Jamie Susskind 

Yes at the insights with the FTC and FCC commissioners panel. I'm Jamie Susskind. I'm the Vice President of policy and regulatory affairs at CTA. So thanks for joining us. With that, I will kick it right off with our FCC commissioners panel. I'm happy to be joined here today by FCC Commissioner Christine Wilson, and Commissioner, Rebecca Slaughter. I've actually said that I'm going to skip BIOS, because there's a lot of interesting content that we can all talk about. BIOS are available on their website. They both have very, very interesting backgrounds, but we will dive right in. So when you both joined the commission, it was actually a very interesting setup. It was the first time that five new commissioners joined almost at the same time. So can you share a little bit about your first years on the commission, your sort of your goals, what you thought, you know, the commission accomplished and things you're proud of?

 
Rebecca Slaughter 

Sure. Well, I'll start. I'll start with the disclaimer that I'm sure Christine will also offer that we are speaking here for ourselves and not for the commission as a whole, or for the remaining commissioners who are not sitting on this stage today. And so it was really exciting for us to start the commission with a fresh slate of commissioners and an incredibly important and exciting time for the agency. It's 100 year old, little more than 100 year old agency. And all of a sudden, all of the issues that we focus on in our agency has been focused on for a long time are right at the center of a lot of important public debates. So that's a huge opportunity. I also think we have a great opportunity with a slate of commissioners, all of whom are passionate and thoughtful and come from different backgrounds and different perspectives. I think it's not just that we're all new, but we all did different things or have different viewpoints before we came to the commission. So one thing that I have really appreciated is how much I have been able to learn from my fellow Commissioners in this first And they're different worldview different perspective different questions that they asked about cases. And that's been really, really meaningful. For me. It's been more it's been like, almost two years now for me, but which feels like an eternity compared to when I started, but is actually very short compared to how long most of the career staff and agency have been doing their work. So one thing that I think has been, where I have perceived as a challenge is we're coming in, we're asking fresh questions, we're asking different questions. We're challenging all of us in different ways, are sort of challenging the status quo of how the agency has been doing things, which is good, that's what we're supposed to be doing. But I think that also can be challenging as an adjustment for the staff who have been working very doggedly and very dedicated Lee in one direction and getting used to what are the things that each of us might ask and each of us might care about? And how white might we prioritize things has been hard I tend to say that euphemistically that we have a highly engaged commission, which again, is a good thing for America and for the agency, but I think working through that with the staff has been a growth experience certainly for me.

 
Christine Wilson 

Thank you so so you'll notice that as the junior Commissioner on the commission, Commissioner Slaughter go first I got there in September of 2018, and have been there a few months,

 
Rebecca Slaughter 

shorter time period, four and a half months.

 
Christine Wilson 

So, but but this is my third time at the commission. I was there when I was in law school. I was there as Tim mirros, his chief of staff in 2001 2002, during the Bush administration, and and it is delightful to be back. The agency is small but mighty, very passionate about its work. And I think one of the things that's unique about this commission is that We did all go through the nomination and confirmation process together and and sort of rooting each other on attended a lot of meetings on the hill together. And and so I think there is a bond that this commission has that prior commissions, I think likely did not have. I see the difference just between the commission now and the commission that existed when when Chairman mirros was at the helm. I think for staff, it has been a significant adjustment, as, as Becca alluded to, so there had been only two commissioners for for quite a while and suddenly you have five new commissioners who are asking a lot of new questions. And staff wants to answer all of the questions and wants to be sure that they are doing things the way the commission is expecting to do them. But it takes a little while to figure out all of the sort of proclivities and peeved of the commission and so it's especially noticed In the recommendation memos that come up, the questions that I was asking at the beginning are now answered proactively as recommendation memos are coming up. And so I think it's been an adjustment for staff but in a good way, as Becca described, and then also, I think, an adjustment for the bar, because you do have five, new, very engaged, shall we say, commissioners, who, who do have very strong preferences and opinions, but it has been, I think, a very good year, a very productive year. I'm sure we'll talk more about the Competition and Consumer Protection hearings that Chairman Simons launched, those hearings did consume a great deal of time and energy and the commission benefited greatly from the input of academics and practitioners and industry. And, and I think we also had some some seminal announcements that we will also talk a little bit more about so at the end, you know, 15 months, I will say it is it is delightful to be back at the commission. We are doing good and important work. And it's it's wonderful to be a part of it and working alongside incredibly talented and dedicated staff. Right.

 
Jamie Susskind 

So that was a good lead and actually to the public hearings. We heard a little bit about it from Chairman Simon's this morning. But that was a big undertaking 14 hearings looking at Competition and Consumer Protection. So why do you both think that it was important that the FTC engage in that and kind of what were your takeaways? What should the commission be doing next?

 
Christine Wilson 

So so this is something that I think separates the FTC from other institutions. We do have Competition and Consumer Protection r&d in our DNA we were created to, to pursue policy initiatives to learn about industries and to to enforce the law on the basis of that learning. And so I think the hearings that Chairman Simons long are great manifestation of the agency's DNA that has existed from the very beginning. And, and I think it's one of the great parts of being at the FTC, we don't presume to enforce or regulate in a vacuum. It's one of the reasons that we find it important to be here and to learn about how industries are evolving. And so I think that the hearings demonstrate the willingness of the FTC to learn from industry. And, and so it's it was it was great to be a part of that.

