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tv   FCC Chair Nominee Other Nominees Testify at Confirmation Hearing  CSPAN  November 18, 2021 2:08am-5:11am EST

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new global markets. i thank all the nominees for before the committee today. i understand mr. bedoya is not ill but quarantined, perhaps exposed to covid, and we look forward to a robust hearing. thank you madam chair. >> thank you senator wicker. senator blumenthal. >> thanks very much madam chair and thanks for your leadership on these nominations and thank you to the nominees for your willingness to serve. the diversity attests to the greatness of our country.
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and at a time -- difficulty pronouncing blumenthal as a nominee. so we've welcomed you here and celebrate your nominations, i am particularly delighted and honored to introduce jessica rosenworcel as the president's nominee and first female chair of the federal communications commission, equally importantly. as a daughter of connecticut, specifically west hartford and wesleyan although she went to new york university for law school, but i've worked with her closely as have many members of our committee over the years. and i know that we are very familiar with her qualifications on this committee. got her start at the ftc first
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as professional staff and then legal advisor to the commissioner. she worked for the commerce committee as senior council. and she has really been a distinguished champion, energetic and aggressive. champion of consumers, of causes of price and neutrality. i've worked with her on fighting the abusive effects of robo calls. and efforts to provide for coordination. but apart from all of those specific issues, she has a very extraordinary ability to put complex issues in terms that every day americans can
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understand. she invented the term to describe the increasing digital divides that unfortunately increasingly impede children in their efforts to stay current and study when they need broadband access. and her leadership and commitment to working on clothing the digital divide and ending homework gap i think have been extremely productive and significant. we have really a once in a lifetime opportunity here. to confirm an ftc chairman. she's been a champion of making broadband more affordable and addressing the digital divide on disadvantaged communities. in particular i've watched her in hartford talk about this
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issue with -- clarity this moment really demands and i know she will make us proud as she has already of her public service when she's confirmed as the next chairman of the federal communications commission. thank you to you and your family. commissioner rosenworcel and wish you well. i know they are watching and they are --. thank you. >> thank you senator blumenthal. now senator lieu han introducing mr. bedoya. >> thank you. it is my pleasure to introduce mr. alvaro bedoya. his nomination to the federal trade commission is a clear example to the administration's commitment that united states is at its strongest when our
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nation's public servants reflect the full diversity of the american people. the proponent for more hispanic voices at the highest levels of government, i am proud to introduce approve alvaro bedoya. mr. bedoya is the founding director of the center on privacy and technology at georgetown law where he's a visiting professor. his research and advocacy centers on the idea that privacy, an essential civil rights that privacy is for everyone. as senate council in united states senate from 2009-14, mr. bedoya acted to protect victims of sexual assault, conducted oversight hearings of technology and fought to protect the privacy of public from government overreach. a graduate harvard college and yale law school, mr. bedoya lives in rockville, maryland with his two children and his wife dr. see ma bedoya. a pediatric psychologist at the
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national institutes of health national cancer institute. in 2020 professor bedoya delivered the united states senator dennis chavez memorial lecture in law and civil rights at the university of new mexico school of law. many of you know that senator dennis chavez who was a fellow new mexicoen was the first united states-born latino serve in the united states senate. senator chavez understood that protecting privacy is critical to preserve equality. and than lecture, bedoya quoted senator chavez's timeless words. i contend that we are a nation of dissenters. privacy is critical to preserving that fundamental right to dissent in our democracy. the role mr. bedoya will play at the ftc to preserve privacy rights will ensure all americans keep their fundamental right to public disclosure but it is more than just words. his work on privacy and facial
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recognition both in his time as a staffer with the united states senate and at georgetown has influenced how the technology is perceived and utilized. he recognized the importance of this issue from an early point and was part of raising it to a national significance. just two weeks ago facebook announced that it would shut down its facial recognition system and delete data used to identify individuals. such progress would not be possible without the work of mr. bedoya who has shown the public, lawmakers and private companies the serious dangers of such technologies to all americans. today he teaches in the same law school that accepted senator dennis chavez when el senator, as he was known, was 29 years old with only a 7th grade education. i know mr. bedoya understands the deep significance of the legacy. if confirmed the only latino in a senate confirmed position at
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the ftc, federal communication commission or consumer protection bureau. and since i have the time i want to also add words to support commissioner rosenworcel's nomination. my only frustration with the commissioners nomination is that it was not done in march. this is long overdue and with a strong pipesen vote this should have been done months ago. i look forward to the hearing. since there are two ftc commissioners here want to bring to the attention of the committee a letter sent by president biden to the ftc regarding the concerns that we all have and that is the rising cost of gas prices. in this article the president noted that prices at the pump have risen even as the cost of
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refined fuel have fallen and industry profits have gone up. the two largest players of the industry, exxon mobil and chevron have doubled net income since 2019 while announcing billions of dollars in plans to issue dividends and buy back stock. if these prices reflect same as we're seeing as refiners people would be saving 25 cents a gallon at the pump. i hope we can shed light on this, bring attention to what's happening with the opec cartels and help bring relief to the american people. and i thank you for the time mr. chairman. look forward to the hearing. >> thank you. begin our testimony starting with mr. rosenworcel. >> good morning and thank you to the chair t ranking member and other members of this committee. as the tremendous honor to be nominated and designated the first permanent chairwoman ots the federal communications
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commission. this is historic and i would like to think president biden for the opportunity. i also would like to thank my husband mark and children caroline and emmett and while we're at it the newest member of ow family our pandemic rescue pup, bo. it's been a privilege to lead the ftc in acting capacity in the past ten months. so much about the last year has been new and complex as this strange virus has changed our lives but it has demonstrated with total clarity that we need modern communications to reach us all. because more than ever before americans count on the ftc to support the connections they need to work, to learn, to access healthcare and access the information we all need to make decisions about our lives, our community and our country. i know the ftc staff are up to this task. they are an exceptional group of public servants and i think public service is a special calling. i also like to think it runs in my family. my father served in the air
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force and later went on to a career after nephrologist in hartford connecticut. he ran the clinic for hypertension and kidney failure. my mother spent over two decades helping run a soup kitchen in hartford. my great grandfather before them also served the public just in a different way. he swept the streets of new york. i think communications technologies are the infrastructure of opportunity. these are the connections physical and digital that can strengthen our mutual bond, grow our economy and create new jobs. help us work, learn, be informed, enlighten and entertain. and help us break down bairz that for too long have held many back.rriers that for too long have held many back. public safety is paramount. new technologies touch every
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aspect of our lives. we need them to be secure and resilient. that means universal service, no matter who you are or where you live in this country, urban, rural or anything in between, you need access to modern communications to have a fair shot at digital age success. that means competition. because it is the most effective way to foster innovation and make sure the public reap this is benefit. and -- fierce commitment to consumer protection. i think at the ftc we have put these values into practice over the last ten months, with the support of my colleague, we've worked on a bipartisan basis to set up the nations largest ever broadband affordability program known as the emergency broadband benefit which now has seven and a half million household enrolled. we work together to launch the emergency connectivity fund t first nationwide effort to close the homework gap so no child is left offline. we have made historic
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investments in telehealth, technology all across the country and we've kicked off a major auction of mid band spectrum in the three dot four five gigahertz which is violate for leadership and 5g service. and just a few weeks ago successfully started the nation's first ever secure and trusted communications networks reimbursement program so network provider kansas remove and replace vulnerable equipment. this is a lot. but there is more work to do. we need to make sure 100% of this country has access to fast, affordable and reliable broadband. that means every household, every business, every consumer, everyone, everywhere. and to do this we will need greater coordination against federal, state, local and tribal governments. renewed vigilance to make sure our communications network are safe and secure and foster innovation across the board to insure the technological leadership of the united states
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continue answer global stage. if confirmed, it will be an honor to lead this charge. and if confirmed, i pledge to listen to this committee which not lo long ago i had the great honor of serving as council. so i know deep in my bones how important it is for each of you to have a good relationship with the agency. and i pledge to --. thank you. >> thank you very much. we'll know proceed to mr. bedoya. please proceed with your testimony. >> thank you, senator. thank you madam chair. ranking member wicker and members of the committee. i appreciate the ability to testify remotely due to our family's covid exposure. i want to thank president biden for the trust he's placed in me.
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chair khan -- for being there today. i wish i could be there with you. i want to thank my family. my wife ecologist for the quds at the national cancer institute --. my mother teaches community college in richmond, virginia. my dad was watching us in lima, peru. my brother and sister-in-law and mother and father-in-law watching from louisiana. and lastly my daughter and son they love them. i have been working on privacy and consumer protection for over a dozen years. but for me, my work really began around late 2011 and when the subcommittee i served call for a hearing on smart phone geolocation technology. right after that hearing one of the first messages we got wasn't
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from a privacy group or consumer group. it was from the minnesota coalition for battered women. and they told us that often times when women arrive in their shelters they were actually getting tracked by their abusers through secret spyware. and this message, here we were about to hold a hearing on global positioning systems and cell phone location and here was the shelter saying this is about safety. this is about a woman's ability to live her life in peace. and ever since then i've tried to think about consumer protection and i've tried to think about privacy not in terms of data. but in terms of people. real people suffering real harm. and i've tried to work across the aisle to help them. and indeed by focusing on that issue, the issue of stalking apps, our coalition which included senator klobuchar and senator blumenthal, we were able
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to get the support of the offices of senator grassley, corbin, senator graham and able to bring one of the first major prosecutions of one of these stalking app developers. this is what i hope to focus on if i'm confirmed. i want to make sure the commission is helping the people who needle it the most. healthcare workers -- fake masks. fighting opiates and being sold scam treatments. parents want to be sure their kids online are safe. and small businesses struggling in the face of unprecedented consolidation. on this last point, one example, we spent a lot of time with our family in louisiana. a lot of them work in healthcare. and when a hurricane comes, the last pharmacies to close and the first ones to reopen are the independent pharmacies, community pharmacies. these community pharmacies are
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critical not just in rural america but also urban america. and yet exactly these pharmacies who are shutting down in the face of unprecedented consolidation. and the thing is, you can tell slightly different versions of this same story for almost any other sector of small business. independent grocers, online merchants, you name it. i think things are not normal. i think we're in a crisis. a covid crisis. a privacy crisis. a crisis for small business. i believe my five years in the senate have prepared me to help run some of the first major oversight hearings into tech giant, who are logging our movements and scanning our faces. i help protect small businesses from federal bureaucracies. and i help negotiate the bipartisan law that forced the nsa to be more transparent. what i learned from the senate
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is that we may disagree profoundly, even passionately. but we can't let that get in the way of serving the american people. i'm grateful for your time. i'm deepfully grateful for this nomination. and i'm grateful for this country, my country, which has given me and my family so much. when we landed at jfk airport 34 years ago, i don't think this is what any of us expected. thank you. and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much mr. bedoya. your questions. thank you, mr. bedoya. >> i currently serve as the director of the new york city mayor's office of climate resiliency. i am honored to be nominated by president biden for the position of assistant secretary for oceans and atmosphere. i am especially grateful to the secretary of commerce, gina raimondo, and noaa's administrator for their support.
