i sent a letter to the four of those agencies skip the fcc, and asked them, were arguing with the spending of this 800 billion cult dollars? what guardrails are you putting in place? are you going to use the fcc's math points available? my concern is we are about to see a repeat of the 2009 be top
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level will -- be top was a relatively small amount, seven billion, eight billion dollars. we have 800 billion dollars. the responses that i got back from those agencies to the extent that i did get a response and a couple, you know who you are, have not responded yet. it did not give me much comfort that we're putting guardrails in place to make sure that the eat hundred billion is going to get spent going into the ground connecting unconnected americans. that we're going to avoid the waste, fraud abuse that we saw before. it's not inevitable yet that we see a repeat of the top. but it's pretty darn close that we're going to see every part of that be top failures. and that's a problem. because we've never been in a situation where we have the funding to fully breach the digital divide. we have enough dollars to get the job done. i don't think we've been in that position before. it's a shame on off, if we don't have the policies, guardrails in place in the next two or three years, to actually get that job done. because i think it's
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increasingly likely that if you flash forward two or three years, will be meeting at events like this. people see where did that hundred billion dollars go? we had 80 million dollars before to pursue divide. is that why you didn't get? hear a lot of what i've been talking about so far is a property appropriated funds. which is to some extent, in the short term, relieving pressure on the fcc's own funding mechanism. the universal funding. but that fun obviously is under a lot of strain right now. we collect ten win 11 dollars a year from consumers by adding a 30% charge on -- to keep it simple, the telephone portion of their bill. that charge started are at five or 6%, is now 30%. a new one said it could go to 75%. in the next couple of years. we need to do something about it. so, i put out an idea that would take that 30% charge, eliminated from consumers bills all together and look to some version of large technology companies to start paying their fair share. you can target it at digital advertising revenue, for
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instance. which is an eerie making it very difficult, but find its way back into the consumers monthly bill. given the way the digital market operates. if you look to big streamers, other entities that you so much of the bandwidth that is supported and funded by the universal service fund. so i think the fcc should get going on a procedure to do that. and i've been surprised frankly, at the bipartisan support in congress to look at these types of fear sheer ideas. there is legislation that has been introduced in just a week or so ago. i testified in front of the senate of commerce and subcommittee chair had some really interesting, favorable remarks. we're taking a look at these types of ideas. if you missed it, i tweeted a out to help you not miss that favorable remarks from chairman lujan. so hopefully look back and see that. with that, i think my filibuster is close to coming to an end. but it is really, really great to get to join you again. i really enjoy these discussions again.
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and they abilities the discussion above a couple of characters that were usually limited to on twitter and other forms. it's really important opportunity to have some more in-depth, more substantive discussions about these vitally important issues. and i really look forward to hearing the remarks from mr. simington and the other distinguish speakers. so, thanks very much. [applause] commissioner>> thank you very m, commissioner carr. by the way, regarding your proposal to have big tech contribute in some way to addressing the shortage of support for universal service programs, that something that i thought was really a creative and interesting proposal. i've actually written about it as well. i'd like to see the commission starry proceeding as well. by the way, i didn't see this
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earlier, but i want to mention that c-span is here with us today recording this event. it's going to be shown at c-span -- as it does, many, many times over the next several days. we are grateful they are here. we always appreciate that. and i'm still a c-span junkie myself. probably always will be. so, the other thing i want to do is quickly before i call mr. simington up -- we've got a few people i just want to recognize that are here today. i wish i could do more. former fcc chair dick o'rielly is here. appreciate it. [applause] because in the video. we're going to watch more of
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that later. also, rob mcdougal is here with us. [applause] i still remember this robert, by think you gave one here for very early addresses to the free state foundation. we appreciated that. and then finally, my good friend, longtime friend, david gross -- ambassador david gross. [applause] david always reminds me, properly so, that once you are an ambassador and have served in that capacity that you're always an ambassador. that's not even true of a commissioner, i think. you don't carry that title. so, we thank all of you for being with us. okay, next i'm going to
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introduce commissioner nathan simington. now, speaking of early addresses given at the free state foundation, nathan simington give his inaugural inaugural address at a free state foundation virtual event, but it's especially nice for him to be with us today to give an address in person. okay, so again, the short version of commissioner simington's biography is that he was nominated to serve as a commissioner last fall, by president trump. he was confirmed later in the fall by the senate. and took his seat in late 2020. he brings with him a love of both private and public sector
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experience before becoming and fcc commissioner. he served at ntia as a senior adviser, where he worked on many aspects of telecommunications policy. commissioner simington holds more degrees certainly than i do, and i think more that many of us in this room, but always been interesting to me that a couple of those are a music theory. which i bet at times might be helpful at the sec if things ever get exciting. i don't mean that they're not always exciting at the fcc. but it is true, isn't it commissioner simington, that since you've been on the commission with this two, two deadlock, it's probably not exactly the same experience that maybe sometime in the future. however that goes.