 
Rebecca Slaughter 

Yeah. And I think that the markets, as I mentioned, we're we're an agency that's over 100 years old, operating on a statute, so bad as old. The markets that we monitor and regulate and where we conduct enforcement are evolving incredibly quickly. And if we don't take a step back periodically to examine what are we doing, why are we doing it? How is it working? And what can we do? differently and better, we are going to fall behind dramatically behind. So I think, Chairman Simon's talks a lot about the FDC tradition of critical self analysis. I think that's a really good thing. I think it's healthy for everybody. I mean, we do it personally. Sometimes we try to take a step back and say, What can I do differently and better. And I think it's important for institutions to do that to to say, what's working, what's not working. At the beginning of the hearings, one of the things I said is, I don't think anyone can ever undergo a sort of self analysis exercise and come to a meet a conclusion that everything is going just great and nothing needs to be changed. It doesn't have a lot of meaning or credibility. And so I'm really looking forward to thinking about what we want out of these hearings and how we can think about the direction of the agency and how we are making our decisions and communicating that transparently to consumers, to the markets to advocates, to the Civic civil society groups to the They see what we're doing and why we're doing it.

 
Jamie Susskind 

Right. So you mentioned how important it is for the agency to kind of look at how the marketplace is changing. So obviously, some new issues in the news that you all have been grappling with our online platforms and competition regarding the online platforms, many of whom are members. So I wanted to talk a little bit about the new technology Enforcement Division, sort of the work that they're doing to the degree you're able to share any of that with our audience. I'm sure they'd be interested in hearing what that focuses.

 
Rebecca Slaughter 

I mean, I think we can't talk very much about specific investigations, but I'll refer back to Chairman Simon's comments earlier today, which is the the TED as it is called, is focused very seriously on investigations of big tech platforms and investigations are complicated, they are fact intensive. They are legally specific and so this Isn't sort of a abroad policy big thing. It is a real enforcement effort that is in in which he has invested the time and dedication of a good number of FTC attorneys. And I think that that's a sign of how seriously they're taking it.

 
Christine Wilson 

I think the creation of the, the TED, as we, as we call it, monly is is just a sign that the economy has evolved 10 years ago, 15 years ago, you had GE and exxon mobil and at&t that were largest, highest market cap companies in the United States. And now it's Amazon and apple and alphabet and Microsoft. And so that that symbolizes the importance that the tech companies play in our society until we rightly will be looking very closely at how their conduct impacts consumers. And so is going to be looking at conduct issues, also mergers. And so one of the other things that came out of the hearings was an emphasis on the need for retrospectives. And so Becca described the the self critical analysis, obviously, there there have been a number of mergers in this space. And some commentators believe that those mergers should not have been permitted. And retrospectives are incredibly important for us to go back into revisit, you know, frankly, not just in the technology space, but across the economy. Did we make the right calls,

 
Christine Wilson 

merger, retrospectives are

 
Christine Wilson 

hard to do? Well, it's difficult to get the information that you need in the data that you need, but I think that is an appropriate resource spend, for us to be to be sure that we are making the right calls. And, and with the TED we have gathered excellent folks from across the agency to look with single minded focus This part of the economy to ensure that consumers are benefiting from innovation and competition. And Commissioner slaughter. I know you've talked

 
Jamie Susskind 

publicly about the retrospective analyses, in your view, you know, how should the agency go about considering whether that's appropriate? Are there limits to be placed on that sort of look back?

 
Rebecca Slaughter 

Well, I think what Christine said is exactly right that we can, we can only benefit from taking a look back at our work and examining not just did we make the right call on this particular merger in terms of Sorry, I'm just going to throw my water all over the stage. Did we make the right call in this particular merger in terms of should there be enforcement action taken now to unwind it, but what were the predictions that we made at the time that we analyze this murder? What were the questions that we asked what were the conclusions that we drew? Because murder analysis is predictive? And there's a lot of uncertainty and so if we go back and say, Okay, well, we thought this would be fine because we assumed there would be a third party entering the market here, and so the competition would be preserved. But in fact, no third party entered the market, we can learn, perhaps in the future that we should be skeptical about assigning weight and credibility to the perspective of entry by a third party. That's just one example. There are lots of other things that we can do. My view is that we have a lot of cases that are somewhat close calls where we think we can't I don't know that we can prove that this merger is anti competitive now up to the legal standard, we would need to sustain a challenge. But we have concerns that it's not going to play out the way that we would want in a perfectly competitive world. And those are really good opportunities for us to go back and say, How did it play out after the fact what actually happens? This is not just a technology issue for what it's worth. This is really important in the healthcare space in we do a lot of hospital murder analysis. And that's an area where for example, sometimes state regulators come in and have some put some conditions on a murder. And maybe we wanted to challenge it. But we couldn't in light of that, and then we can go back and take a look and say, Did those conditions actually help protect competition? Or did they not? So it's something I think we should use across the board, particularly in cases where we have less certainty about our predictions about the competitive effects.

 
Christine Wilson 

So I would say on a related note, one of the things that I think the FTC has not done as well with and frankly, no any trust agency has done as well with analyzing efficiencies, claims and predictions of innovation. And so I think the merger, retrospectives hopefully will enable us to figure out how to how to do a better job of assessing innovation claims, inefficiencies, claims that merging parties bring to us. And so interestingly, I gave a talk about this a couple of months ago and said, I would love it if there were academics and economists out there who can help us grapple with these issues and come up with a better way of doing it and suddenly from ringing off the hook with economist whose work that I read when I was, you know, a research assistant for Professor Steve Sala at Georgetown. And they're saying, Hey, we want to help with that, which is very, very cool. Because I think, yes, we want to look hard at potential harms. But we also want to understand the potential benefits of a deal. And we don't want to give short shrift to those benefits either. And so making that analysis more symmetrical is something that I would like to see us do. And hopefully the merger, retrospectives will help with that as well.