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i want to thank members of the committee and staff for taking their time to meet with me and share my perspectives. i want to thank my family and sister who are with me today and my partner and daughter who are back in new york. i have worked to bolster communities and infrastructure to withstand the impact of extreme weather and rising seas which are both amplified by climate change. when hurricane katrina made landfall on the gulf coast i felt personally compelled to assist in the recovery and supported rural and urban communities in louisiana, mississippi, and alabama. early in my career i came to appreciate the most economically and socially vulnerable communities are often the most environmentally vulnerable which is why i have always sought to center equity in my work. i transitioned to noaa a few months before the deep water horizon oil spill for the duration of the initial 90-day
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response. that gave me deep insight into the use of scientific information to guide policy. noaa -- i also learned the importance of communicating the science in an accessible way. for example, when it became clear that vietnamese american fishermen in mississippi were not receiving information about fisheries' closures due to the spill it was my job to ensure that the information was translated and distributed in ethnic media outlets. i moved to honolulu for partnerships between academia and the private sector to scale responses in the asia pacific region. i worked on a project to scale community based landslide early warning systems in indonesian
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villages. i helped establish the early warning system in communities. my experience underscored the importance of partnerships to enhance enduring and innovative solutions. i then worked at the white house council on environmental quality where my purview included supporting the resilience of alaska native villages on the front lines of climate change. i visited a village that is experiencing storm surge. through this work i gained a deep appreciation for how traditional ecological knowledge can complement climate science and reveal social insights about the impact of climate change. for the last five years, i have led new york city's multihazard resilience strategy which encompasses projects city-wide. one aspect of my portfolio is protecting waterfront neighborhoods from devastating storm surge and regular tidal
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flooding. these complex subjects require coordination with all levels of government and private partners and robust engagement with communities. these experiences have provided me with invaluable insight into effective leadership and management especially with diversity. i believe these experiences have prepared me well to advance noaa's mission. never has that mission been more critical to the future of our nation. just in the last summer alone, our country experienced devastating heat waves in the normally temperate northwest which wreaked havoc on salmon and other important fisheries. hurricane ida which wreaked havoc and an historic multiyear drought in the west. i would deploy services to support local state and tribal governments, private sector, and federal agency partners to better plan for a changing
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climate. i would ensure noaa advances opportunity to unlock new jobs and forest growth while transforming to a clean energy economy and conserving our natural resources. i would work to restore habitat and strengthen the nation's cost lines to protect ecosystems and infrastructure from disruptive and often devastating climate impacts. finally, i would focus on recruiting the next generation of scientists and environmentalists so they reflect the diversity of ow country. in closing, thank you for your consideration and opportunity to testify here today. and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. now we'll proceed with the final nominee. >> thank you, senator. senator cantwell, ranking member wicker, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. i am honored to be nominated by president biden to be the assistant secretary of commerce for global markets and the
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director general of the u.s. foreign commercial service. i want to thank secretary raimondo for her support of my nomination. i also want to thank the committee for the opportunity to meet with many members of your staff. i feel the deepest sense of gratitude and humility in being considered for this position. when my parents brought me to this country 45 years ago, we could not appreciate that we were part of a proud lineage of immigrants that came through new york, like us, in search of better opportunities. and my parents certainly could not have imagined that those opportunities would lead to my being here today to be considered for this position by the committee. i remain grateful to my parents for making all of this possible because of their bold decision to move 8,000 miles away from everything they knew to start a new life for us here in america. their support for everything i do has been unwavering.
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together with my brother and sister-in-law whom i am proud to have with me here today and my nieces who could not be here but are a constant source of joy, love, and laughter in my life, my family remains the source of my strength and commitment that i bring to every professional endeavor. i have had the privilege of spending much of my career in public service, working on a wide range of international trade issues on behalf of the american people. i have negotiated with some of our most challenging trading partners on issues like subsidies and tech policy and held them accountable to their commitments under our trade agreements. i have collaborated with foreign governments to address shared challenges in third country markets. i have also helped defend legitimate policy tools we have to protect american companies and workers from unfair state-backed competition from countries like china.
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and in these and other areas, i have worked extensively across the multiple agencies and with various stakeholders to build a unified position for the government. from leading teams in highly matrixed organizations both in and out of government, i fully understand that no one of us has a monopoly on solutions to the types of trade problems we are being called on to address at this time in our history. we increasingly need to look beyond our silos, to bring to bear the right perspectives and knowledge to any challenge. that is why i am committed to working together with my colleagues across the commerce department and across the administration and with congress and with all stakeholders to meet these challenges head on. in over 20 years working on international trade, my career has allowed me to see how trade works from different vantage points, from the judicial
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branch, from an international organization, from the private sector and from the public sector. i believe that global markets is uniquely situated to make trade work for american firms and their workers. this team works with foreign governments to make sure american firms get the fair access they deserve to foreign markets. global markets also help small and medium sized enterprises become new exporters and take advantage of the commercial opportunities created by trade agreements. finally, global markets leverages the inherent attractiveness of the united states as an investment destination to bring foreign companies to america and create jobs. through these core activities, global markets brings to life the potential that trade and investment offers the american people. and i am committed to seeing that mission through to its fullest if confirmed. one last point i would note for the committee.
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i fully appreciate the privilege i would have if i were confirmed to this position. i have had the fortune of working closely with markets through much of my government career, most reasonable as director of policy in the obama administration. i know firsthand the high caliber of staff and the deep commitment of the global markets team to creating opportunities and bringing the benefits of trade to the american people. if confirmed, i commit to you to be worthy of leading this high performing team to do what it does best and drive the administration's efforts to strengthen precisely that connection between trade and the american people. thank you again for this opportunity to be considered for this position and to appear before you today. i look forward to your questions. thank you. >> i want to thank all the witnesses for their testimony and we're going to start with a round of questioning. i'm going to defer my questions for at least another round and call on senator klobuchar. >> very good, thank you very much, madam chair, and
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congratulations to all of the incredible nominees we have. i also welcome many commissioners here from the ftc here to show their support for mr. bedoya. so, very good showing. and i am not going to be able to ask you questions today, i'm going to put them on the record. the foreign service years ago helped get funding and what a difference it makes for our country. we should be a country that makes things, exports for the world. chairman rosenworcel, i always like somebody that has an even longer last name than me. i liked to have you in minnesota, i came to talk about 911 many years ago and the
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importance of upgrading that. in this changing world, where people are making emergency calls by text, where we have people marooned in a snowstorm, firefighters having plans before they go into a building, tell me about your plans there. >> absolutely, senator, thank you for the question. you may only call 911 once in your life but it will be the most important call you make in your life. when you make it, you absolutely want first responders to find you. we are on the cusp of updating 911 in this country, the next generation of 911 which will provide so much more functionality than traditional voice. it could be video, data, information that could help public safety address your needs when they arrive. we're going to need to find new funding sources. this probably needs a federal
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boost. and in addition, we're going to have to continue work to make sure that wireless calls result in public safety being able to find you in a snowstorm or in a building or anywhere you might be using that device to reach out for help. >> thank you very much. and i'm chair of the 911 caucus, we're excited we're going to get some funding this this reconciliation bill and we'll move forward from there. broadband, i was head of the bill in the house, i know you have been all over this. can you talk about the challenges as we bring in this incredible investment to get to every corner of our country in which i always joke that if iceland can get broadband everywhere without volcanos, maybe we can. if you can map what our biggest challenges are. >> this pandemic has proven we need to get broadband to everyone, everywhere, 100% of
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the country, and we can't accept anything less. in the infrastructure bill, i think we have a chance for generational change. we're making sure the department of commerce, federal communications commission, our colleagues at the rural services, is making smart decisions on where to deploy, that is the first order of business. in june we signed a memorandum of understanding with the royal utility service and the ntia in anticipation of just that. >> i think one of our obsessions is getting the funding out. and i know you will focus on that, making sure, actually, that people get money, one of the reasons we put a clawback in this bill, if people don't actually start building it, we'll have to take it back, because for too long there's been a lot of promises made in certain rural areas. this will be something secretary raimondo will also be dealing with. i want to thank you for that. one specific question, and this comes from my competition work,
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i've long been concerned about competition in the video marketplace. we continue to hear serious concerns from independent programming networks regarding the negotiating tactics from some of the video distributors. will you work with me and my colleagues to examine the impact of that and take action to protect the public interest? >> if confirmed, yes, i would. >> thank you. i think we're on to professor bedoya on video. hello. >> hello. >> the importance of ftc work with what we hope to be your future colleagues here, my view is you can't take on the biggest companies the world has ever known with just duct tape and band-aids. you need resources. you talk about the importance that have in both the private area and the antitrust piece of the ftc's work. >> thank you, senator. i exactly agree with you.
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the folks in the competition bureau and the bureau of consumer protection privacy division do extraordinary work. but they are dwarfed by the staffs of some european countries, particularly in privacy, i emphatically support that and would if confirmed. >> very good. and then privacy legislation, senator cantwell has been an incredible leader in this area. senator wicker, i know they're working together on this. we've had this really earth-shattering testimony of the whistle-blower, which after years of working on this, i felt like that kind of crystallized everything we know, people feeling out of control in their lives, not being able to control their kids' exposure to accounts that they would never want them to see, data being ared companies profiting off of individuals in our country like they're just pure profit centers with no regard to people's own privacy. could you talk about how your experience in this area is perfect? this is a softball, sir.
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perfect for what we have to do going forward. >> thank you, senator. certainly i believe my oversight work, bipartisan oversight work in the senate speaks to my ability to do this. i'm a new parent. sima and i have been thinking a lot about helping our kids with this. i'm also excited to work on commissioner wilson on this, this is near and dear to her heart, she is an expert on this. >> thank you, senator cantwell. >> senator wicker. >> thank you, madam chair. chair rosenworcel, let me take up where senator klobuchar left off on maps. when do you estimate that we're actually going to have new maps? >> thank you for the question, senator. i anticipated you might ask. and far too long the fcc has
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been working off maps that are not accurate, that overstate where broadband is in this country which means we don't send dollars to the right place. >> right. >> right after i took over, we got to work on this immediately. this summer, in early august, we produced the nation's best ever wireless maps. we worked with the carriers to build a prototype for the broadband data app. you can go on the fcc's website right now, look up your address, and you will find data that is light-years better than anything you might have seen from the agency before or anything you might get if you walked into a store and try to purchase a handset. that's because we required every carrier to use the same cell loading characteristics and propagation models. for the first time we have an apples to apples comparison. like i said, that's just a prototype. to test the systems that i had to acquire when i took over, because it turned out the sbc didn't actually have the computer processing power to build big maps.
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we've acquired those. >> when did you learn that? >> i learned that within the first few weeks of arriving at the agency. >> you've been at the agency for two terms. >> but i didn't have oversight over the office of managing director with authority over those issues. that's not information that was available. >> so rank and file members don't have that information. >> no, you don't operate with the budget or work with the agency's computer processing systems. as soon as i found out, we immediately secured that capacity. and then we also decided that we would come up with a statistically valid way for states, localities, and tribes to challenge any data before us. on top of that, we are working on a redo of our speed test app, which more than 200,000 people have downloaded and can use to instantly report to us where service is and is not. so we'll have a whole consumer brigade able to assist. here's the thing, though, that is going to tell us what day it will be available by.
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the act, legislation i know you're familiar with, that came through this committee, there is something called the broadband serviceable location fabric. it else you where every location that can be served in this country is. and under the broadband data act we had to follow federal government acquisition regulations to procure it. and i've learned a lot more about that process in the last few months. it is not fast. but we have procured a broadband serviceable location fabric, which is essential, it's the ground floor for all of this work. however, every bidder who did not succeed can now protest that vote and it will stay our ability to work on that fabric while the gao reviews it. and that gao review can take up to 100 days. so with that behind me, let me just say that we are doing everything possible to encourage the gao to move fast if there's a protest. but if we have problems, i might ask for you and this committee's assistance because we absolutely need to get those maps done,
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because all of the money that is flowing through the infrastructure bill depends on them being available. >> when will that protest period be over? >> a terrific question. we made the award last week. anyone who wants to protest has three days to ask for a debriefing from the agency staff, five days after that they can file a protest and gao has a hundred days. >> well, you do -- you do agree, though, that we need the accurate maps fully in place before we start sending the money out. >> absolutely. and i have told the commerce department we'll send them every bit of data we have as soon as we have it, as we know all those infrastructure dollars will be better spent when we do. i am still hopeful, despite that process i described to you, that we'll do it with haste. i wanted to make sure you understood what the law looks like.
