tv Acting FCC Chair Discusses 5G Technology CSPAN July 16, 2021 5:26pm-6:00pm EDT
never went on a nasa mission. on sunday at 8:00 eastern, activist and a 2018 democratic nominee for georgia governor stacey abrams discusses her recent suspense novel "while justice sleeps." 10:00 p.m. eastern on "after words," robert whitson argues that american history is being replaced in his book "red, white, and black." he is interviewed by a harvard law professor and author, randall kennedy. find the full schedule on your program guide, or visit c-span.org. >> next come acting fcc chair jessica rosenworcel and other tech officials discuss 5g technology and the digital
divide. this event was hosted by axios. >> hello command welcome to 5 -- hello, and welcome to 5g and america's digital future. i'm coming to you from falls church, virginia. thank you to qualcomm for making this conversation possible. welcome to audiences on facebook, twitter, linkedin,k youtube, and axios.com. join the conversation on twitter, @axios. i will be joined by my colleague will unpack efforts to close the digital divide, the future of 5g technology, and the role it plays in shaping america's infrastructure. our first guest is acting chairwoman of the federal communication's commission, jessica rosenworcel, joining us from washington, d.c. chairwoman rosenworcel, thank you for being here today. ms. rosenworcel: thank you for
having me. >> we have known about this a stubborn digital divide in our country which became more painfully apparent during the pandemic. there's a lot of discussion about how to close the digital divide and make sure that more americans have access to broadband. a lot of focus on cyber and different technologies to get there. can you tell us a little bit about how 5g technologies will fit into closing the digital divide? ms. rosenworcel: sure. 5g is the next generation of wireless technology, and it is already here. we are going to see as much as 100 times--speeds as much as 100 times greater with 5g and lower latency than what we had with riley's networks today--wireless networks today. that will mean all sorts of changes when we connect all kinds of industries around us -- agriculture, manufacturing, health care, and more.
when it comes to the digital divide, which has been really apparent during this pandemic, 5g really actually can play a role in the infrastructure discussion we are seeing. that is because we keep on talking about extending the reach of networks throughout this country. the facilities in the ground that connect our wireless towers, we need to have robust connections to those towers, those on having ground facilities, to make sure our wireless networks can deliver all the 5g assets and all that 5g has to offer. >> you mentioned that 5g is already here, but 4g is what most of us are relying on. not all places are capable of getting 5g yet. it is not as widespread as it will be. can you give us an update on the state of the rollout of 5g? ms. rosenworcel: yeah.
we are about two years into the rollout of 5g. we have more than 50 million consumers who subscribe get but the reality is that 5g is going to be very different from 4g when we are able to display it at scale. it will not be about your phones. if we do this right, the most interesting things about 5g will have nothing to do with your phone, because we are going to move from disconnecting person-to-person --just connecting person-to-person to connecting things to things to things. we will have different industries and different equipment that will make us more effective and efficient with the things we do on a day-to-day basis. all of that connectivity is really powerful. it is going to be responsible for next-generation machine learning and artificial intelligence. that is where the 5g revolution comes, far beyond just smartphones. >> speaking of airwaves and the singles and towers, one think you have been talking about
since the launch of 5g networks a couple of years ago is the need for more mid band spectrum to make sure that those networks can be deployed at scale. tell us what the fcc is doing to make sure more spectrum is able to get out to the markets and use 5g. ms. rosenworcel: absolutely. i think the fcc made a mistake a few years ago and focus all of its energy in the early 5g days on spectrum called millimeter wave. airwaves that are really high up there. they have lots of capacity, but the signals don't travel very far. you have to have lots of ground-based facilities to make those signals viable. that is really costly thing to do. if we just relied on millimeter wave spectrum, we would grow the digital divide with 5g. the good news is in the last year and last several months, we really recognized that we can go
from millimeter wave spectrum to mid been spectrum. that is the sweet spot, how we will deploy 5g across the country, because it is really ideal for this technology, and earlier this year we ended an option of midband spectrum. we will have another option later this year. we have distributed more than 250 licenses to tribal communities to help them improve conductivity where they are. we are talking to federal authorities about what is next and what additional spectrum we can make available for 5g and midband going forward. you're doing a lot and i think it will help deployment of this technology. >> 5g has been seen as more of an urban technology can something that the urban corridors will be able to take advantage of first.
how will the fcc facilitate the expansion of 5g beyond urban areas into more rural areas that are some of the least served when it comes to broadband? ms. rosenworcel: i think what we are just talking about is a big part of that. moving from a focus on millimeter wave to midband spectrum is actually key. millimeter wave spectrum is economic to deploy in our cities. it is really hard to make that 5g solution for rural and suburban communities. amid been spectrum which propagates further and farther is exactly what we need to do, and the good news is we are doing it right now. >> when you talk about what the future of 5g looks like, do you have any predictions about the kind of applications that 5g will make possible as opposed to 4g? ms. rosenworcel: i think we all need a little humility.