 
Rebecca Slaughter 

So is it interesting because it's an area where I feel like Christine and I have been talking entirely in sync at this up to this point, which is good, because there's a lot that we agree on. And there's some things that we don't agree on and efficiencies claims is one where I think Christine thinks we're a little too skeptical of them. I worry that we're not skeptical enough of them. But I think that data is a good thing indisputably a good thing to better understand accurately what is happening and where how we should be placing that analysis and action. Cut in either direction, knowing what's actually going on on the ground, I think is an indisputable a good thing.

 
Christine Wilson 

And I agree.

 
Jamie Susskind 

That's very helpful. And you all have a very nuanced view of that. Right. So I feel like the the 50,000 foot view is, you know, is there a role for government? And as some of the presidential contenders are saying, right and breaking up tech companies? And I mean, I guess that's sort of a broader question. I think you've spoken about that and kind of said, perhaps that's not the right vehicle, but I'd be interested in both of your thoughts kind of stepping back from just kind of the retrospective analysis. So.

 
Christine Wilson 

So I want to be clear, what I have said is proposals from Senator Warren and others that say, let's go out and break up large, successful companies, because they are large and successful is not an approach that I would embrace. I believe that if we are going to take action it needs to be on the basis of an antitrust investigation and identification of potential harm. And then a trial and then a remedy that matches the harm that have been identified. And so if breaking up a company, you know, structural divestiture is a remedy that matches the identified harm. I wouldn't necessarily rule that out. But but just identifying companies and saying they are large and they are successful and therefore deserve to be broken up is not an approach that that I am comfortable with. I think one of the other things that one of the other themes that we're hearing now is that we should regulate big tech the way that we regulated the railroads or the airlines. And, and, and so there are, there are a couple of parallels in the way that railroads were regulated, vertical integration was prevented and price caps and price regulation was used. And and when people hark back to those regimes as something beneficial. I live At the literature on the Interstate Commerce Commission in the Civil Aeronautics Board, and and I, I look at stifled innovation, I look at overinflated prices, I look at protection of competitors as a as opposed to competition. And retrospectives demonstrate that consumers actually suffered billions and billions of dollars of consumer harm because of the ICC and the CAB. And thankfully, you know, Fred Khan and others recognized that this was essentially imposing a massive deadweight loss on society. And those two institutions were disbanded. And so actually, I spoke with someone who, who shall remain anonymous, who has worked at the helm of both an airline company and Railroad Company, and and let him know that people were talking about regulating big tech in the same way and he thought that was just an incredibly absurd idea. Based on his experience with with regulation.

 
Rebecca Slaughter 

So I have a slightly different view.

 
Rebecca Slaughter 

I think that, you know, if you use the airline industry as an example, I don't look at the airline industry today and feel like it is doing an excellent job for consumers. I think anyone who has squeezed into a tiny flight with their knees jammed against the seat in front of them and not been able to have their bag with them, or any of the other sort of various small indignities that affect airline travel recently, not to mention the planes that seem to be falling out of the sky would have some concerns about the state of the deregulated airline industry. And so to me, that is in a model of deregulation is a great success, even though there are, you know, clearly different views about this. I think, going back to the question of breaking up, big tech, that I think Christine sort of broke it down along lines that I would see there's one question of what do our laws today allow or require us to do. And our antitrust laws do not allow us to wave a magic wand and say, we don't like you, we will break you up, we have to find a violation of antitrust laws that give rise to a remedy. That is a breakup. Those violations may exist, and we should pursue those remedies where they are appropriate under current law. There are other questions and some of the proposals that we've seen are not about using today's antitrust laws, they're about changing the law. I agree with Christine that it's not a good idea to say, oh, because the company is big and successful, we should break it up because we don't like big and successful companies. But I don't actually think that's what some of these proposals are doing. What they are doing is saying, we're concerned about the effects across the market and in the market and on consumers of the market power that particularly large companies have and how they are using that market power. And so it may be that either more regulation Or, or breaking up is an appropriate way to remedy those concerns. But I think it is not an accurate description to say that concerns are simply your big and successful and therefore we don't like you.

 
Jamie Susskind 

Great. So quickly. On a big topic before we end our time with FTC privacy, you all do great work on privacy, you are number one privacy regulator in the country. This is a really important topic for all of the folks here in this room. So we've got California we've got GDPR, you know, where does that leave what you all are doing? Do you need more resources to do your work? Are you seeing challenges? I mean, what comes next?

 
Rebecca Slaughter 

This is a great one where I think we do largely agree. Yes, we need more resources to do the work that we're doing already. today. The FTC has a budget of just around $300 million. And we have, we had 50% more employees at the beginning of the Reagan administration than we do today. And when you think about that, compared with the growth of our enforcement mandate, that's really crazy. We can't possibly do all the things we need. to do with the resources that we have, but in addition to more resources, I think we really could benefit from more authority. And I will let Christine speak for herself. But I think both she and I think federal privacy legislation would be a good thing. And I think a good thing for industry and a good thing for consumers in promoting transparency about expectations of what companies should be doing and how they should be doing it. And I actually think FTC rulemaking is an important part of that. I think it is important for us to be able to set out clear rules of the road for companies and let them know what it is that is expected of them in terms of how they handle consumer data and what they do with it. And I think that there needs to be more meaningful violations than the current FTC Act allows for a meaningful penalties than the current FTC Act allows for violating our privacy laws. And so I know this is an active topic of consideration in Congress, but it's something that I think that we're both very supportive of.