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>> i appreciate that answer. let me see if i can squeeze a question in in that extra minute and 20 that senator klobuchar had. with the regulation that was repealed under the last administration, it seems to me we did better than europe under the light touch appropriation -- under the light touch regulation. broadband usage increased significantly and companies invested in broadband in america. unlike in europe, we did not have to ask providers to throttle service or take other measures to reduce traffic. can you tell us what if any disadvantages occurred to our country or to consumers when we
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repealed the obama administration net neutrality rules or am i correct that we had a lot more buildout and no throttling or measures during use traffic? >> thank you for the question. i think you know that i support net neutrality. i supported it in 2015, and then i opposed the rollback in 2017. i continue to support it. i think the investment record is something we always have to pay attention to, because as we develop rules at the ftc, we've got to be mindful what the impact is on infrastructure in this country. that being said, i think the impact of the rollback in 2017 is broader than just net neutrality, because it took the fcc away from oversight of broadband. coming out of this pandemic, i think all of us know we need some oversight because it's become such an essential service for day to day life. >> let me just ask you to submit on the record a specific answer
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to examples of consumers being harmed by the repeal of net neutrality. >> i would be happy to do so. >> thank you, madam chair. >> senator schatz seems to be next, is that okay, senator blumenthal? >> you're a gentleman, thank you very much. thank you, madam chair. before i get to my questions, i want to reiterate what senator lujan said. it is so urgent to move chair rosenworcel's nomination to markup so we can send the nomination to the floor and confirm her before the end of the year. we don't have very many floor days left. and if we don't confirm her before the end of the year, then by law, she has to pack up her office and leave the fcc. on monday, the president signed historic legislation that will help us to connect all americans with broadband. and this is on top of other broadband legislation that we
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passed this year and last. so we need the expert agency to provide its expertise. jessica rosenworcel is an extremely qualified nominee with widespread bipartisan support. this is not the time to leave the agency leaderless. ms. rosenworcel, i'm not sure if you coined it, but you certainly popularized the phrase the homework gap. and i would like for you to talk about the progress that you've made and the progress that you think you can make as the chair of the commission. >> thank you for the question, senator. when i was growing up, i didn't need an internet connection to do my homework. it was paper and pencil and i had to make sure my brother stayed out of the room. those days are gone, every child needs an internet connection to fully participate in school, even before the pandemic, but the pandemic has shined a light on it like nothing else. you don't need to have children sitting in the parking lot outside of fast food restaurants
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just to attend a virtual class. and i am really pleased that at the fcc we've been able to make some meaningful difference because of the emergency connectivity fund which is a fund that this congress helped set up to close the homework gap. we have distributed funding for connections for school kids to more than 7,000 schools and 600 libraries. we're making a meaningful difference. >> how many kids remain unconnected? >> so the numbers that we have from the pandemic were almost 17 million. i think that we have reduced that number with this program. but i don't think we can stop until every child has the opportunity to go online for class. >> i know you're a mom, i'm a dad. i just find that number mind-boggling. in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. and in a context where we forced kids onto a webex or a zoom, and then 17 million of these kids don't have access to the internet. it is just unconscionable.
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and i think it is all of our collective responsibility, and i thank you for leading in this space. i want to follow up on senator wicker's line of questioning regarding maps. my understanding is there is a ton of interagency coordination involved. i was hoping you can help us understand the different agencies, the three and four and five-letter agencies, that are involved. i and how we're making sure we're not stepping on each other's toes and maximizing impact. >> after this infrastructure bill passed we have all of this funding and all these opportunities to address our nation's digital divide but it is really contingent on every agency working together. back in june the ftc signed a memorandum of understanding with the ntia and the rus to make sure we're sharing all of our data. i've also made available to the department of commerce our tower connection notification system
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so that the ntia can use that data as well in these programs. i would like to invite this treasury department which also has funds to come in and start to work with us on this. i know if we all work off the same data set, we'll take all those dollars and help them go further. >> treasury, just because they have a program because they have access to particular data sets that are interesting. >> right. correct. >> okay. so is there anything that the congress needs to do to clarify its legislative intent? >> yes, we'll make sure we paddle in the same direction. >> thank you very much. mr. bedoya, this is an easy one. don't you love the bills i've introduced? [ laughter ] i just want to ask you about the duty of loyalty. we had a really good conversation about that.
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do you agree that the federal privacy law must include a duty of loyalty to prohibit companies from using the data they collect from users to their detriment? >> senator, i appreciate the question. i think it's a great idea. and what i like about it is, a lot of times when there's legislation on privacy, there's this felt need to reinvent the wheel and do something out of whole cloth. what i appreciate about the duty of loyalty is it ties back to a very old common law tradition that's just as old as the first amendment, that information held by fiduciaries like folks like doctors, clergy, et cetera, in certain circumstances is protected. and i admire that. >> thank you very much. >> senator fischer. >> thank you, madam chair. mr. bedoya, i won't ask you if you love all my bills, i'm sure you do. but i would say that i see that you have been a strong critic of
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facial recognition technologies in your work. you've suggested banning or having a moratorium put in place. what privacy guardrails are vital for facial recognition? i wonder if you believe that there are still benefits with this technology such as for public safety, health care. if you would be confirmed as a commissioner, how would you assess technologies that you feel deserve more scrutiny on privacy? would you support banning certain commercial technologies based on privacy concerns alone for those that fall in the ftc's jurisdiction? >> thank you, senator, i appreciate the chance to speak to this. i'll speak to the question of supporting the technology. i'll give you a clear example. my ability as a parent of young kids to open up my phone with my face is very useful. this ties into your question,
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when i would apply greater scrutiny. the beauty of opening up a phone with your face is, it's transparent, you opt in to it. there's limited data collection. and the data resides on the device. and so i, if confirmed, i probably would apply greater scrutiny to situations where collection and use is opaque, where there is broader dragnet data collection, where people aren't allowed to consent, and where the data is free flowing, without restriction. i don't anticipate calling for a ban in the commercial setting. i certainly can't think of one off the top of my head. those would probably be the guardrails i would anticipate, senator. >> so from your answer, i would say that you do believe that the united states needs to be a global leader, then, on these emerging technologies such as facial recognition?
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>> in certain respects, for example to help folks with disabilities, for verification. i think facial recognition can be a great second or third factor. so yes, i very much agree with you in that respect. >> thank you. chair rosenworcel, so good to see you again. as you know, the usf contribution factor remains exceptionally high, hit an all time record in the second quarter of this year. with the shrinking base of who pays into the fund, the situation is straining on our telecommunication providers, especially smaller providers that we have in our most rural areas. it strains their ability to be able to manage that high fee. i notice that you've also supported expanded e-rate subsidies and other means of growing broadband affordability
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programs through the fcc. how do you square the push to grow certain usf programs at the commission giving what we're seeing in the contribution factor? >> sure. thank you for the question. universal service contribution system is a byproduct of the telecommunications act of 1996. in 1996, i had an aol account and i really badly wanted a palm pilot. it was a long time ago. and it was the collective belief of congress we should assess a little bit off the long distance bill of every customer to help sustain networks nationwide. it was a smart idea. it exempted the fund from the annual appropriations process. it made it more consistent, which was important for those small rural providers. but i think 25 years since, we need to have a conversation with this committee about appropriations going forward because already congress has started to change that. you see that in the emergency broadband benefit and its
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successor, the affordable connectivity plan. the bottom line is we need to think about a revamp and we need to work with you to do it. >> do you have any ideas on what you would suggest to us on that? when i was in the state legislature i chaired our committee on transportation and telecommunications and this was in the early 2000s. and i went into that chairmanship thinking i was going to have to deal with what the feds were going to send down after they updated the '96 bill. well, i'm here now. we still haven't updated it. what are a couple of ideas that you would be willing to share publicly at this time? >> well, this is definitely something that's going to need some more conversation. we have a federal/state joint board on universal service that allows federal officials and state officials to come together. that needs to be more active and needs to propose some ideas on this front because i do think the best ideas aren't just here,
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they're working with our state counterparts. i know my colleagues have recommended other ideas about expanding it to the tech universe and i also know that we have to think about the role of appropriations with some of these programs because like i mentioned, some of them are now being funded like that, which is distinct from this traditional mechanism. the bottom line is, 25 years out, fcc needs to have a conversation with you so we make it on firmer footing going forward. >> thank you, madam chair. >> senator blume enthat you feel. >> thanks, madam chair. we're fortunately to have a nominee to the fcc this morning and even more fortunate that the president of the united states has asked the ftc to investigate skyrocketing gasoline prices. i'm a veteran of a number of these investigations, having served as attorney general of connecticut. it is a challenging issue, but one that has to be faced. what we're seeing is the cost of
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refined products are diminishing, but consumers see at the pump soaring prices. and rising profits as well on the part of the major gas companies and stock buybacks. this investigation is overdue, absolutely necessary, should be pursued vigorously and promptly. the present monopolistic practices of these companies need to be exposed for what they are, so consumers understand why prices are rising. and we need to call attention as well to the monopolistic prices of opec and the producers of gasoline. there's no reason that consumers should be left in the dark about why gasoline prices at the pump are rising so astronomically.
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and i will just cite, if the gap between refined fuel costs and gasoline prices at the pump were to return to normal, pre-pandemic levels, drives would be paying as much as 25 cents less per gallon. 25% less per gallon. it's real money in consumers' pockets and an effective investigation will help achieve that goal. mr. bedoya, do you support this investigation? >> absolutely in principle, senator. gas prices matter for everyone and they particularly matter for folks living paycheck to paycheck. i would add that i believe there's a 2007 petroleum manipulation rule, and if confirmed, senator, i would try to make sure that that is enforced rigorously. >> the ftc, as you know, as an independent agency but i urge consumers to write to you, to
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call you as an agency, to make their real life stories known to you, because that's the most powerful evidence. their faces and voices can have a real impact. they can make a difference. thank you for that answer. chair rosenworcel, i want to address a topic that is unlikely to be raised otherwise. the local journalism sustainability act. i know you've been very committed to sustaining and enhancing local journalism. this measure would help support the existence and the survival and thriving of outlets, local media outlets. can you tell me a little bit more about how to revitalize and sustain local journalism? >> thank you for the question, senator, and thank you for your kind remarks earlier. we all need local journalism to
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make decisions about our lives, our communities, and our country. and yet over the last decade in half and a half, we know newspapers have shuttered. i think the kind of tax credits that are involved with payroll and the production of local news journalism are essential for its future. i also think restoring the minority media tax credit would be a beneficial way to encourage small businesses and people of color to take over the ownership of local radio and television station. that is a bill that's also pending before the congress right now. i think we'll need a whole lot of little tools to make that happen. there's not one big single answer. but i think we have to invest in them because journalism and local journalism is so important. >> i really welcome to your commitment to this cause. i would like to work with you further on it. obviously our time is limited this morning, but i know you have a commitment to it. let me ask one last question
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about robocalls. a mission for both of us. you have visited hartford, connecticut to talk about this issue on multiple occasions, that robocalls continue. we approved a bill out of committee to increase penalties for spoofing, which is a tactic used by the robocall con artists to disguise their origins and frustrate investigation. can you talk a little bit about the tools that you think are necessary to combat this bane of consumers' existence? >> absolutely. robocalls are a nuisance, they're awful, they're annoying. in the last several years they have really grown. we need to trust our communications networks. and with these calls, people don't want to pick up the phone. so what we've done at the agency since i've been leading it in an acting capacity is, we have done a lot more enforcement. we now issue cease and desist
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letters to no one we think is issuing robocalls, we tell them they have 48 hours to knock it off or we'll tell carriers to block their traffic. we've turned to technology. we have call authentication technology on our networks. we're starting to notice more calls are coming in from overseas so we're starting new gateway policies to make sure we stop them before they hit our shores. scam artists move fast. they move faster than regulators and legislators. if there are two things i think are necessary to do next, i would make it, the supreme court decided to narrow the definition of auto dialer. and that matters because it limits the agency and private rights of action against robocalls. it's a technocratic decision but it's got a world impact. we will issue fines. under my leadership we've had the largest fine ever under the
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telephone consumer protection act, to go after bad actors through robocalls. but then i need to turn to the department of justice for civil enforcement action. and i think we have to not just notify bad actors. we have to take them to court and collect. i would like to possibly give the fcc civil enforcement authority so we can take these bad actors to court. i think we need to engage in more of those efforts to make sure we have adequate deterrence and retribution when it comes to these nuisance calls. >> i agree, i hope the department of justice is listening and i hope they'll take note. thank you. thanks, madam chair. >> senator moran. >> chairman, thank you. thank you, each of you deserve a hearing of your own, there is sufficient conversations. i'm an appropriator for all of you and an authorizer for all of you. and so i assume we'll have upon
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your confirmation the opportunity to pursue many topics. let me just start with a few today in the few minutes that i have. chairman rosenworcel, i'll start with you. unfortunately a couple of my topics senator blumenthal and senator wicker have already covered, so i'll not repeat those. let me first of all confirm what i know to be true about you. you know this committee and this congress in general has consistently shown support for local broadcasters, local journalism, broadcasters in particularly. when you were discussing local broadcasting in front of this committee last summer you brought up your commitment to local journalism as well as the need to have content created in and for the communities that stations serve. i appreciate that sentiment, one which i believe this committee shares. i hope if you're confirmed as the next chair of the fcc we can continue to work together to achieve that goal. >> absolutely. >> thank you. congress and the -- again, for
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you, chair rosenworcel. congress and the fcc placed buildout requirements on recipients of broadband buildout funds that mandate companies complete their networks by a certain period of time. this requirement makes sense. it's designed to ensure that underserved areas receive services in a timely fashion. however there are supply chain issues particularly for small internet providers. is the fcc monitoring and working to alleviate these supply chain issues? does the fcc have any plans to work with broadband suppliers who run into these supply chain issues and may not meet those timely deadlines? >> thank you, senator, that's a good and obviously timely question. in may of this year i started a proceeding with my colleagues to ask questions about supply chain in particular, semiconductors, how it impacts the telecommunications industry and deployment. there's been a lot of discussion about that. but we felt we needed to develop a detailed record to inform our
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work on this. we shared that record with the department of commerce which has authority in this area. we're using it to inform continuing discussions about those before the agency, because we're mindful this can be a problem. i think that record was an especially useful tool to develop right at the outset. >> i think this is -- certainly it's a timely issue, but it's also a timely issue with the additional dollars being put into broadband investment. and the capability for many of the suppliers and builders, the towers to get building permits, it is a real challenge that i think you cannot ignore. >> i agree with you, senator. >> thank you. billions of dollars has been and will be distributed for broadband deployment. fcc, ntia, usda, and other agencies. i keep saying before we authorize more money for more broadband we ought to simplify and consolidate the programs that are there. we have not done that. and therefore the burden falls to you and others.