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so, we are really pleased that you're with us and if you would come up and deliver your remarks. [applause] to be >> thanks very much for that kind introduction. it's a pleasure to be here to have a chance to speak with everyone today. as i always see, when music comes up, music is after all with a spectrum as well. it's an honor not just to be here, but to be in such rarefied air. it's really a delight to speak in the shadows of the fms f's history and with the other distinguished speakers today. it's also a pleasure to join the free state foundation for the 15th anniversary. for a decade and a half, three state foundation has served as an in port venue at which lawmakers, regulators and policy professionals from both sides of the aisle's, and maybe two aisles further over, have come to how show ideas related to the free market and limited government. so while those ideas usually have been centered within
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telegram and technology, that principles within our durable and universal. so i look forward to speaking with those who i share an opinion and perhaps more importantly, if those with whom i disagree. at many free state foundation events to come. so, as some of you may know, i selected that free state foundation for my maiden address as randy mentioned, and in the address i remarked on the 25th anniversary of the telephone act of 1996. and the phil fulfillment of the odd premise of the derogatory era. i was caution by some of their income when interests who -- express supporting the act in that speech. now with almost a year on the commission in the rearview mirror, i understand it's probably not possible to utter a sentence for which is not true that a vital and thoroughly inform interest in telecoms will reasonably, politely and at great length object. so, i'm sure if i came up today in support of chocolate ice cream, i'd be hearing from the vanilla lobby in due course. with a deck detail, accurate powerpoint -- so i conclude it is best to be
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a bit zen about the process. learn what i need. forget the rest. not to pick fights that they need picking. because it's a good thing. because nowadays and talking about -- after all, it's the crystal anniversary. so what could be more appropriate than talking about radius. predictability that did ruffle a few feathers. . i hear from some corners that building better receivers is an expense. well, that's true. guard bans are an expense to. public resource will tell families. it differs due to a normal new deletions -- they don't have easy answers because they're not in the control of the transmitting party. they would have to voluntarily withdrawal from using the full capacities they are legally entitled to. every digital bit, beneath the shannon limit, is an expense. while putting our wireless future on the back edge of devices -- it would potentially be a very large expense.