 
Christine Wilson 

Yep, absolutely. So it is it is an area of almost complete agreement between Becca and me. got there. So. So when ccpa and GDPR came into effect, I think it made very clear that we do need federal privacy legislation because interoperability matters. And it's not so much that there are issues with ccpa. It's are there issues with ccpa in terms of potential conflicts with what other states might be doing? And are we creating an environment in which US companies can operate in this global economy in this global environment? And how do we facilitate data flows? And so I think federal privacy legislation is important, I think, completely agree businesses need predictability and clarity on what the rules are. consumers need more transparency about what data is being collected and how it is being used and shared and sold. And, you know, and frankly, I think there are gaps that are emerging in terms of of existing coverage. So HIPAA protects healthcare data, but not the healthcare data that's generated by the Fitbit that you wear on your wrist. And so federal privacy legislation is important. I think we disagree on potentially preemption and private rights of action, although your answers incredibly nuanced on those areas, but I do think preemption is important. And private rights of action would essentially just open up another litigation factory in terms of resources. Chairman Simons in in a letter to us representative Polone indicated if we get another $50 million, we could use another hundred 60 ft ease some of them would be devoted to enforcement because as I mentioned, the top companies in the US economy now our tech companies and and so privacy and data security are a growing area and should be reflected in growing FTV resource Is and and then also in r&d. So doing what's called six B studies collecting information from the market. And I, I would love to see us do a six B study that analyzes with respective platforms the information that they are collecting, how it is used, how it is, monetized, the extent to which it gets sold and shared, and then also how that feeds into algorithms and content curation. And I think knowing those things is incredibly important to enable us to to enforce the law, either the laws that we have now or new legislation on an informed basis. And so I would support Chairman Simon's recommendation for for devoting more resources to both of those key areas and I look forward to supporting the FTC and the six B studies that it is doing and and will be doing in the coming months.

 
Jamie Susskind 

Well, I'm being signaled that we're out of time. But thank you both. I feel like I have 100 more questions we could ask you but thank you and join me in thanking Commissioner Wilson and Commissioner slaughter.

 
Jamie Susskind 

So please join me quickly and welcoming to the stage. We have a speaker with the international perspective for a few minutes. Peter Brown is the technic technology advisor to the European Parliament. He's with the liaison office to the US Congress. He recently moved to DC and he's going to share with us for a few moments, some of the big issues that he's seeing facing folks in the EU on the tech front to give us a different perspective.

 
Peter Brown 

Thanks so much, Jamie. This is the comedic interlude I think between the two main panels in this morning's what was billed as fireside chat between CTA President, Gary Shapiro and the chair of the FTC, there was a comment in the discussion which I found interesting where the typify the difference between the EU and the US has been that the US tends to not regulate so much but enforced well, and the EU tends to sort of regulate all over the place and not enforced well at all. And I thought it was a good segue into the comments and remarks I'd like to make. I'm not going to try and defend a eu perspective or or challenging us on what I want to do rather is to share a sort of mental model that I've used over the years in my work, to explain and to understand a little bit the different tensions and different factors that influence our approach to regulation, role, standardization, role of public policy, and in that sort of mental model every sort of triangle of forces between What is technologically feasible? What is politically desirable? And what is publicly acceptable? And if you can get your mind around that, those three tensions? The issue for me is, there isn't really a, although I'm many years ago, I thought there was there isn't really an ideal sweet spot in resolving those three tensions in terms of the best balance between innovation, public policy and public acceptability. But the each each polity whether it's the European Union, the US, China, other regions of the world, will find a balance point between those three forces those three tensions which best reflect our own society. Now the danger with any model, of course, is that, by definition, a model is a simplified version of reality in order to help you understand things and models around They're imperfect. But they're at least a starting point for discussion. And for me in that model, what I see is, you see some countries in the world where innovation is absolutely paramount, where public policy, politics is equally important, and where the role of the citizen, maybe less so we don't need to point fingers, but in other countries in the world, which for follow that model, we have another model where the role of innovation still is paramount, where the role of the citizen or the consumer of terms of what is publicly acceptable is also equally important, but where the role of the regulator and the role of public policy may take something of a backseat. And then we got the third part of that model, which is we have to fess up is very much the European Union, which is we agonize over the balance between what's right in terms of public policy and what is publicly acceptable. Sometimes maybe lose sight a little bit about what's actually happening in the innovation space and what is coming down the coming down the track in terms of technology. And the reason I may use this model is to get people to understand that the differences we take to whether it's things like GDPR, and the sort of very broad brush and sort of Omnibus approach to key piece of legislation. The reason we agonized over that for seven years before it became public policy in the European Union, was precisely because we were worried about finding that right balance between public policy and what's publicly acceptable. And a criticism leveled at the European Union is while you didn't really take counter what technology is capable of in terms of in either in enforcing or making that, that policy useful, so and I think, when I look at the US I see with from European eyes, sometimes a bit of trepidation about, you know, the the primacy of the market in the US. But I see also the opportunities that us industry has in terms of working constructively together with regulators to actually build a framework where markets are able to work. Well.