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[ inaudible ] quality broadband service. what can the fcc do about ensuring stabilizing and reflecting? i would be pleased to hear your thoughts in regard to the contribution factor and its modernization. >> sure. i spoke to senator fischer about this earlier. and i pointed out that the telecommunications act of 1996 is when the universal service contribution factor was developed, a long time ago. and 25 years later we might need to start having a discussion about what an update looks like. we already see with the funds and the way they're being distributed. the affordable connectivity program, the emergency connectivity fund, all of these existing outside the service system and the annual appropriations system. we'll have to figure out what the right mix of appropriations
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and adjustment to the universal service system are -- >> did i hear your answer to senator fischer. does that suggest the fcc has no plan to take this issue on on its own? >> we'll have to have a referral under the law to the federal state joint board on universal service first. but i also think that there are some challenges with the law that we have before us, and that if you would like us to assess on other constituencies, other industries, it would take a change in the legislation. >> thank you for that answer. 19 seconds. the last four years, at the urging of both chambers of process, the fcc put nonprofits a number of process reforms. commission items, three weeks in advance of a vote, change in items once they've been voted on, establishing an office of economic analytics. what's your take on the result of that effort, improved process, better outcomes? >> the short answer is yes, i
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left both those initiatives in place and intend to do so if confirmed. >> final question, what am i going to do in the absence of the kansas chairman? will you and mr. stark fulfill the role of taking care of -- excuse me, the citizens of my state? >> we'll do our best. but you might have to have some new england references along the way. >> i'll try to be accommodating. thank you. >> senator baldwin i think is next. followed by senator markey and then senator hickenlooper, that is, on our side. >> thank you, madam chair. chair rosenworcel, i am excited about the progress that has been made on the 988 line. this is a three-digit code for
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the national suicide prevention lifeline. and i was proud to have been a lead author of that legislation. beyond making access to resources easier for people in crisis and for everyone, one of my chief goals was to ensure that populations that were disproportionately facing high rates of suicide could have access to the specialized services that they need. in the bill itself we talked about the veterans community. we talked about the lgbtq youth community in particular. i know i've also worked on suicide prevention for farmers as they face disastrous conditions. under the law, the national suicide prevention lifeline must be ready to begin accepting 988 calls on july 16, 2022. and that deadline is fast approaching. so given the importance of this
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change and of focusing on servicing and serving populations with the greatest need, i would like to hear you give us an update on how the commission will continue to engage government stakeholders as we -- as well as nonprofits and mental health specialists on the 988 rollout. and we had a great conversation about this. i hope you'll talk a little bit about essential technologies, especially for youth, the text to chat and integrated voice responses. >> senator, thank you for the question. thank you, more importantly, for your work on this. we do have a suicide crisis in this country. the rates for teen girls are three times higher than they've been over the last 20 years. it's true for young people of color, lgbtq youth, and our veterans. and more first responders die annually by suicide than in
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their line of work. we have long had a toll-free number for them to call but moving it to a three-digit call is a way to make it more accessible to more people. there will be a vote on making it more texting accessible. for young people in particular, that's their native language, it's not picking up the phone and talking. we'll continue to work with the va and dhs to make sure they have the resources needed to answer those calls however they come in. and i think we're going to have to continue to discuss with them how we make sure people get the specialized care they might need in that moment of need. >> thank you. i am as excited as my colleagues about the new major federal resources that will be targeted for broadband. universal broadband, high speed access for all. but i know you'll agree that it won't be a success if we don't have better maps. i was proud to be a co-sponsor of the broadband data act.
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and i was pleased to see the fcc announce a new wireless service map using the standards. and i understand the commission was recently awarded an important contract. you've talked about that earlier today, for a better map for wired broadband. but i'm anxious to see more progress. when can we expect to see additional maps come online and how will you continue to push the commission toward that goal if confirmed as permanent rather than acting chairman? and then second, along these lines, i'm particularly interested in the fcc using the new methods to verify the existence of broadband service including using federal vehicles like postal service vehicles, national parks vehicles, national forests, that sort of thing, where we're able to get more data. so give me an update on those. >> sure, absolutely.
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look, the best time to make better broadband maps would have been five years ago. the second best time is right now. so we are working morning, noon, and night to do that. we are working through a federal acquisition process to get the serviceable location fabric which is like the ground floor for building our wireless maps. we're hoping to work through that fast. meantime, we're trying to come up with ways where we can build these maps outside of washington. by that i mean we're coming up with a methodology that states, municipalities, and tribes can challenge any data that they see that carriers have filed with us. we're also trying to update our speed test app. if you go and test your phone, you'll actually be able to send us the data about what's happening in your own backyard. we're also setting up webinars with tribal communities to make sure that we can get them involved in this mapping process. in the end i believe the best maps are not going to just by us in washington. they'll be built by all of us
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using creative technologies. we've explored using postal trucks in rural areas like you've described. it turns out it's more costly to use than we anticipated, and there are some power challenges. but it might be a tool we use in some rural areas to help us get really accurate data. >> thank you. >> thank you. senator thune. >> thank you, madam chair. ms. rosenworcel, the universal service fund of the fcc, particularly a high cost program, has had a significant impact on states like south dakota that have a large rural area. do you believe it's important to provide rural broadband providers, particularly rate of return carriers, regulatory certainty in the usf program? >> thank you for the question. the answer is yes. >> good. if confirmed as chair of the fcc will steps will you take to ensure that the fcc does better than other agencies on spectrum issues? >> this is an important issue. we are using more of our airwaves than ever before for
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commercial activity. every one of us here knows it, because we rely on those phones for much of our day to day life. and when you add it up with wi-fi and all the new ways that we're going to start connecting the world around us, you realize we need more of that spectrum for commercial activity. the challenge of course is the laws of physics mean we're not making more spectrum, so we have to reclaim it from older uses. sometimes that requires going to federal actors and asking them to choose to be more efficient with their current allocations. that for instance is how we were able to hold our most recent auction, which is still -- we're finishing up. that process is a difficult one. i hope over time we can build a whole of government approach where we all understand that repurposing some of those airwaves for commercial use has innovative benefits for our economy and our civic life. and i hope we can have the support of the committee when we do that. >> i hope you all can really focus on that, on figuring that
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issue out. that's an issue that has been particularly problematic, given the fact that the federal government sits on so much of the spectrum that's going to be necessary for commercial use and getting that coordination between the different layers and levels and silos in government is going to be key to making sure that we accommodate the growth that we're going to see in the demand. i want to come back to the issue, i think senator wicker touched on this, the issue of net neutrality. on the issue of net neutrality, i continue to believe, i think you know this, we've had this conversation in the past, and i actually laid out 11 principles for an open internet when i was chairman of this committee. i still think the best way to provide long term protections for the internet is for congress to pass bipartisan legislation. and i think that i say that today, i said it when i was chairman, stand ready and willing to work toward finding a lasting legislative solution that will resolve the dispute over net neutrality once and for
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all. if you're confirmed as chair of the fcc, will you commit to coming to congress for more direction before attempting any iteration of net neutrality rules? >> thank you for the question, senator. i will always agree to work with this committee on these issues and offer any technical assistance when asked. >> would you come to congress, though, yes or no, for moving forward? >> i think you know as a matter of history, in 2015 i supported the agency putting in place net neutrality rules so i believe it inherently has the authority to do so. we'll always work with this committee on issues like this that we know are big and important to the country. >> do you think it would be a good idea for congress to legislate in this area? >> i think any efforts to update our nation's telecommunications laws are a good idea because many of them have a vintage quality to it. i think the principles in them, including nondiscrimination, are strong. but i think that they always benefit from a legislative update. >> the internet, open internet
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order that was repealed in 2017, since that time we've had a good amount of time now, four years or so, to see the impact. strikes me at least, if you look at through the pandemic in particular, the internet and television association reports that cable providers saw 34.9% increase in upstream usage and 18.7% increase in downstream usage. and what we had in europe, we didn't have any throttling or anything like that. what we had in europe which has net neutrality regulations, they had to take measures to throttle use and other types of measures to reduce and manage that increased use. and you did say, i think in your dissenting statement to the fcc's restoring internet freedom order, you said i'm not going to give up, we're going to bend this to a more just outcome to ensure net neutrality is the law of the land and you say, let's fight, let's not stop here or now. given what we've seen since that
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time, and given the fact that president biden has nominated ms. gigi sohn to be the fifth commissioner of the fcc who has stated not only that she would be for reinstating those rules but also would support additional authorities for the fcc to adopt policy and handle issues like zero rating and data caps, where do you come down? has your position changed when it comes to the route that you might find necessary to bring back these 2015 rules, do you agree with her position? >> i want to respect that a lot of people have different opinions when it comes to net neutrality. but i think if the agency were to proceed, we would have to start with the traditional rule making to ask questions and get updates. of course that would include information associated with our increased use of broadband during this pandemic. and i would want whatever rules we pass to be fully up to date and reflect that. >> and i would just say, madam chair, that this committee, which has jurisdiction over this
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issue, could really by acting legislatively and putting rules in place, get away from the constant back and forth that we have with the agency, with the courts, and the uncertainty and unpredictability that creates to those out there who are investing in making this wonderful benefit that we have from technology work as well as it did thank you, i know you've been a strong advocate of trying to work this out. i -- trust me, have a long list of issues that i think are of great concern about broad band. so, hopefully we'll have a
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chance to work on them. senator marquee. >> thank you, madam chair, very much. madam chair and following up on senator's line of inquiry going back to 2015 and just restating what you just gave as an answer. you gave both to approve the open internet what prp and that put net neutrality protections in place. and from my perspective, it properly treated broadband as a telecommunications service under title two of the communications act and as we know, regrettably, the trump era commission eliminated the commission's rightful authority to investigate similar complaints, promote public safety, close a
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digital divide, yet the ongoing pandemic has increased reliance on the internet. now, more than ever, they need net neutrality, a commission with authority to have consumers back and what is undoubtedly a broad band access. we're all having big discussions about antitrust in the communications sector. that's what net neutrality is. making sure the small, upstart companies don't have to hire more lawyers but hire more engineers. so that they can come up with their new ideas without worrying about being sued by giant behemoths. so, again, chairwoman, do you support reinstating the net neutrality rules and restoring classification of broadband as a title two service? >> thank you, senator, for the question.