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i don't know how big. smaller than the expensive implementation -- i hear from some other corners -- many of those same players serving comments in the federal bounds and i'm not sure that they -- federal standards. though it's often been available for them to. make i'm skeptical of the standards for minimum performance. but here is one thing about which i'm not skeptical. it's that it's easier to build a cheap wireless device with poor performance in china than it is here. what happens? do consumers pay a bit more? possibly. but we also define what constitutes the minimum viable product, and may exclude quality products. potentially making it feasible for domestic manufacturers to make devices with better
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components? perhaps some of these will even be made domestically. that sounds to me like it would have a protective effect. at a minimum, it would mitigate some of the dominance of manufacturers in the domestic market. what's more, as a practical matter, industry already sets his own floors. no one would say that he's not at stands out there. i think everyone's concerned that the commission would have a hard time finding the right standards. i agree with that premise. after all, he's just sitting and looking at the membership rules of some of the trade associations. wait occurred to me there are trade associations that might have two or three as many companies. there's a vast wealth of knowledge that we have to tap if we promote the public good. so effort from some other corners, and i'm sure you may not be show a polygon talking about -- but the commission regulate
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transmission only. i tend to think that the regulations are not in place. we don't merely regulate transmission -- interference experienced by an end user or a device takes place in a single process. think csis enhanced. the government focused on receivers traditionally but that doesn't mean that we face an absolute bargain. i think the committee agreed to that in a task force in 2002. there's been a general level of support whenever the issue has been raised before. there may be reasons that we haven't acted yet. but i don't think that some of those reasons would include discover ambiguity over the regulatory need to do so. but to close on every state foundation note, we are the free state foundation and i did not come here to argue for an overbearing commission. i hope the commission doesn't ultimately regulate receivers. i suspect that the standard's body and trade associations are in a better association
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position that the commission. and without fear of drawing a hecklers veto from the most marginal actors as they lay out benefits and harms. i'm sure that staff also did not come to the floor for the headache of the regulations covering highly disparate, innumerable services and models in these cases. our best bet instead is to serve as a clearinghouse to ensure regulation. but perhaps it's not a bad thing if the inspector regulation from time to time looms up. and this issue will be resolved and i'm sure the industry will do that. the downside is that perhaps one data commission will find its hands tied by public opinion. and will be forced to do something. the best thing to do would be to avoid the necessity and move forward if the industry, speaking with one voice, before it manifests. i think the best way to avoid strict controls that are unlikely to see everyone
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properly, and instead to give a nuance, thoughtful treatment of the issue. and so for the good of the american people, to deliver on the promise of our wireless future, i raise this with industry. today i appreciate everyone's patience and interest in this rather abstruse issue and i thank you for the invitation to attend today. and thanks very much. >> [applause] >> thank you, commissioner simington. it's my pleasure to now introduce my good friends -- well, all of these people i'm a good friends. >> [laughs] >> but i've got to be careful there. my good friend michael o'rielly. mike served, of course, as an sec commissioner from november
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2013 through december 2020. so of course he served out of term and then was confirmed, nominated and confirmed, to another term. he -- i started to say, commissioner riley, i keep doing that, probably. he is a visiting fellow with hudson institute center for economics of the internet. and he also has established a consultancy, mp o'reilly. as many of you know, i've introduced him on many occasions and the first few times i would point out his bio and go down his long list of senate positions. and there were about -- when he served on the staff over in the senate there were about 12 or 13 of them.
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more senior positions. so i'm not going to do that today. but i do want to, instead of that, say to those here and to our c-span audience as well, that the work you did while at the commission really, in so many different areas, was so important. the infrastructure spectrum. there are others. but one that you and i talked about a lot and that you have talked about at free state foundation, it has to do with fcc forum, would i call institutional reform sometimes. you are really a leader in that regard. and i have always been a grateful for that work as well. so with that, please welcome michael o'rielly.