 
Peter Brown 

The second element I wanted to touch on is to get people to understand a little bit very briefly the big differences, and in fact, in some ways, some similarities with the US system, which is the European Union, only legislates in areas where the member states of the European Union let us do so. So we have to have what's called a legal basis for anything we do. So because of that large areas of Technology Policy are driven historically by areas which are industry policy for which the European Union has a exclusive or a predominant role to play. You take something as critical as cyber security the European Union that actually doesn't have a explicit authority in the area of cybersecurity can only play a role as cooperating with member states. And I think this tension also between what Member States want and what the European Union is, as a separate polity may want. Explain sometimes some of the tensions and we see this also coming up to GDPR as an example, in the enforcement issues. Were only in the last couple of weeks, the European Court of Justice has said very clearly, okay, enforcement is now down to the Member States Courts to deal with don't come to us with trying to resolve the problems. The GDPR is now something which is implemented at the level of member states and its member states business to follow it up. And I think in understanding both that triangle forces and where people lie in that and how regulation is made, and understanding the delicate balance we have in the European Union between what Member States want and are prepared to give up and what the European Union itself is able to legislate on. goes some way to understanding some of the differences between the way, European Union approaches legislation and its involvement in regulation standardization, which may differ indeed, historically, from the US. But I think, in concluding, I'd say, what we share in common in terms of challenges in very fast moving area is far outstrips the concerns we might have or differences we might have. And I think that's a call that the needs to be very open cooperation both on both sides of the Atlantic in terms of how we work in the future in technology, policy and in regulation. And I look forward to that, that cooperation. Thank you.

 
Jamie Susskind 

commissioners to the stage now. Thank you.

 
Jamie Susskind 

I see they sit in the order of seniority so I guess actually cuz

 
Michael O'Rielly 

I said I didn't want to democratic sandwich there in the

 
Brendan Carr 

casual event. I did not get the memo on the three piece suit and I didn't

 
Jamie Susskind 

even see the tractor. Yeah, it was good.

 
Jamie Susskind 

All right, so please join me in welcoming FCC Commissioner Mike O'Reilly FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr guy I've never met before. And FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks to the stage. We're fortunate to be joined by all of them here today. So this morning, we heard Chairman pie rattle off any number of spectrum bands that the FCC is dealing with these days and My boss, Gary said, Does anybody actually know what that means? People did. Um, so I guess I'd want to ask you all perhaps what spectrum proceedings that are going on right now, do you think is the most important? Where are you all focusing your kind of efforts and your thoughts in that area?

 
Michael O'Rielly 

Well, if anyone has followed what I've spent my last many years working on, it is trying to get mid band spectrum out into the marketplace. I worked with former chairman Tom wheeler to get the high band stuff in a good place. And after number of years, we're moving those out. And now we're, I've you know, three years I've been working on mid bands and whether it be C band or cvrs, or three dot 12355. Trying to get those into the marketplace as soon as possible in the right structure. So the innovators, the folks out on the floor can do some really creative things and benefits for consumers.

 
Jamie Susskind 

How is the US doing on mid band?

 
Michael O'Rielly 

Well, it's it's challenging. It does, you know, compared to other places, you know, it's easier to have mid band spectrum elsewhere, when they don't have sophisticated military as we do, we've had to deal with that is a race to cvrs and 3.1.355. Those are hard things because we have US military radar in some form or fashion, or trying to address that while also protecting our national security. So it's not super easy compared to other nations that don't have a military. That's one 100th or one 1,000th of the United States. See band has its own peculiar issues. I'm sure many people in the audience have seen that over the many months, I've seen the twists and turns and I think we're, we're going to, you know, get to a very good landing spot and that and that will provide a great portfolio of licensed spectrum for our innovators. And then it's the unlicensed bands that we've also been working on as well.

 
Brendan Carr 

So we build on that, I think the work that we've been doing with the FCC, particularly since 2017. I'm a little biased. That's when I started on both spectrum and infrastructure. We focused on taking some bold action, and that has enabled the private sector the innovators to build some The most amazing new inventions that we've seen is creating jobs creating economic opportunity. And frankly, that momentum that America now has for 5G's unmistakable, you know, we lead the world in 2017 with the first 5g build commercial 5g build. By the end of 2018, we had 14 communities in the US that had 5g, that number quickly grew to over 30 in the first half of 2019. And we now have a provider that's committed to build 5g out to 99% of the US population. So the steps that we've been taking on spectrum and on infrastructure, or allowing all the innovators here to create on top of this 5g platform, this new wave of innovations and services so I'm pleased with it on mid band, I think we're in good shape. We have been focused a lot we've opened up to that five gigahertz to more expansive uses. Michelle Riley did a tremendous amount of work on three dot five to make sure That works for a wide variety of stakeholders, we've announced that we're committed to getting see band across the finish line in 2020. There's other countries that have taken a different approach to spectrum, you know, Beijing, China, they have gone all in on mid band spectrum. Their 5g plays effectively mid ban alone, and they're betting on the wrong spectrum. In the US, as Commissioner O'Rielly noted, we have put out more high band spectrum than any country CBN alone is putting 300 megahertz of mid band on the table. In addition to all the other bands, we put more low band out there than other countries. So the right spectrum strategy is an all the above approach and that's the one that we've been executing

 
Geoffrey Starks 

it from my perspective, certainly agree that a mix of low mid and high band is certainly going to be essential. I think focusing particularly on mid band is something to answer your question, I think, you know, three dot five I actually just visited a drone facility here in Las Vegas this morning and they were really focused on three dot five and some of the Private wireless networks are going to be able to be rolled out there, we know it's going to hit airports, it's going to hit all sorts of uses, commercial folks are already operating there. And getting handsets out. Something that obviously bears mentioning is five dot nine as well. And some of the great work that Commissioner O'Reilly did there.

 
Brendan Carr 

All the prase going towards this direction.