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i support net neutrality. and i intend on introducing legislation to end this and make explicit broad band is a title to -- my hope is we can do this on a bipartisan basis but perhaps that will not be the case. and you will still retain that inherent act. the coronavirus pandemic has also highlighted the homework app experienced by 12, 17 million children. mostly poor children, rural children, back and brown, who have been unable to complete homework at home. and it's why i fought for $7 billion for an emergency connectivity fund. which is now the law. and i thank you for the exlnlt way in which you have implemented that program.
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under your leadership, the fcc has already received more than $6 million in applications and you have committed more than $3 billion to helping communities across the country to connect those 12 to 17 billion children at home so they can do their homework. and so, i think the numbers actually show the urgency of us -- of continuing to deal with the issue and we're working hard to include more money in the build-back-better program so that you'll have more resources to deal with this issue. do you agree that we should add more funding to the build-back-better for emergency connectivity so resources are there for the children? >> thank you, senator, for the question. the homework gap may effect as many as 17 million people in this country. i just don't want to have to stop until we connect every child everywhere.
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so, no student is locked out of the virtual classroom. >> and do you believe we have to create a permanent solution so children in the fuch rb are not locked out at home? >> yes. >> thank you. and let me just ask you, in terms of a child online privacy protection law, the ftc is responsible for enforcing the chidn are's online privacy protection act. do you agree that congress should update and give 13, 14, and 15 year olds control over their data to ban targeted ads and create an erase button so that parents can insist that all information collected about their 13, 14, or 15 year old son or dot rb is erased from their data records forever. >> thank you, senator.
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i think those are critical updates to the law and very much support them. >> you do support it? can i just get your view on that as well? >> as the parent of a child in that age range, i fully support the idea of an eraser button. >> do you have a view on that? >> yes, fully support. >> yes, sir. >> no child. no. [ laughter] >> so, we'll go with those who do and say they represent every other parent in america who is understandably paranoid about what they saw in the last year and a half, in terms of their children's relationship with this device that has been their companion in increasing numbers of hours every day and every week and we should provide those protections and in this
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congress. thank you, madam chair. >> chairman, i appreciate our discussion yesterday. let me ask a quick question. big policies at stake. you're a very distinguished background includes being a staff member on this committee. don't you think something that big, in terms of policy, should be authorized by not just the federal agencies. >> as you know, i support net neutrality. i support working with this committee in any, way, shape or form or any other updates. but as i said earlier, i believe the agency has inherent authority in this area. >> let me turn to the mujorlt of our discussion yesterday and that's unique challenges in alaska. i know you're very well aware of those. and you made a number of commitments to me yesterday in our meeting.
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can i just get you publicly to kind of make those again and talk briefly about some of the issues, commit -- commitments to come back up to the great state of alaska and see our people and challenges to work with stakeholders in the alaska plan on what comes next and how we move forward on that important and very successful initiative from the fcc. and then, not to subject alaska to the rural health care rate setting data base and have more transparenciy and time leness, a lot of the issues that the previous chairman, in my view, completely ignored and catered the entire health care system. >> so, that would be yes to a visit. yes to continuing to work with you on the alaska plan. and yes with respect to their concern about their rural health care system and that data base.
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it's not in effect. i think we're going to have to figure out other ways forward that reduce waste and abuse. have appropriate transparency but ultimately mindful of the fact that these communications are essential for the health and safety of the people who rely on them. >> yes, some of the most vulnerable people in the country with very limited access to health care. a lot of them are my constituents. >> absolutely. i think you know i've been in a lot of rural bush places where health care is at the center of town. many people would not be able to see professionals. it is among the most essential health care in this country. >> and real quickly, if you can comment briefly with the infrastructure bill. u.s. initiative and ntia's nishtive. there is getook be an
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opportunity, more broad band throughout the country, particularly in rural countries. but i'm concerned about a lack of coordination, waste fraud and abuse. can you comment on that? i know you recently put together an mou and they're important. >> like i think i i've said earlier. we have an opportunity for generational change with the infrastruck chrb bill. we need execute on that. and two things stand out to me most. the first is we need coordination about data and facts to the fcc. it's going to have to support every other organization that does and the states as well. in addition, i think we need really strong accountability measures out of the gate. it would be -- criticism i've had of previous programs. we need to make clear what kind of audits are happening and what kind of penalties that exist for anyone who takes the funds and
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doesn't deliver. >> i'm sorry we didn't have our meeting yesterday. i look forward to meeting with you. your position is enormously important to my constituents. two-thirds of the sea food harvested in america, two-thirds comes from alaska. we are the superpower of sea food and noah is a really, really important partner in terms of surveys, stock assessments, in terms of clean and healthy oceans. and again, we haven't met yet. i'm a little concerned about your background, which is impressive but focussed on urban planning, climate resilience. i don't see a lot that is in the area of the core, which is in my constituents. >> thank you, senator sullivan and i look forward to connect
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directly. i enjoy talking to your staff yesterday. and i previously worked at noah when the deep water horizon oil spill happened. and jump into action. i really got a crash course in the agency. but i also say i work in climate resilience and still cross cutting and really is focussed on making sure we leverage the best -- >> i'm all for that, trust me. >> and apply that to decision making. evidence-based decision making. and i believe the work i've done in communities across the country, including alaska. i mentioned when i worked the environmental quality, part of the portfolio is focused on resilience of alaskainate vl villages. i really appreciated being able to connect with alaskainateivals there and it just apprec crate
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the tremendous challenges that they face in maintaining their -- >> i don't want to cut you off. i have one more question. i'm a little -- i'm actually quite concerned. in 2016, there was a tweet that you retweeted and it was talking about the presidential convention in 2016, a number of senators on this committee and the tweets i never thought i'd see a televised presidential convention, which isengsally was a white supremacist rally. pretty strong view there. look, we realize the ftc leadership structure is made up of partisan commissioners but this tweet raised questions about whether you have the
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temperament, maturity, dispassionate views required of an ftc commissioner in charge of over 1100 employees. and i'm sure a lot of the emlies couldn't see the convention in 2016 as a white supremacist rally. how do you respond to my concerns about your temperament and judgment, meaning that you need to serve all americans in this job. >> absolutely, senator. i appreciate the chance to speak to this. i think my record in the senate, as a staffer and at georgetown speak to this. >> i'm not asking about your record. i'm asking about this tweet. directly -- and don't dodge me. address it. maybe you're sorry. maybe that wasn't really your viewpoint. don't dodge the question. tell me about your temperament, your maturity, your dispassionate views when you are essentially claiming half the
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country was at a white supremacist rally, which was the convention we had in 2016. >> of course, senator. i want to clarify i do not believe the former president's supporters are white supremacists. >> are you apologizing for that or -- >> -- it was a mistake maybe. >> i don't think it's appropriate to call the entire convention a white supremacist rally. i was trying to clarify that i don't pass judgment on the former president's supporters. they're part of my family and i hold them dear to me. the last four or five years effected my own family. my daughter has never met her great grandmother because of the travel ban. and i could give example as to why, as a private citizen, and a law professor, i spoke out. but i pledge to you that, if confirmed, it's my duty to do as
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i did as a senator staffer, and put aside all politics and regardless of political opinions and party. >> thank you, madam chair. >> are you ready, senator tester? >> i am reready tarock. thank you, madam chairman. the other folks can take a break because all my focussed are on chairwoman and thank you for being here and thank you for being here, jessica. i don't need to tell you internet access has always been a major challenge, and particularly in rural states like montana. this pandemic has only exacerbated the challenges. congress and the fcc, have received emergency connectivity funds. it's a lot for montana. they received nearly $2.9 million through the fcc's
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telehealth program. as of this last monday, we got about nearly 13,000 households in montana using emergency broad band benefit program. and now we've got investment jobs act. and you're familiar with as i'm one of the ten health negotiators. we're going to see infrastructure investments, which should close the divide in every state of the union. and if you disagree, let me know. the truth is this. how do you plan to coordinate with ntia, on implementation of the broadband provisions in the infrastructure and jobs act? >> thank you, senator, for the question and all those numbers. the legislation that was just signed into law on monday is our
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best shot at closing the digital divide for this generation. so, we're going to have to coordinate with the department of commerce, which has primary authority for those funds like we never have before. i'm keenly aware of that. we're going to have to make that a priority going forward. we've already signed a memorandum of understanding with data sharing and our tower construction notification system with the department of commerce. but i want to open up all of our books and nmpation to them because it's theeenly way we're going to truly execute on the funds and address the digital divide. >> i'm going to put you on the spot because i don't know that you're going to answer the question but i want your perspective. it was signed on monday. from your seat on the sec, how quickly do you get the dollars out? >> this is a really good question. i think i probably need to do review of the law itself. but i think the department of
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commerce for asking me for three pieces of advice. first, work with our data. second, make sure there are clear penalties up front. if anyone steaks the dollars and doesn't perform and third is premium on the projects that are ones we can move on fast. >> okay. thanks. look. we've got seven reservations, 7 indian reservations in montana and quite honestly, the best infrastructure there isn't where it needs to be. the sec says 68% of people living in rural areas don't have access to broadband. that's more than two-thurbds of the people don't have access. and travel colleges and universities often pay more for slower internet than other higher education institutions. so, how is the sec currently
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working with travel communities to improve internet access and how can they improve its travel engagement process? >> thank you for the question. it can't be that ourinateival communities are the last to see the benefits of the digital age. but numbers you describe suggest we have a real problem. and we have to take special action to address it. we've been issues lyses in the 2 dot 5 giga hurts across the country. this is a once-in-a-lifetime to show up, get a license and use that to serve your community. i think that's going to provide real opportunity in days ahead. we've also -- we're also midcourse in updating policies to support tribal libraries. not every tribal library can apply under the existing system. i'm working with my colleagues right now to fix that. we're going to have to expand our engagement.
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we're starting to do that on mapping and you mentioned tribal colleges. you have close to three dozen of them in this country. many in rural locations. and when it comes to service they provide and we have to make a effort to do more to insure they have full access to broad band so they can take advantage of the full opportunities of the digital age. >> thank you very much. i look forbward to voting for your conformation. thank you. >> senator blackburn. >> thank you. >> chairwoman, i'd like to come to you first. i want to say thank you or congratulate you on a successful option that you just completed. so, tlaets rr talk about spectrum because all these other issues cannot be resolved if we do not have spectrum that is needed and have that deployed.
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we've just recently had a couple of things. the ntia has kind of gotten outside of their jurisdiction, i would say. when it comes to spectrum. and they're working to clear more spectrum held by federal agencies. we also have the issues with the faa. raising objections and questions that they've never raised through this entire process and slowing down the 5g system. so, when it comes to dealing with this commercial side of spectrum, let's talk about how you're going to approach it, how you're going to approach utilization. how you're going to keep agencies from squatting. how you're going to deal with the faa.
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because spectrum is what is going to alou us to close the digital divide. to utilize wireless, to get nfrtinate into areas we cannot get >> our future is wireless and these are key for every aspect of life. and we're always looking for new air waves to increase innovation and enhance our quality of life. the challenge is we're not -- we don't have more air waves. we have to allocate them smarter. there's been a lot of back and forth for allocations and the scc and i would say going forward, we need a whole of government approach to this and we need to work through concert, rather than at cross purposes.
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first, i hope they can actually speak as it is authorized to do so for federal government spectrum interest so we can speak through nti confidence that they're acting on behalf of other federal authorities through allocation to streamline the process. instead of having us have to talk to all the other authorities second, i think we can revisit the memorandum of understanding updated timelines and what harmful interference looks like. and then third, this is maybe a long-term project but i think we have to start thinking about what the insenltive structure is for existing spectrum allocations to federal authorities. if we don't give them incentives to be efficient, they ownenly will see loss rather than gain from reallocation and we have to get smarter about building incentives on their side so we can be more successful when we try to repurpose air waves.