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>> [applause] >> yes, my good work on process reform. that got me a lot of positive things! >> [laughs] >> it's so good to see so many people. but thank you so much, randi, for having me here and being such an advocate for many of my past positions and endeavors that the sec. it is a true pleasure to be included at such an important event by the free state foundation. i estimate i probably attended upwards of 20 free state foundation over my time at the commission, far exceeding my participation at any other engagement or conference. just think about. it 20 times i jumped on the stage just like this or this one exactly and 20 times many of you ignored every word that i said. >> [laughs] >> i see some of you nodding. people ask me what it's like to be a former commissioner. one, i'm not wearing a tie unless i have absolutely have
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to. and to, i'm taking this luggage tag and i'm not asking anyone's permission. >> [laughs] >> when i look around the room to see some telecoms elders, if you will, who, like me, have begun grain or balding, we know you save the birthday parties for the important ones. and we recognize the difference between getting older and maturing. for think tanks, especially those on telecoms policy, still standing to make contributions and debates is actually an amazing accomplishment. and that's why we are all here today, to recognize the free state foundations voice and legal challenges supporting its view that adherence to free market principles helps deliver the greatest benefit for consumers and the communication sector. this organization has both aged well and grown up to be such an
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effective thought leader. thanks to randy, its work is still incredibly influential at the commission, in congress and within the largest private sector community. i extend my deepest congratulations to randy and his team for all their congratulations and i look forward to seeing free states next 15 years. as previously promised to some of you, i want to raise some substantive issues. what else would we do but talk about substance at free state? that have been getting under my skin as a private citizen. these are my personal views and i do not advocate or engage in any fcc proceeding. got that? >> [laughs] >> to be clear on that, i am not. i'll start with a simple question. what has made usa mean for telecoms manufacturing? this question is being posed repeatedly on capitol hill in various legislative text and hearings. so let's unpack it a bit. ostensibly intended to protect
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national security and protect supply chain lines, it's also been considered as a way to facilitate open access networks, or oram. it seems to be about providing select company some type of preference, supporting these larger purposes. setting aside the validity of these arguments for a moment, what does it mean to be an american manufacturer? to date some experts have said that the company of location headquarters is definitive. it certainly furthers the motto of american prominence. a u.s. hq means that companies executives live in our communities and workers live locally. products are made, packaged and shipped from u.s. located plants and services are offered, sold and managed locally. but what if that isn't a reality? let's face it. a company can have a u.s. hq and have little actual presence in the united states or farm
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out its manufacture and software coating to be done overseas, either by itself or third-party. if it is essentially a u.s. headquarter telecoms manufacturer in name only, relying on heavy presence in asia to conduct all its production, how does that support the larger policy goals? on the other hand, each of the global telecoms manufacturing companies headquartered overseas have extensive interests in the u.s., in terms of massive physical manufacturing facilities and thousands of u.s. employees assigned to manufacturing, installation, customer management and so on. if the bulk of equipment production, network employment, monitoring or other essential services are being done by u.s. workers, as part of a u.s. subsidiary, why exactly should these global manufacturers be, in essence, punished by law? in fact, the location of the company headquarters has proven time and time again through a review of many sectors to be a
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very poor indicator for determining national security exposure or threats to supply chains. gm from detroit, manufactures and imports cars from numerous foreign countries. honda from japan has extensive manufacturing in 12 u.s. states, locally producing five u.s. cars and trucks annually. it's honda usa a greater national security risk than gm? are it's applying issues that much more different because of the location of its headquarters? the simple answer is no. moreover, for some of us, hush -- the principle of free trade has somehow become pass a recently. but there are still valid reasons based on david ricardo's comparative advantage theory and proven practice to have facilities in many locations. all of this is to say that the real issues should not be headquarters location. but relies on trust of manufacturers. according to public information,
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the global national security agencies -- the large telecoms on you factors -- minus a subset from china as trustworthy and helpful partners in minimizing potential threats or supply chain difficulties. trusted manufacturers, not corporate structure or location, should be the deciding factor. second issue, and last, at least for today, is the lack of made advanced back from for 5g services. the commission's done great work, i believe, but it's not been enough. i recently read comments from a high ranking government official. they champion the work being done to implement and make operational the first tranche of see the end spectrum. and qualified to action. those are imperatives and congrats are due. but there are also hints that some work was being done on a lower three gig hurts to further pry the ban from the department of defense for both licensed and unlicensed
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commercial purposes. i love the fact that others have joined the course in these critical bands. lord knows, i served as pied piper for getting all of these bands available for 5g services. but we as a nation are still hundreds of megahertz short compared to the 5g portfolios of the rest of the world. simply put, the u.s. cannot successfully lead globally on 5g with a substandard spectrum allocations. yet the u.s. is at best middle of the pack of wireless aviation. so i ask, one of the next 5g advances coming from and when will they be available? i get it. this question of changing spectrum policy is incredibly difficult. it ruffles feathers and shakes up norms. we have federal agencies with grips on allocations that they no longer need or cannot justify. but we wince at their shiny metals or flood science. and sure, it's easier to focus on giving away and spending free government money. but sound spectrum policy, one
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that recognizes the insatiable quest of consumers for more wireless services and the benefits it brings to the rest of the economy and consumer welfare, it's essential core work to help decide the future success of our nation. game plan, timeline, whatever, the terms are good for my purposes. it's also an area that congress needs to lead. this is a moment for leadership in the public and private sector to help address international. so, i ask again, where are the next five g advancements coming from? and when will they be available? expect me to keep asking this until is favorably resolved. is it time for kick yet? i was promised there would be cake and that's just a joke, because i've been told there is going to be cake, there was no cake. but i want to thank randy and all of his work over the years. we've been incredibly good friends. we worked on many projects together.