 
Geoffrey Starks 

So it's still a. dsrc certainly had had not lived up to the promise that we had for utilizing that spectrum. And so it was right and appropriate for us to go ahead and move on. One thing in particular that I'll highlight with regard to five dot nine is it's you know, ability to help us with our Wi Fi congestion. And in particular, I think it's going to be able to help out in a lot of cities with folks in particular low income and vulnerable folks who use a lot of public Wi Fi and so I'm going to be excited to see how that fills itself out. The last thing obviously very quickly is going to be You know, four dot seven and see what's going to go on with the C band. I, you know, called for it to be a public auction. I had some concerns, looking at some of our statutes, and in particular 309 j, and some of the issues that I thought were going to be I had strong concerns with a private auction and in particular windfalls to some of the satellite corporations there and so eager to see how we're going to be able to effectuate that, because I think that's going to be important piece of this as well.

 
Jamie Susskind 

I feel like Commissioner Starks I'm going to need to get you like an armed guard to send you back into North Hall after you talk about dsrc. But we'll see. So let's talk a little bit about infrastructure. So, Commissioner car you spearheaded the FCC infrastructure efforts to streamline the rules that apply to siting of wireless infrastructure. And we at CTA have been really supportive of those steps. I think we think it's a really great thing. Gary talked this morning about his concerns that states and localities can put it further barriers to deployment of 5g, which we certainly don't want to see happen. So what happens next? What's kind of the next steps on infrastructure going forward?

 
Brendan Carr 

Yeah, thanks. As I mentioned, we, you know, came out of the box and took a number of bold steps that data pouring in is showing that the private sector once we cut this red tape, and get unnecessary regulation out of the way, is building out this infrastructure. And I gave some of the statistics earlier on, but there's obviously more where those came from internet speeds. Now we're up about 56% compared to they were two years ago, the digital divide the percentage of Americans that don't have broadband narrow by about 20% over one year period, alone. In fiber, the high speed connections, we need to connect all these small cells had a record breaking year more miles of fiber built out than ever before, something like 7 million new homes were connected by fiber. So the infrastructure reforms we've done in the work the private sector has done has been great. One more thing we need to do is continue those efforts. I think there's more we can do in 2020 on infrastructure reform to continue to clear the way for the private sector to build, because for me the finish line is making sure every single community gets a fair shot and next gen connectivity. You know, places like New York and San Francisco, they're going to see 5g next gen connectivity really, regardless of what we do, and that's not the finish line for me. When you look at other metrics of success, we're starting to hit them. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It's a city the population hundred and 43rd largest city in the country. There's an announcement they are that they're getting five G, as in a second Ward, Houston second Ward, historically underprivileged under resourced part of the large city, it's not Manhattan. And there too, you're seeing new small cells getting built in to provide on ramps to the internet for the people that live there. So when you step back at a macro level, and look at those numbers that look great, or you look to see exactly where these builds are going on these infrastructure builds, all signs are pointing the right direction. We just have to keep pedal down. I think another piece of that is making sure we have the workforce in place to build out this infrastructure. And so I focused on a 5g jobs initiative that looks to community colleges to stand up these blue collar workers, the tower text alignment needed to build this out. I think there's more work we can do on that in 2020,

 
Jamie Susskind 

as well. And Commissioner Starks I understand you have a 5g work plan also are able to talk a little bit about that. Yes, yes.

 
Geoffrey Starks 

And so you know, I think Mr. Cars work, focusing on some of the build outs and making sure that we have, you know, from my perspective, I think 5g should get to all Americans, and we need to make sure that the workforce that's helping to build out that 5g should look like America as well. What I have started to focus on in I know, you know, all my colleagues up here, you know, we almost think about 5g and its deployment and rolling it out almost every day, but something that I have started to focus on, is what is that really going to look like for everyday Americans. Once it actually arrives. And so it turns out, I don't think it'll be a watershed moment here that 5g is going to bring a lot of AI. It's going to bring a lot of automation. And what is that going to mean for our workforce? There was a recent McKinsey report that was talking about how automation is in particular going to disproportionately impact communities of color is going to disrupt their workforce. Why is that? Because it turns out that folks of color, and women are disproportionately represented as machinists as truck drivers, as back office, staff workers, as clerks as fast food workers. And so I think it's going to be particularly incumbent upon those of us that are in this tech telecom space as we're thinking through what 5g really is going to mean that we need to start to think about our workforce because if you're a 28 year old male who's been driving a truck for 10 years, we're going to have drivers of driverless trucks here before you know it. And if, let's call it five years, six years, seven years, 10 years from now, you can't drive a truck. I don't think anybody in this room wants to have a 38 year old male who's not able to otherwise participate in our modern world. And so I think it's going to be particularly important that we start to think about what 5g is really going to mean, for everyday Americans as well. Right?

 
Michael O'Rielly 

Add to that rates possibly might stretch the boundaries of what the FCC can solve. But I'll add the one thing that you know, give kudos to Christian car for all his work on infrastructure, one thing we're going to need to do is recognize it, I think he just did, that it's going to look different for different communities. And that means in some communities, we're gonna need more macro towers. It's not just small cells, it's going to be more macro towers. And that means dealing with the difficult issues of placement when state and localities want to either too much money or trying to dictate what the services to be offered. that's problematic. And I've been talking about this for a long time. It does come with the P word, which is it requires preemption. And that is something that commission is going to have to continue to do. So.

 
Geoffrey Starks 

From my perspective to just quickly come back on that, you know, I think technology, I think it's really important for us to not just think about what only the FCC a can only do in a small little pool. I think technology, as I've seen very much in the innovation here. Certainly, at CES, it's really important that we start to break out of silos in particular, and so am I the laborers are of America. No. Am I the count? Am I the Secretary of Labor? No. But I think it's really important for us as we're thinking about 5g to actually think about what are those real americans who are going to have their lives impacted by 5g? It can't just be focused on how do we deploy 5g. We actually actually need to think around the corner about what it's really going to mean to have a 5g world.