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>> i agree with you on that last part whole heartedly and going back to discussions we had when i was in the house and you were appearing before us. as you know, i think it is time for us to conduct an inventory. of all spectrum that is allocated to different federal agencies so that we know what is there, what is being used, what is not being used and what we can then recoupe and auctionel for commercialization. so, i look forward to those conversations. i would like to come to you, please, sir. i had discussed with you the open apps market legislation that cloeb sharb and i have done. and you said that you wanted more time to look at that issue. so, i just wanted to see if you had taken the time to look at it
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and how you would -- what position you would take with that legislation and if you had changes that you would offer to that legislation. i do think this is an important one to move forward because it's imperative we have a competitive marketplace. >> thank you for the question, senator. i think it's a strong bill and an important one and i'll tell you why. in the first senate hearing i staffed, we looked at marketplaces. and this trade off that the platforms say they offer is well, we will make sure the apps and the marketplaces are safe and secure and that's why we need to protect our gardens. but what we found is it was ten years ago but the marketplaces had been open for several years.
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is that in one of the marketplaces, not one app had been removed. for the failure to adequately protect geo location formation, despite problems being right on geo location sharing of the data in a nonconsensual manner. >> you like the bill or not. >> >> of course, senator, yes. >> yes or no is really good there. yes and we will look forward to as soon as -- did i pronounce it right? say that one more time. >> vankatromen. >> i didn't know which sillble had the emphasis. i had a question for you in the interest of time. i'll submit it for a written response. thank you. >> senator blackburn. next toot senator rosen. >> well, thank you, madam chair.
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i appreciate this hearing today. i'm excited for all the nominees to come forward and serve the country. pleased to have you with us today. but i want to start with broadband mapping and maternal mapping because one of the lessons we have learned during the pandemic is how critical it is for all americans to have access to affordable broad band, which i'm so glad president biden signed into law, the bipartisan infrastructure and jobs act, which has a historic investment in broad band access and affordability. among other things, it's allowed us to connect to telemedicine. it decreasing the exposure and patient to man is really moving up. so, that's fantastic. telemedicine is not always a perfect substitute for receiving a physical evaluation. it is useful in assessing whether or not a patient does need in-person treatment.
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physicians said telemedicine patients are more likely to keep their appointments and keep new mothers safe while accessing the care they need, especially throughout nevada. for lack of medical care has led to worse outcomes for pregnant women. that's why earlier this year, senators fisher, young and i interus toed the bipartisan data mapping, which would direct the sec to consult to incorporate data into the sec's broad band health map to show where full broad band access and high rates of maternal health outcomes and we see where they overlap and we know they need help. chair woman, can you discrus the importance of mapping the overlap of health outcomes to broad band access as a way of
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taking a holistic approach of addressing maternal and infant mortality and if confirmed, we know black and indigenous women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy related charges. will you help us address these deaths? >> the short answer is yes. united states is the only industrialized country with rising mortality rate. which is a shame. more than half of our rural counties no longer have a maternity ward. i visited with the university of arkansas and mayo clintook talk about the technology they can use with broadband to help monitor pregnant women most at risk. they're incredible, available. those technologies exist and all dependentant on broadband. so, the more we get broadband to
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more people in more places, the more we'll be able to use the tools to doctor's it. when you're think bog ut a problem we have and over lay them on our nation's broad band map is going to be precedent for thinking about problems beyond health care and maternal mortality. >> i hope to do something with covid-19 and some of the outcomes there as we move forward. so, thank you for that. so, i'd like to ask you a few questions about those. questions that i poegsed to the current commissioners when they testified before the commission in august. nevada is home to immigrant families who make up the diversity and beauty of my wonderful state and our nation. and nearly 30% of them identify as hispanic and latino. unfortunately, some go through a process to goodcome american
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citizens and too often a target of scammers and they pose to help them through the challenging process. we know wunl form of deception is a scam where they public notice claim to act as attorneys and they really do take advantage of our community. in the interest of time, i know you had campaigns about this but if you're confirmed to the ftc, what do you think we should do to help people so they don't become victims of these scams? >> thank you, senator, for the question. and i'll share that a student of mine, this happened to a student of mine. he wrote about this and how his family was cheated out of a lot of money that they didn't really have by one of these notarios. i think it's critical the commission people, regardless of the language they speak -- i think one of the unsung
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accomplishments of the tenure was staffing to run conferences called common ground conferences where, they went to spanish-speak communities and made sure they're in touch with local law enforcement to prepare them and put them on the lookout for natarios. and i want to make sure the work is continuing, not just in spanish, in minnesota might by mung. making sure everyone in this country, regardless of what language they speaker is protected against fraud. >> thank you partnership i have questions for the deaf and hard of hearing. i'll submit those for the record. >> senator lee. >> thank you, madam chair. like to speak with you for a moment, if that's all right. i appreciated the time you and i spent about two weeks ago and you were kind enough to give me some time and answer my questions.
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now, there were a lot of questions i had and these are the kind of questions that need to be answered. there are some of them, which you didn't have complete answers. but there have been a couple of weeks since that conversation. i'm hoping today we can get answers on basic questions. things that are not gotchas. things that ought to be able to be answerable with a yoes or no. i'd appreciate if you can give a yes or no answer. first of all, can you commit if you're confirmed, you'll becommitted to enforcing the consumer welfare standard under precedent as it now stands? >> senator, i commit to enforce the law and i emphatically support your efforts to insure the standard include, not just price but output, quality, choice, innovation. there are critiques of how the
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standards apply. >> and i just encourage you. i need a yes or no answer here and then you can supplement afterwards with any supplemental information. i think i heard you say precedent, including on the consumer welfare standard? >> yes, as we're bound to, i believe. >> should they use the section five rule making authority when it comes to unfair methods of competition? under section five? >> yes. i do believe that if the commission is to be called on to police big tech, it needs every tool at its disposal. i do believe the structure and history -- >> again, very limited time here. >> yes, i do. >> you agree with the ftc's recent decision to rescind the 2015 antitrust enforcement data? the antitrust enforcement
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policy? >> with respect to vurtsical merger, senator? >> yes, sir. >> this one i want to think more about. my specialty is privacy but i'd like to have the benefit of staff. >> again, i'm asking for yes or no. i'll take that to mean you're not prepared to answer that with a yes. should they be foiksed on enforcement and ajudeication, rather than expansive rule making? >> i believe that it is charged by congress to do both. i think the meat and potatoes of the work is enforcement. but i think it's important they use it as necessary. >> again, i'm looking for a yes or no. these are not gossip. these are very simple answers that can and should produce a binary result. should it be focussed on enforcement and ajudeication, rather than expansive rule
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making? yes or no? >> yes, primarily. regulation. >> despite the fact that chokra is left, chair khan is voting by proxy, despite there being only four commissioners at the moment. you support the use of proxy votes for former commissioners on current proceedings, even after they've left the ftc? >> i'd like the chance to read into that and get back to you in rieting, if possible. >> sure. should they exercise power given only by congress? >> ex -- yes, sir. >> legal precedence with which it disagrees? >> i don't think that's a good idea, senper flp. >> that's a no? >> no. >> and a vote 3 hf 2.
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and rules relalted to stekz 8. >> i can't speak to the decision to rescind it but i believe it's appropriate for them to exercise the authority under that was granted to it by congress. >> were there any limts to the rules commissioned has the authority to promulgate or should promulgate under 6 gz g of the, if tc act, that is defined as unfair methods of competition? >> with respect to u dap, you'd have to go and restrictions are extensive. you can only do prevalent practices. >> so, there are limits. >> yes. >> they only recently voted to require the vote of a single commissioner to open investigations, as opposed to
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the practice of having a majority of commissioners. do you support that decision? >> i support the agency having every tool at its disposal to police consumer protection and competition. >> that's not annancer to the question. that is not answering this question. do you support that particular decision that i'm describing to allow things to proceed, rather than with a vote of the majority of the commissioners. the single commissioner approve it? >> for investigations, yes, sir. >> i see my time's expired. i appreciate your trying to answer the questions. i really do believe each one of the dwegzs should be subjelkt to a yes or no answer. having gotten that today, i should have gotten that and that's deeply concerning to me. thank you. >> senator.
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>> thank you so much, madam chair. and i want to thank senator luhan for letting me get ahead of him today. great to see you again. and thank you so much for coming to jackson county, georgia. just last week at my invuorientation. i think it was an important conversation. it gave us an opportunity to hear directly from rural georgiaens about the importance of broadband, the chal mpgs they're having and how best to get the job done with respect to the signing a couple of days ago, the bipartisan infrastructure bill. you and i had great conversations and you had a chance to talk face to face with gorgeens on the ground. but i was particularly struck by one conversation we had with a third-year medical student. you'll recall a student at the morhouse school of medicine. and he said that because his
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house had such slow speeds, he had to drive to a friend's house to finish his homework. his medical school homework. obviously, we need that student to be helping us make our way through the remaind rb of this pandemic and he's trying to get online to do his medical school homework. we also heard from a parent about how the internet is so slow that if both she and her daughter are trying to log on, neither can get anything done. she's a nurse practitioner online. she needs to do broad-band work. her daughter needs to it to study and they can't be online at the same time. i think this is a travesty. i think broadband is, to the 21st century, what electricity and electric lights were for the 20th century. the lack of reliable broadband
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is hurting kids, vital services like telehealth, our economy. if confirmed, will you commit to working with me and others to support the big goal of connecting every single household in georgia, but particularly our rural areas in georgia and across the country to broadband and can you speak to where that will filt in your portfolio of priorities? >> thank you, senator, for the question. and invitation to join you in georgia last week, which wasn't a hardship assignment. and the folks we met with, they all told stories that stay with you. i can't imagine being in medical school and couch surfing because that's what you needed to do to go to class during a pandemic. i have convictions who's going to be a good doctor one day. it's like what rural electrification was in the prior century. we're going to do something audacious. we're going to connect every
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household in the country and we're not going to stop until we get 100% of us with fast, reliable and affordable broadband. it has to be our goal. for it's how we're going to produce more equity and opportunity. not just in the corner of georgia but throughout the entire nation. >> thank you. and i was honored to be there with you to -- as we talked and heard directly. and the broad band issue, as you know, it's multi-tiered, we're talking about accessibility, affordability. access to devices to actually take advantage of broadband and we need devices. couldn't get online but some can't afford laptops and tablets. and when working families are struggling to afford monthly bills, they don't have hundreds of dollars lying around to purchase a device. in fact, four in ten, four in
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ten lower income families don't have a laptop or a tablet at home. do you agree that insuring that all families have access to laptops and tablets is a critical component to closing the digital divide? >> yes, i do. >> thank you so much. i agree, obviously and that's why i introduced the device access for every american act that still would provide central devices, laptops and tablets for free to low income families so that parents and kids can access opportunities for work, school, health, and more. i'm so glad that this legislation is part of the build-back-better package. and i'm going to work really hard until we get it signed into law. i look forward to working with you in the future to making sure everybody is connected. >> absolutely. thank you. >> senator cruz.
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>> thank you, madam chair. i'm going to direct my questions to mr. bedoiau. mr. badoya, the biden administration has nominated a number of extreme nominees, radicals, who haved a vlkted for abolishing the police, senior officials currently at this justice department. by thanking regulator who trained in the sovious union and advocates nationalizing the bank and wants to bankrupt thousands of businesses across america. and unfortunately, i look at your record. you fall firmly in that line. i see the record of someone who has been a left-wing activist, a provocter, a bomb thrower, and an extremists. so, i want to take a minute to explore your views. i took a look at twitter.
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youbl been very active on twitter. tell me, what are your views on ice. >> thank you for that question, senator. i have, as a law professor, called attention to what i see as fourth amendment violations. and ice's face recognition searches. >> let's be clear. i'm not talking about the things you say when you're wearing a suit and tie, talking about fourth amendment violations. i'm talking about what you angeraly tweet the world. i refer you to a tweet from february 26th, 2021. "it is time to call ice what it is, an out of control domestic surveillance agency that peers into all of our lives." that's not simply a comment about an abstract fourth amendment issue right now?