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free state foundation has done a wonderful job and i really appreciate all the contributions you have made a look for to the future. thanks very much. [applause] >> you know. i'm going to ask, i think maybe i'm with brendan, can you come up. >> i don't have a good side, but i'll try. >> okay, commissioner simington. thank you. i think, was it ronald reagan in the new hampshire debate in 1980 -- i know some of you are too young to remember this -- were they decided not to have
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him speak or something. and he said i pay for this mic and i'm going to speak. well, i paid for this photographer here -- [laughs] i paid and we're going to get some photos. okay, well, mike -- we'll do that later. mike, thank you. when mike was speaking i was thinking that you can take mike off the commission, that you can't take the commissioner out of mike. i mean, that was good. you should get someone to post that on the fcc's website, i think. [laughs] and when you mentioned david ricardo and the comparative theory -- the theory of comparative advantage, you had me right there, as you know. next, it's my pleasure to introduce deborah lathen.
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deborah, to be frank with you, she is has not spoken at as many free state foundation events as the commissioners. but she has spoken previously and she has been a long time friend and someone that i've admired for a long time as well. i thought it was important to have her here today, because she has a perspective going back quite far. i'm going to give you just with her permission, the brief highlights of her bio so we can get her appear. she established lathen consulting in 2001. that was after she left the fcc serving as chief of the cable
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services bureau. where she started in 1998. she in that position led a team of 100 plus lawyers, economists and engineers. and that was at a time, just to put a point on it, when we were beginning to talk about the digital convergence. how that landscape was changing. and of course, importantly for that way in which we think about things at the free state foundation, what that would meet for changes in their regulatory policy. deborah served on the boards of major fortune 500 corporations, for example, she's been a director at british telecoms. and held many other board positions. so, without further ado, if you would come up, deborah.
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[applause] >> thank you so much, randi. when i got your email inviting me to speak, i was so thrilled and honored. i know i'm the old person pulling at the regard and i said to myself, how did i get to be this old? but there are lessons that we've learned as we age, and i'll talk a little bit about some of those. but first, i really want to see why i love your organization so much. i would always see that i was a yellow dog democrat. and i had to stop and think that at 18, my first vote was actually cast for chuck percy, the senator from illinois. but i feel when i come here is, we're not democrats or republicans, we are people who
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come here to discuss important tell calm issues. and they are discussed in a very academic and substantive we. there isn't what we see too much of in our country today. people talking and not listening to each other. so, that is one reason why i cherish being here and i cherish the many discussions that we've had. so, i want to really congratulate you on doing something absolutely spectacular and necessary for us to have civil discourse and democracy. let me just tell you a quick story. i always wanted to do civil rights, although i did corporate stuff most of my career. one day, i called up big bill cornered and i said -- and i was living halfway in california, but i still have this commitment that i wanted to do civil rights. so i called bill cornered up and i said bill, could you get
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my resume over to doj, because i want to go to the civil rights division there. and bill called me back and said well, i really would like for you to come and work for me at the cable services bureau. and i said, bill, i really want to do civil rights. and bill said, look, deborah, the never next civil rights struggle will not be fought in the streets. it will be over who has access to the internet, who does not have access, who has access to information. it will be coming from the internet. this is 1998. bill was prescient when he said that in 1998. and that was really the impetus that got me to come to washington and fall in love with technology. let me just give you a little retrospective on where we were