 
Jamie Susskind 

So Commissioner O'Reilly, you said that, you know, obviously the solution to connectivity might look different in different places. So I have a point to that. So last night actually was watching the local news. And they showed the SpaceX launch of a bunch of their low Earth orbit satellites. So I was wondering if I could get kind of your thoughts on, you know, creative solutions to closing the digital divide? How do we start considering tackling that problem in places that you know, not even the subsidies that you all provide can can fix?

 
Michael O'Rielly 

Well, we have a lot of work to do with the subsidy programs. Chairman pie has led forth a number of different reforms already and we have more coming to to address a number of areas that don't have Sir, don't have broadband service today, those unserved communities, unserved Americans who deserve service. So we're working in all above approach. And it has to be something as technology neutral that you know, that can address the needs of that particular community. In some instances, it's going to be a fiber Would you say that we're gonna have fiber throughout the United States is both not realistic. And it's not technically doable. We have demands already in terms how much fiber we're able to do how much we're actually producing today is already backlogs and those so there are going to be other creative solutions. And people say, Oh, I don't want satellite satellites got no the in the 80s and the 90s I was terrible service we got ignore satellite, I think that's, that's completely wrong approach their communities where satellite service is the exact answer and what's going to be necessary, and we shouldn't dismiss it out of hand. And so I worry about when we design our programs, or figure out how do we best deal with the new technologies that are coming on board that actually the balanced approach, and hopefully that that's where the questions going.

 
Jamie Susskind 

Either one of you.

 
Jamie Susskind 

Okay, I want to talk a little bit about national security, which is a big topic these days in the tech and telecom sector. So a few months ago, the FCC voted to ban companies that are deemed to be national security. threats from the FCC is Universal Service Fund program. I wanted to get your thoughts on, you know why that's so important and sort of what happens from here? How was the commission working with other agencies in the space Department of Commerce has some rules that came out recently, that we've all been looking at, you know, how does that all in the ecosystem kind of work together?

 

Geoffrey Starks 

Yeah, international security is one of the things that I've really focused on. I have a bit of a background from that, for when I was at the Department of Justice. And so I knew I wanted to focus on focusing on you know, some of the network security is national security issues that I think are critical for our nation and for our defense. And so there are a lot of folks that have started to think through the NDA the National Defense Authorization Act was talking about, in particular, the NDA names Huawei at names ZTE, and keeping out insecure equipment, telecom equipment there. The President's Executive Order also specifically focused on making sure that We focus on telecom equipment, and making sure that that's not in our pipeline going forward. And so one of the issues that I started to really think about is, well next, let's not just focus on how we keep out insecure on trustworthy equipment going forward. Let's also focus on in particular, where we know we have insecure Chinese equipment in our infrastructure right now. And so I came out with my idea that we should find it fix it funded, where we know that there's untrustworthy Chinese equipment, and that's really kind of focusing on figuring out what is the universe of some of this equipment where it is and our infrastructure turns out. We don't specifically know the number but it's probably anywhere between kind of 40 and maybe less than 100. Rural, small rural carriers do have insecure Chinese equipment in their infrastructure. It was a unanimous vote that we took by the Commission just recently, to focus on this issue and not think of it asymmetrically, but actually start to look at and work Work through what is the insecure equipment in our infrastructure right now to the proposed rules from commerce. Briefly, it's something that I'm going to be thinking about and looking quite closely. What we voted on at the at the FCC really kind of comes from our Universal Service Fund program or USF program, where we control federal dollars that are rolled out. The the proposed rules from commerce were quite broad, stunningly broad in their ability to go beyond a lot of actually unwind transactions, focus on a lot of telecom aspects that I think even exceeded what we had previously looked at at the FCC and in our in our lane. And so I'm a little bit concerned that there might be a mismatch between what the commerce proposed rules are and what we are trying to effectuate at the FCC. So it's, it's something that I'm going to be looking out to see as these rules are continued to roll down. finalized.

 
Jamie Susskind 

Your colleague Commissioner rosenworcel, has said that she feels like there's a role or more of a role that the FCC should be playing in the security space, particularly with respect to IoT and device security. I wondered if you all have reactions to that. thoughts on that.

 
Jamie Susskind 

drink the water,

 
Brendan Carr 

we can follow up a little bit on what Commissioner Starks was talking about in the security space. I think you know, he's been doing really tremendous work on this important topic and so want to obviously recognize and commend you for the leadership on on the security issues. For me the issue was brought home a few months ago, I was with my then Chief of Staff, now moderator. Up in the far northern reaches of Montana, there's an Air Force Base there called Malmstrom Air Force Base. We're hosted up in this Air Force Base by Colonel Jennifer reads, and in her charge, or 150, intercontinental ballistic missiles When you spend time up there, you underground into one of the bunkers with the women and men who literally put their finger on the button every day and are ready to go. It's an emotional experience to be frank, to feel the gravity of the responsibility that they hold in their hands. And outside of this base, there's very little weed fields. Big Sky Country, very little people.

 
Brendan Carr 

Except one thing, fewer people, fewer people, fewer people,
 
 
fewer people.