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and that's -- let's be clear, on april 10th, 2021, certainly not lacking in subtlety. a tweet that says "maryland police have no business working with ice. maryland police have no business working ice. maryland police have no business working with ice." . so, apparently you're calling on state law and you refuse to cooperate in any way with federal immigration enforcement. how do you explain these tweets? is that -- are you with more radical members of the the house and are you an advocate for abolishing ice? >> i'm not, senator. that last message was rhetoric. the bill that it was hosted in support of was a bill to require the government to get a warrant before scanning 7 million
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maryland driver's faces. one of the most prominent republicans, wegs, and i so i have occasionsally usesed rhetoric, sir. but i wrurked with you and your staff and a bill that i helped draft to help separate the children's act. i emphatically believed, that if confirmed, i can and will work across the aisle and separate my politics to help constituents and those across the country. >> let's take a look at 2018, another tweet. in this case, decorum. directed at hoyer, house whip. thousands of latinas still forcibly separated from their parents. some in cages and you go on cnn to ask for decorum from members of the hispanic caucus. you should apologize to those members and the latino
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community. you're blasting, not just ice, federal law enforcement, but you're also blasting democrats who are not sufficiently extreme to your liking when it comes to immigration. is that right? >> i think family separation is a horror. the kids at the border looked like my cousins. >> so, you work really troubled by the kids in cages under president trump? >> and as i was troubled what happened to children ibcertain circumstances under the prior administration? >> have you said one thing about the kids in the joe biden cages. they're bigger and more full. have you said a word about it since it was a democrat putting kids in cages? >> senator, respectfully, i believe i have criticized immigration policy under the current administration. >> have youads word about the biden cages or is that only directed at your political opponent. >> i can't say i've used the
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word cages but i believe i've been critical of democrats and republicans alike. >> you believe you're critical of democrats and republicans alike? that's your sworn testimony today? >> i believe resbekt to loader hoyer speaks to that. >> you're retweeting jorda and reed, where she says we're learning daily the consequences of having had a white supremacist administration. do you embracing the practice of the far left of blasting their political opponents as white supremacists and do you think that rhetoric is suitable for what is supposed to be a independent agency and forcing the law? >> senator, i don't recall sharing that. i don't believe the prior administration was white supremacist administration.
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i work would democrats and republicans alike on the senate commerce committee. >> you retweeted it. and i'm going to ask about one final one, which is something else you retweeted, where it was actually, i give a speech where i said critical race there is bigoted and every bit as racist as the clansman in white sheets and you retweeted some fella name john d. king with a gif slamming the door. i take it you disagree with the proposition that critical race theory is bigoted. >> senator, the great grandfather was a slave. and i believe his point was that, that history should be taught in schools. i don't recall that specific message but i don't know if i have a tough line for you.
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>> you agree that uramerica is fundamentally racist and our institutions are irredeemably racist? >> senator, i do not believe all white people are racist. i haven't given great thought to critical race theory before then, before this hearing. i do not think all white people are racist and i can't recall the other provisions of your question. . >> without ubjexz. >> madam chair. >> commissioner, as i said in the opening statement, refreshing to finally be happy. we're having a conversation about the importance of having a five-member federal communication commission, the importants 06 what i hope will be a confirmed ntia director as well. the importance of having a full ftc, given all the challenges this committee has had before,
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whether it be the revelations with the "wall street journal" and protecting children, the importance of priveyish and the work being done. i want to say thank you to the chairman of the ranking member for bringing this hearing before us and i look forward to the other hearing where it's my hope the 67 members that supported the bipartisan infrastructure package, $65 billion to the department of commerce, namely the ntia, they will move swiftly as well to confirm an ntia director so we can get the money in our community. i want to highlight some of the work that still needs to be done to rotelkt consumers in nm mm. and make all forms of connectivefy secure for families in my state, particularly rural and tribal communities. promoting affordable resilient secure broadband should be at the core of the commission. but congress has not clarified the commission. particularly user privacy. they just completed a report on
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the prievlacy practices of internet service providers that gives mere evidence to congress must move comprehensive privacy legislation. my question is for the chairwoman and mr. badoya. yes or no, do you commit to protect consume rb prievlacy, including insuring that test platforms and internet service providers recognize their duty to secure and minimize use of individual identifiable information. >> thank you, senator, for the question. the answer is yes. >> same question. >> yes, sir. absolutely. >> traditional local communities in new mexico have challenges when it comes to access. access to high speed affordable broad business band. you road on a bus with me that
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was retrofitted to have wifi. students like it because they're able to get work done as well. it's also become more difficult to access local news and understand developments in our own community. particularly for families that speak spanish at home. newspapers, radio and television can no longer rely on ad revenue that's shifted to facebook and google. as you can see, trusted voices hear through all the noise where nis mfrmation has allowed us and the social media companies are doing much worse with bringing accountant to nonenglish language. mainly spanish language, when it comes to misinformation. what can they do support local broadcasters and newspapers and they continue to support people around the country? >> thank you, senator, for the question. it's important we make decisions about the communities we live and i think that goes to the
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heart of spectrum licenses for broadcasting because the duty under law is for the licenses to serve the community at both ends. i think over time, they're going to have to figure out more ways to encourage them to use that license to truly serve that community because that is a resource we have for news in the world today and we need to make sure we support it. >> i've been advocate for it. and i worked with the u.s. house representative in this space. i recently was in southwestern new mexico, a population of about 3,500 in the county. in the small town of reserve. the focus was to get the internet from a satellite demention. but they're subjekted to data caps and they're not the only
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one. some of my constituents, who receive access through the internet or phones or other descriptions are often subjected to data. and i don't think people should pay for long distance calls anymore. i think that's predominantly older americans using that service, when they could make a free call from their mobile homes. and we should look to modernize revenue streams. i think there's ways we with get to the bottom of making access to internet more affordable and modernizing it so we can keep people from having to make choices, especially when it comes to not using the internet connection for telehealth. are teachers trying to support those students? i'm hopeful we can get that done and i do have several other questions i'll submit to the record. i want to thank him again for coming forward. the rest of the questions are all for you.
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thank you for the work you have done, especially in the area of facial recognition and what has led to them finally admitting they should not have been collecting the data in the united states. i do look forward to a full functioning ftc and reminded the commissioners that i incorrectly said earlier, two, four, who mr. badoya, i hope will be five soon, getting to the bottom of the fuel prices. i just want to thank everybody for that. thank you, madam chair. >> my questions are primary for chairwoman. so, thank you for being here today. my opening statements is they have the direct result of the releasing that.
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so, what is your message for creating their own map? >> thank you, senator, for the question. for too long the ftc collected data and we would make an assumption that there was a subscriber in wyoming.
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as you know it will determine the security of 5g throughout the globe. race and need midban spectrum to launch ahead of our competition. so will you commit to move quickly to establish new 12-gigahertz rules if you find coexistence is possible between terrestrial and satellite users in the band? >> senator y absolutely agree with you about midband spectrum and in fact we're coming to the end of our auction to the band right now, as i speak.
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and midband spectrum is a sweet spot where we're going grow our 5g economy. we have a proceeding on the 12-gigahertz band, and we're combing through it from front to back because we want to be really careful about further terrestrial deployment, making sure there's no interference with satellite services that may use it today. >> i'm going to jump now to some issues about the universal service fund. i have heard from service providers in my state that are being squeezed by big tech and big streaming companies that are taking up to 75% of the pie in rural broadband networks without contributing to the universal service fund. so in this case, the video streamers get the revenue, and the rural broadband operators get the cost. it can't be passed on to subscribers because of affordability concerns in high-cost rural areas. and my friend from new mexico,
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mr. lujan, just alluded to some of the issues related to the service fund as well. what are your thoughts about expanding the base of services that contribute to the universal service fund? >> thank you for the question. this has come up before, so i apologize if my answer is repetitive, but congress established that fund in 1996, which was long time ago, and clearly, many of the services you're describing weren't a part of our communications mix back then. i think this needs a fresh look. and i think expanding it, like you described, is a discussion we should have. it would require legislation from this congress to do so. >> well, we would look forward to having a report that studies the unrecovered cost of the middle mile. and who should pay for the universal service fund, and what costs should be covered by the usf. so i'll look forward to working with you on that. in wyoming, we are concerned, i
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better check my time. oh, i'm getting close to the end here. in wyoming, we're concerned about the use of taxpayer dollars to overbuild networks where there's already service, when there are areas of our state that have no service. same issue is raised recently in new mexico. so with that in mind, coordination between the fcc, ntia, and usda is important to avoid the overbuild, because they all have programs that support broadband development. how would you characterize the coordination between these agencies and are you concerned about this issue? >> yes, we're getting started. we start finding memorandum of understanding with those agencies. we have to work with them more carefully, more often, and better in light of the recent infrastructure legislation, and if confirmed, i would be willing to do so. >> thank you, and i apologize for the repetitiveness of my questions. i suspect they are repetitive
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because they're important to more than just wyoming. but i think that's an indication that we look forward to working with you on these issues and others. thank you, madam chairman. i yield back. >> senator sinema. >> thank you, madam chair. thank you to the nominees for joining us today. this week, president biden signed into law the bipartisan infrastructure jobs act. i was proud to work with senator portman, the white house, chair cantwell, and many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass the historic law that includes our boldest investment ever in closing the digital divide. it invests $65 billion in broadband deployment, affordability for low income families, digitable inclusion, and specific programs for broadband expansion in rural areas. the federal communications commission has the important role to implement and oversee the iija, and arizonians expect a lot to be implemented in a fair and expedient manner. my first question is for chair
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rosenworcel. i have appreciated your work to improve connectivity in arizona, for students learning remotely in the pandemic, and for tribal communities. our bipartisan infrastructure law provides a significant investment in broadband investment, with hundreds of millions of dollars to expand access to internet. this is crucial for arizonas in rural areas. in order to allocate these investments, the fcc needs to update its broadband map to determine which areas of the country do not have access to broadband. so could you provide an update on the fcc's mapping process and tell us when these maps will be complete? >> thank you, senator, for the question. the broadband data act was passed into law in 2020. when i took over at the agency, the first thing we did was set up a broadband data task force. we procured computer processing power so we could actually take in all the data and start manipulating it for updated maps. we set up a system to make sure we have a statistically valid
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way for states like arizona, towns in arizona, and consumers to actually challenge any of the data that is provided, and we're working to finally procure and resolve the broadband serviceable location fabric which will rebuild every location in the united states. that is part of an ongoing government contracting project that we are working very fast to finish, and as soon as we finish that, we're going to proceed with new data, which will form new maps. my goal is to make that all available to the ntia and others who have broadband authority as a result of this infrastructure legislation, because i know that that data is absolutely vital for them to make smart choices with the new funding they have from that bill. >> thank you, chair rosenworcel. given your experience on the fcc working to expand broadband,
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what other advice do you have for states as they proceed with this bipartisan bill. >> this is a terrific question. first, i would encourage them to even come talk to us. we can tell them about what data and information we have. i also encourage them to think creatively about the different entities that might be able to apply for these funs which would include nontraditional actors and they're going to have to think beyond the last mile and look at middle mile and other activities that can increase redundancy and competition in the state. >> turning to mr. bedoya, arizonians value their privacy, and they don't want their data used for malicious purposes. and since 2005, data breaches have cost arizonians over $1 billion. arizonians also want congress to work together to develop bipartisan solutions. and reports the federal trade commission is considering opening a rule making for data privacy where the commission would act without congress passing new legislation to set federal privacy policy. if you're confirmed as commissioner, would you support
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such an approach, and why or why not? >> senator, i would support the rule making on unfair methods and deceptive practices. and if extended to data security, i would emphatically hope if confirmed to work with you and your staff to make sure that your concerns are addressed. but i do agree that it is preferable for congress to pass a law. unfortunately, if that doesn't happen, i want to make sure that your constituents and everyone else in the country is protected. but i very much would like to work with you on this question. i know you're a leader on it, particularly with respect to seniors. >> prior to this hearing, the committee approved bipartisan legislation where developed with susan collins, the antispoofing penalties modernization act, to double the existing penalties for individuals who provide
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misleading or inaccurate caller identification information. i frequently hear from my constituents in arizona who have been defrauded or who are just annoyed by unsolicited calls and robocalls and they're particularly troubling when they're coming from a neighbor or a local business. do you support our legislation, and how will it complement other fcc efforts to address the issue of scam callers? >> yes, robocalls are incredibly annoying, and among the most annoying are the ones that are spoofed to look like they're family and friends who are calling you, so you're held to pick up the phone and answer. those scams are increasing and i appreciate the legislation that you have brought to this committee, which will increase the fines. that's terrific. it will help us, as we proceed with enforcement activity. as you mentioned, there are other things we're doing to cut down on spoofing. by requiring technology to be built into our ip networks, at the network level, we are engaged now in caller
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authentication practices that should help cut down on this activity over time. with a mix of enforcement and technology might be the way that we're going to actually be able to tackle these troubling calls. >> thank you. madam chair, my time has expired. thank you for holding this hearing. >> thank you. thank you, senator sinema. i'll now take my questions. i don't know if anybody else is going to join us. but i thank the witnesses. i know it's been a long morning already. there's an important issue to put on the record in one fashion or noorth, i'm going to ask you to submit something for the record about commercial service leveraging effects for key u.s. manufacturers on the supply chain. we had a hearing on obviously our legislation that's being considered, and also supply chain witnesses who submitted
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very lengthy answers, which was very helpful for us in developing legislation. we would ask you to submit a very lengthy answer on what and how the commercial service could be used on the expertise of helping u.s. manufacturers navigate the supply chain. and we definitely support the new national culvert removement replacement restoration grant program part of the legislation passed and signed into law by the president. noaa experts are concerned about habitats, and if confirmed, we want to know how you will help with noaa expertise to support this culvert grant program, if you could help us with that. >> lots to talk about. my colleagues did a great job of bringing up lots of issues which i'm very happy about. you can see we have a very active committee. very large and active committee. and lots to do. so i'll start with you,
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commissioner rosenworcel. we talked about a lot of questions about the mapping. starting with my colleague, senator wicker, down to the last person who asked questions, senator sinema. so i think the key thing i'm looking for here is current mapping available by the fcc. what flaws do you see in it? >> what flaws do i see in the current map? a whole lot. for more than a decade, the fcc practice has been to assume if there was a single subscriber in a census block, service was available throughout. so it systematically overstated service, and as a result, there are areas in the country where we just assumed service was, but people on the ground will tell you, no, it's not here. so we haven't been always sending our support structures and our support systems to the right places as a result of those flawed maps. so instead of thinking about geography through census blocks,
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we have to think about it on buildable location by buildable location basis. we will continue to miss communities who are going to need assistance, including from the most recent infrastructure legislation. >> glad you said that last phrase. what word would you use for the current mapping? >> well, i would call that senator tester said they stink, so maybe i'll quote him. >> i definitely think they're ludicrous, and it led us to take some pretty erroneous decisions here. and that is that the mapping of microsoft and others have done in a collaborative fashion that is down to the actual household level show us that the majority of the problem we have with broadband is affordability. >> it's a very big problem. >> it's not access. access is a problem, but the majority of the problem, 65% to
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70%, is affordability. not the challenges that we face. i want to deal with both. i certainly don't want to short change the affordability equation in urban areas where people, somewhere we're seeing from the microsoft mapping around $50,000 a year, you're not investing in broadband because you can't afford it. so we can keep going on this ludicrous path here and acting like we're solving the broadband problem, or we can actually get down to business and solve the broadband problem. but if we spend $65 billion and in ten years from now, we still have all these people in this unaffordability category, the reason i mention it and am so passionate about it, we also see a nexus here. we see these counties in the united states with the worst broadband service also having the biggest covid problem. why? because maybe we couldn't communicate with people. we're not communicating effectively with people.