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in 1998 when i came and some of the issues that -- some of the lessons that we're learn. when i first got here, it was all ds al. and the, you ate it for the slow dial up and there was a big regulatory fight going on called open access, that many of you in this room might remember. there was a argument about how the internet should be regulated. i think what the sec did right at that time was, we said we're going to take a light touch approach to this new thing called the internet. it is not the internet that we know today. we were not streaming video. people were wedded to their phones. it was basically dsl. and we got great pushback on not taking the old legacy regulations and applying them to this new thing called the internet. but i think we did right with
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the light touch regulation. i think we got the ubiquitous deployment we were hoping to get at the time. and clearly there is still a very long way to go. but my point here is, i think government has to be flexible when it comes to regulating things. flexibility and looking at things for what they are now, as opposed to trying to put them in buckets that were left over from legacy regulations. one of my big issues right now that strikes my heart and my passion, it is health equity. and i think that is one thing that became so blatantly apparent when this covid crisis was what inequity looks like in the american health care system. time in this country, toi thint
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it, but it became very clear that is one of the pressing issues of our time in this country, is to ensure that all americans have access to good health care. and that ties into tele-health. i think one of the good things -- if you can say good, that came out of the pandemic -- was an understanding of the importance of telehealth. when regulations were waived to allow telehealth to be more widely used, we saw usages of telehealth during a time of great need, where we could limit the spread of the disease that still have access to medical care. what we see before those rules, for example, i living northwest washington d.c. -- my physician is five, six miles away in but as. prior to the waiver of some of the regulations, i would not have been able to do a
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telehealth call five miles away from my house. so much of the regulations that pertain to telehealth is divided between states, medicare, medicaid. we need to have a serious study to understand what we learned from this pandemic with respect to telehealth. and we need to illuminate the barriers that keep us from using telehealth more pervasively. we need to look at licensure's for doctors across borders. states. we need to look at same pay between physicians should be paid the same if they're doing a telehealth call versus if you actually come into their office. there are a myriad of regulations that simply -- for civil, need to be re-examined to make certain that they are not various. because this is critical. it is critical that for our rural areas.
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it is critical in urban areas to have this type -- and we don't know, just like we didn't know what kind of innovation was great come from the internet. but would you have ever imagine that you would be on your phone -- or that your kids would be using their thumbs for exercise, as opposed to running around outside. i'm just joking. that we could not have envisioned the things that we see. i mean would you've ever envision the platform companies that now exist? so i think we're at the beginning of a new frontier when it comes to telehealth. and i think that we have to do everything within our power. that requires state and government and medical people to come together to come up with a proper framework for telehealth. and i'm just about running out of time. i think that in order to do that, what we've learned from the internet is you have to have regulatory flexibility. you have to think a new ways of
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doing new things, when you're presenting -- when you're presented with a type of issues and the possibilities that we have for this. so, i thank you all so much. and randy, again, congratulations. you're just wonderful. [applause] >> thank you so much, deborah. it was great having you again. deborah mentioned bill countered. i'm greta glad he was able to pull off that switcheroo. i did know about that story. and deborah, i don't know whether you are here earlier, but i had a video from chairman countered earlier which i was really grateful to have.