 
Brendan Carr 

There's almost nothing here except for these little people and except for one thing, interspersed across these hundreds of miles. Or each of these missile silos are located underground or cell towers running on high end Huawei equipment. We spend time up there and talk to the people that have the responsibility you you in other settings are told about their concerns. And so I think it's incumbent on us to do what we can within our authority to address this threat. And as Commissioner Starks pointed out, a big part of that is looking at our universal service fund dollars as we've done, as he's also talked about going further and looking at the scope of our authorities, and there may be hurdles there maybe not to take action against all insecure equipment, our networks, regardless of whether that equipment is funded by service dollars or not, not saying I have the answer from a legal authority perspective, but Commissioner Starks has tee that up. I think that's the right direction to go.

 
Michael O'Rielly 

I only add to that we have to be mindful that and I think Commissioner card is pointed out very eloquently on terms of the the authority issue. Congress has spoken on this issue multiple times in the last many years on who they expect to deal with national security as it relates to communications networks. And it's not been the FCC and Many statutes have been passed, if Congress changes that, those the situation and asks us to do anything, I will gladly work on that. But I don't want to create, you know, a reach of where we're supposed to go when they've specifically asked farming Homeland Security or Department of Commerce or another entity to deal with the issue. It is not our job to go out and seek something that they should be doing an expert, you know, and been charged responsibility. And I think it's fairly and fully appropriate to ask the question, I do suspect we're gonna come back and have it have reaches in terms of where we can go and I'm just bound by the statute. And anytime that Congress wants to change that I will listen to their to their great wishes.

 
Jamie Susskind 

Give me lots of good lead and that's good.

 
Geoffrey Starks 

I gotta jump in there real quick. You're gonna noticea conceptual difference between commercial Riley me because I think we actually do have a signal nificant authority here, the telecommunication network, in particular section one of the communication axe talks about the national defense. And so I think in the fact of the matter is, even if you asked Homeland Security, I think that they would tell you that we are in charge of our telecom networks, but to taking it back in abstract, maybe the point a little bit. You know, a lot of these issues are so complex when you're talking about privacy, when you're talking about national security when you're talking about our workforce, our future of work. So many of these issues and the technology is moving so fast, are are so complex and intertwined, intertwined. intertangled. And so to try to just think about, well, what is the FCC only little lane here? What is Homeland Security's Lane? You know, I think it is incumbent for all of us to figure out how we can solve these problems for the American people. And for my perspective, I think with regard to the telecom networks and our our ability to really focus on the TELUS providers, we have to have a forefront of mine national security
 

Michael O'Rielly 

perspective. But only add section one has been dismissed by the courts multiple times as an affirmative act of authority. But I concern the point you bring up privacy. I don't you know, we said a thoughtful panel previous to ours. And from the FTC, I'd hate to try and tell them what they should do on aspects and that they've been charged with just like they try not you know, there are there are boundaries to what we're expected to influence in my viewpoint.

 
Jamie Susskind 

Let me ask this, I want to quote the chairman. He said that Congress keeps considering bills to direct the FCC to undertake actions that are already planned so sorry to hit him with this when he's not here to defend himself but that's okay. So what all Would you like to see Congress work on that the FCC could work on with them that might make some positive progress for it on any issue, it doesn't have to be on like supply chain or security.

 
Geoffrey Starks 

You know, the first thing comes to my mind really quickly. offer is on the sea band again, I think that we have previously had authority to, as this is ultimately going to be auction to be able to earmark some of that money for what are, you know, purposes first net was obviously something that was set up previously with earmark auction money. And so I think providing earmark money for rural broadband, I think would be something that I'd be hopeful that Congress will work through and see if they can give us that authority with regard to this event.
 

Geoffrey Starks 

Two things come to mind for me, you know, one is back on this workforce jobs initiative that I've been talking about how do we get the workforce to build out these next gen networks think there's what Congress can do to help out they are, whether it's, you know, limitations on existing funding mechanisms that can be used for more these blue collar workforce programs. The second one I'll offer is telehealth. I think this morning Gary Shapiro talked about telehealth, you mentioned was something like the, you know, one of the biggest growing aspects of this show in the show floor or telehealth applications. I think it's one thing that I've seen in this job as well, we played a role for a long time in supporting broadband to connected brick and mortar facilities. But we're seeing this new trend and you see it across the floor here. Health care telehealth applications that can be delivered right on your phone right on your tablet. And so rather than going to a brick and mortar facility, the highest cost portion of the healthcare system, there can be health care delivered remotely directly to where you are, it's this equivalent in health care of the shift from going from blockbuster to Netflix. There's still some state laws and federal laws that haven't caught up that new delivery mechanism for health care which can improve outcomes and drive down costs. I think there's work that we could do with Congress and other agencies to reach a tipping point to see more of that remote telehealth delivery.

 
Michael O'Rielly 

Well, I don't presume to tell Congress what to do. And what I want to, but, you know, you know, ideas that, that I do would think incredibly helpful. Anytime that they speak on an issue, whether I agree or disagree, it's helpful. But I do think that our statute is out of whack for the current environment we live in. And that we have to deal with on a daily basis, the commission is working hard to remove regulations that no longer make any sense for current providers, given the, you know, the advancement and development of some of the most advanced companies to the FTC talked about and that they're overseeing, in terms of the platforms in the high tech industry, the many you represent. And so we have to respect the fact that we regulate companies that are being overtaken by those companies. I have to be respectful of that. And I think that's something that Congress can, can can address and has to have to be mindful of. And so when they push and pull on different things that we have to deal with, it has to be mindful that all these other companies are competing in the same space, whether it be for advertising dollars, or primacy of offering communications services.
 

Jamie Susskind 

Like I knew when I asked that you were going to say so I thought that would count. That's good. Thank you all know this all the time we have but please join me in thanking the FCC commissioners for their time. I hope you don't mind me rubbing in

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