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and so i just think that the pandemic has showed us that we have to get serious about these maps. we have to get serious about urban broadband deficiencies. we have to get serious about the reason why people don't have broadband, and we can't move in the way of spending these dollars until we get serious about this. so i look forward to working with you on that and appreciate you work. i know you have been to my state. i know you care about affordability. i know you care about the rural issues, and we care about that, too. we care about that too. we have a lot of -- we're probably better than most states. we still have problems, but we're better than most states. but gotta solve those problems. so mr. bedoya, i would like to turn to you. let me just say, my colleagues, i served on judiciary for two years, and i learned that lots of college professors say things
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in their professional career that they definitely get questioned about when they come for positions here. so i also believe that you have a right to express yourself. so i think your commitment to continue to serve on the fcc and work in a bipartisan basis, i think your comments wholeheartedly and hope that is what you will be able to achieve. i wanted -- our colleagues brought up this issue of privacy many times in the discussion. and i think the issue for me is that when we think about where we started, i should stop for a second. let's go to the fcc authority, actually, on manipulation. we authored and wrote anti-manipulation language that we were successful in getting into the ferc, getting into the
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fcc, and getting into the cftc. we did that after the enron crisis because manipulation of electricity markets had caused havoc in our state and people wanted us to pay and we needed deep pockets for that. then we saw the same instances because we're in isolated oil market, washington, oregon, california, often have the highest gas prices in the nation because we are an isolated market. all of that supply coming from alaska, so it's hard to impact it. but we did have instances when those markets, people we believe were holding supply outside of the united states to just drive up cost. i literally had a provider of home heating oil testify before the energy committee, he thought they had the ability to do this and then tried to blame it on the jones act. i pointed out to them, they did not have the ability to hold
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supply outside of the united states just to artificially create a shortage and jack up prices. i want to know if you will use this fcc authority, i don't know what's happening in this instance as it relates to the supply, but i definitely want it to be investigated by the fcc. >> senator, absolutely, yes. i know this is a priority for you, and i know that you worked hard to get that authority to the commission, and they issued rules and you're eager for enforcement. i absolutely commit to do everything i can if confirmed to move that forward, yes, ma'am. >> this is why i think we need an aggressive fcc, because for many years, people told us that this was not an anti-trust issue. well, we don't think they're collaborating. we just think, you know, that manipulation of supply or moving it outside of the country can create artificial shortages. when you look at enron, they were all about moving supply somewhere else that they would
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create a shortage. in fact, we had one instance where people said they had to shut down a plant, and then we actually saw the actual data from region ten that they were still up and running. when they said they were shut down, which is why they said that there was a shortage. so look, i believe in aggressive enforcement here. and appreciate that. okay, back to price. let's see. so lots of my colleagues asked about privacy, and we have a lot of real-world situations now that information age has grown in many ways probably beyond what people could have even imagined ten years ago. so now we need a strong privacy law. chairwoman rosenworcel brought up this dilemma about even the ftc's enforcement of privacy as it relates to these agreements on binding arbitration. and i want to ask you about that
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because to me, when you have victims of domestic violence who really have stalkers who are stalking them, and you have software that literally enables people to help stalk them or when you say you're having kids sign up and now you have kids signing up to binding arbitration agreements, what do you think we need to do here to make sure that we are handing out the privacy rights of individuals and giving them protection besides binding arbitration that they may or may not have to pay for? i don't think a privacy law saying, well, let's just go into the conference room with the facebook lawyer that you're paying for is the right solution for our privacy woes. and having a private right isn't about getting in the box with a facebook lawyer. that you may have to pay for on top of it. so could you give me your views on that? >> definitely, senator. i think, you know, there's a
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place for arbitration in the american legal system where there's two sophisticated entities being able to resolve a complex manner quickly. and expeditiously. i do not think that is a place where consumer rights should be enforced. for the reasons you mentioned. you know, arbitration typically involves repeat players. and oftentimes, the players who use it the most, ie the companies, get to choose the forum or pay for the forum. and as a result, i think there's serious issues. i did some work on this in my time in the senate, specifically for vets, this kind of thing occurring with respect to sexual assault, and i think it's critical that consumers have every right available to them and are able to defend that, generally speaking, in court. >> you saw the ninth circuit decision based on the driving technology where the court said,
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yes, you're empowering people to monitor how fast they're doing this and driving, yes, it was an incentive in this case for people to, you know, drive even faster, so to me, this is a question of, if you have these technologies that basically are enabling stalking and then basically they use them for stalking of domestic violence cases, and then you say, that's the limitation, you want them to go into a binding arbitration with the company? it hardly feels like a fair day in court for the american consumer, particularly women who are so much the victims of these kinds of stalking attacks. chair rosenworcel, do you want to comment on this further since you brought this case up about the supreme court and what you think we need to do? >> well, with respect to the wireless location accuracy issue that you described, i know that the fcc has enforced against wireless carriers on these issues. i just want to say i agree with
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the fcc nominee on those and we need to address them. with respect to consumers, you can't have two unequal parties sitting in a room trying to resolve something through binding arbitration. i think it puts consumers at an extraordinary disadvantage. just can't be the best our legal system can produce. >> well, my sense is there may be, you know, issues of just, hey, you didn't remove my name from your list in time. >> there's a lot -- yeah, there's too much. sometimes when i think about the number of boxes i tick on an app or device as i scroll through information simply to get service or shipping, you know, you have that brief moment where you recognize you might be giving away a whole lot of rights. and it feels to me that even though i have been trained as a lawyer, i'm not reading it. i don't know how most of us are dealing with this on a day-to-day basis, but this is not a system that feels
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particularly fair. >> i think it's changed in the risk, the risk that is involved. >> it puts the risk back on the consumer. >> yes, but i'm saying it's changed dramatically in the enabling of technology and what it does. mr. bedoya, do you see a line here where somewhere, you know, along the harm or along the damage that is done, i mean, i also think of data breaching and the fact data breach, where your identity and financial wherewithal and lots of things can be ruined. is there some way you think we should try to change this? i encourage your answer to the question of whether we might consider a rule making here. what do you think? what do you think we should do in trying to address this issue? >> thank you for that question, madam chair. if we're talking about this issue of stalking apps, i think there's a couple things, both targeted and slightly broader.
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one is relentless focus, to be honest with you. it is really a shame that this is still an issue ten years later. when back when i first started working on this y do think the commission had a critical action recently on this. i would love to see more of them. i would love to see more work with organizations like the national network to end domestic violence, violence free minnesota. at the state level and others. more broadly, though, i think it's important to recognize that harms, we can try to remedy them after the fact, but part of preventing them, which i think is everyone's goal, is to make sure that the sensitive data that can be used to facilitate tragic things like cyberstalking, stalking apps, also there need to be rules and protections. for example, when it comes to delocation, the ease with which this information can be
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collected, shared, bought, sold, breached, facilitates these kinds of harms. so it's important to not just go after the targeted harm but also understand the ecosystem that facilitates it, and put rules of the road to prevent those harms from occurring in the first place. >> definitely want to prevent them from occurring in the first place, but what kind of rights should consumers expect if there's been major harm done to an individual? >> senator, in my opinion, the right to a day in court, to make sure that they have the ability to take their rights and defend them in court and insure that privacy is protected. oftentimes, you know, law enforcers have a lot of things they have to worry about, and sometimes privacy harms don't go to the top of that list. so i think that's critical in my view. >> does the fcc have the ability to put out a new rule on this,
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chair rosenworcel? >> i think i would have to study with our general counsel's office and get back to you. >> would you do that for the record? >> absolutely. >> definitely appreciate an answer here. i do think that there are people who wish that all of these entities would be under the same rules. and so that's, you know, an issue as well. and as i said, i think there's some -- a lot of my colleagues have been working on legislation for a long time in these areas of just good data hygiene and good consumer information we should be given to consumers. i think we're just negligent if we don't try to figure this out and get some rights for our consumers. i think you're not going to -- you're not going to contain these activities if you don't have strong deterrents. and we can see this in so many different aspects.
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you know, i truly believe the information age is a great time to be alive, but i also think that we have to figure out how to harness it and make it work for us and not work against us. and there's certainly some examples where it can work against us. and that's what we need to do, our job up here, with the agency that we're talking about. mr. bedoya, i'll just end with this. i know you joined us remotely because you had someone in the family, someone in your household who tested positive, and i hope your son is doing well, and appreciate you participating today in the hearing. i think that concludes, unless we have any other witnesses, i mean any other members who want to come and ask questions, but i don't believe so. at today's hearing, i want to ask all the nominees if confirmed, will you pledge to work collaboratively with this committee and provide thorough and timely responses to our
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quests for information as we put together and address important policy issues and appear before the committee when requested? >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> okay. mr. bedoya that was a yes? okay, senators will have until monday, november 22nd, at noon to submit questions for the committee, and senators will have until monday the 22nd to submit questions for the record, and witnesses will have one more week to respond to that. so that concludes our hearing. again, thank you. probably one of the longer hearings we have. i certainly appreciate everyone's participation today. thanks.etary mayorkas you have
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lot on your plate as a result of what you inherited. let me be clear. i believe we can secure our border while treating people humanely. it is not only policy to do so, it is necessary.

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