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one of the lines that i've quoted often and maybe even wrote it for him but -- don't say so. one of the things that bill canard said, i think in 1919 noun or 2000 when he was speaking to a group of state utility consumer advocates. he was talking about the police to impose open access which are referring to. impose a common career like rome on the emerging broadband. at that time remember, i'm talking about 1999 broadband. of course was really truly emerging. cable broadband. and bill canard said that one thing i don't want to do is dump the whole morass of telephone regulation on the
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cable pipe. and he didn't do it. not only did he say it but he didn't do it. and i thought that that was really an important moment, really, in the development of telecoms policy. okay. well, with that, the final speaker that we are going to have today is my colleague, seth cooper. for those of you here earlier, i talked about's contributions so we are not going to repeat that now. and i'm really grateful that seth is such an important part of the free state foundation. immediately after seth speaks i'm going to ask that the video be restarted. and it really is some fantastic videos that you haven't seen. i hope you will stay at least
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for 15 or 20 minutes and watch those videos. i think you would enjoy seeing them. so with that, seth? >> [applause] >> good afternoon, nice to see everyone here. thank you for coming. i hope you enjoy your free state foundation luggage tag. i urge you to please or use it. write your name on the card. otherwise we will get a lot of lost luggage sent to the free state foundation office. so please do that -- [laughs] if your luggage comes to the office, we will do our best to get it to you. about 12 years ago, i began my work with the free state foundation. and i have a few good reasons for wanting to work there. and i will share a few of them with you very briefly. first, it was the opportunity, the wonderful opportunity to work within organization that
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was focused on some fascinating issues. internet technology, broadband services and policy. it's about 2009. the convergence of traditional cable and telecommunications and wireless services is well underway. you have streaming video, it's often running. people have smartphones. it's just a very interesting time. and then to see that interaction with a policy framework, that had just about none of those things in mind that were developed. a law that is old and getting older. it was passed when i was a highschooler. and i'm at a point where my eldest child will be high school age in for five years. so it was really fascinating that way. the second reason was, institutionally, the free state foundation -- just early on, it had a lot of high caliber scholars and former officials and providing
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the research and writing. people like dennis weisman, people like glenn robinson, people like michelle connally, deborah taylor tate, and others. later on we had daniel lyons and others. to be affiliated with people like that was a terrific opportunity and that leads me into my third reason. and that simply to work with our founder and president, randolph may, of the free state foundation. an indispensable man. before i got to work with the free state foundation, i don't think i had seen his work. but i had a chance to see him and other venues and i could see the steam and the respect which he commanded and really saw that and was impressed by that. and so i continue to see that as i worked with him for 15 years. he's led the free state foundation with skill, hard
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work and division. bringing a sharp lawyers mind to his work, with a depth of experience from being an accomplished attorney, fcc official, law professor and publish scholar and expert in communications law, administrative law. and randy has the ability to bring thoughtful analysis to these complex and intricate issues in a way that is interesting, and as i said, thoughtful. also, clever. lots of times, with a sense of humor. and to be able to get to the knocked of things. and at the same time, right about these things but also in a way where you can step back and look at some of the broader principles. the first principles. things like the declaration of the united states independence and the constitution of the united states. free market, private property,
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intellectual property, freedom of the press and freedom of speech. we've always known that there principles, they are hard-fought, they are not automatic. you have to continuously explain them, defend them, seek to vindicate them and try to influence those who have the job and task of implementing them. and we've seen certainly freedom of speech come under some attack. and we see that for communication services, it's very important, important to us that freedom of speech remains. because it wet its means to be a free person. these are technologies for freedom, not social control. and it's important because not simply the constitution -- it's not simply on a constitution banner for protest. it's important that it's professional led people. but to see that through the policy implementation details, even in the implementation
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stage, even with modern technology -- and when you do that, and you accord people have different views, you are sending them a respect that belongs to all free people. and i think that's important as we continue our work. and i would continue that work and randy i am grateful for you and you've been a grateful boss. my family is thankful for you. my cooper family, we pray for the may family. i look forward to working with you. >> [applause]
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colorado river drought conditions. it is two aup next, a look into colorado river drought conditions and the challenges western states are facing due to the drought. >> we are meeting today to examine colorado river drought conditions -- >> this meeting is being recorded -- >> and response measures for the meetings on this important


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