remember that when 4g came out, that was just at the start of smartphones. we could not have imagined the application economy that grew from that technology. we will see something similar with 5g. if we do this right, it won't all be centered on our phones. even though all advertisements are about 5g and delivering it to your phone, the most important thing will be precision agriculture, manufacturing, health care all that are able to monitor and identify what we need at any given moment with greater clarity and speed than we have ever seen before. i think there is a whole bunch of innovations and technologies that will develop with that connectivity. we will see them when 5g is fully deployed at scale and is available nationwide. >> to get a little bit more technical on the discussion, you have talked and several companies in fact have talked about designing 5g around
software instead of hardware to make it easier to deploy and possibly cheaper and more secure to deploy using the open radio access network. can you explain a little bit about what that means and what the potential could be? nine ms. rosenworcel: sure. as we head into this next 5g deployment phase can we recognize that we have a handful of equipment providers across the world. we ask ourselves what can we do to diversify those who supply equipment. some of the biggest ones are from china, and we have concerns about surveillance associated with that equipment and whether it is truly secure for the networks will touch many facets of our economy. what we have done is worked to promote availability of open radio access network. there is different equipment that came before. think of the equipment that came before, proprietary,
and to end. we are trained to make sure that the radio access network in 5g are actually the kinds of networks that are a mix of off-the-shelf hardware with software functionality so we can have lower costs, more diverse vendors, greater innovation. i think those are very exciting, and making sure that more 5g equipment gets into the united states on our shores. >> know we are running out of time, and i know you don't have a crystal ball, but you talked with a lot of companies have a front row seat to the deployment and the developing of 5g. how long do you think it will be before consumers get a sense of what 5g can offer? ms. rosenworcel: oh, i differently don't have a crystal ball, but i think it is absolutely clear that downloading movies faster on your phone only the start.
we can connect more things in the world around us and grow smarter of how we do so. we will really see a revolution. the future is not quite here yet and i'm looking forward to making it happen. >> acting chairwoman rosenworc el, thank you for joining us today. ms. rosenworcel: thank you. >> next, a segment with mike cawley kent co-founder of--my colleague and cofounder of axios , jim vandehei. >> pleasure to bring you a conversation from san diego, where it is hot and beautiful. the ceo of qualcomm. how are you doing? >> very good, very happy to be here. jim: 5g, anybody with a phone as for the term. was people know it means more speed. why should the average person care about 5g, and how will it
transform their life in a way they can touch, feel, and see? >> 5g is going to be how all of us connect to the internet. 5g is transformative technology that at the end of the day will that everything connected to the cloud 100% of the time and a reliable manner. the way we think about 5g is almost like a row of electricity when we talk about connecting to the internet and connect into the cloud. today we don't talk about much about electricity. we just assume it is there. that is how we think about connectivity with the internet and the cloud. the exception individual be that you are not connected. that is the reason 5g is so important. not only for consumers, but all of the other industries that will be relying on the cloud. jim: it starts in big cities, right, with large concentrations of people.
it's expensive technology. what are the first things we are going to see that we will be able to do because of 5g that we cannot do today without it? cristiano: it will start in big cities, and developed economies right now, areas of 5g service. it is expanding and it is going to get better and eventually will cover everybody. there are a number of examples. simple consumer examples of things we know today. it will really change how we think about what we do. we will have the ability to stream high-definition video in any circumstances. an advanced camera will make everyone a broadcaster. new services are going to come on your front were the streaming
of gaming content is going to be as simple as watching netflix, how people will play mainstream games. maybe the gaming console will be the last console. the change will be very profound when we think about social networking. it will allow virtual presence. we look at the devices today and we look at the smart phones we try to immediately think what more can i do. but you have to zoom out and think about how the devices are going to change. once 5g gets fully deployed, the next computing path would be glasses like i'm using right now to walk into any room and with high-speed connectivity with the cloud very fast response time,
cameras in your glasses, you can recognize people through the cloud, identify who they are from objects that you don't know and information in real time. it will change things dramatically. jim: i remember my aha moment about qualcomm at the consumer electronics show in las vegas years back. it was the first time i realized how many pieces of the architecture of technology that you produce or you are involved in or are powering. one company loan cannot do this. there is an infrastructure bill being debated in washington, fundamentally like the architecture of 5g, but infrastructure about us over time having better infrastructure than china and our competitors. how do you think about that? what is the role of government in helping to spread some of
this infrastructure so everybody can benefit from 5g? cristiano: it's a great topic of conversation and i can talk to you about that all day. a few things. first of all, there is a general idea that 5g is critical infrastructure. i use electricity as an example, but you can even think about the role of 5g in the industry committee could be no different than what steel did for the industrial revolution and how you connected this technology with a number of industries. the reality is it is critical infrastructure no different than the power grid and boards and roads -- ports and roads. i think governments care, they should care. if you just look at what happened, for example come in 4g, because the united states built a nationwide 4g network and it the first country to
build it, there were a number of different companies and business models that came up in an innovation-based economy that was only possible of the 4g network. for example, uber, companies like facebook and the growth of amazon and many others. they were to build infrastructure come as an example. as a result, i have not met a single government that does not worry about how they can build 5g and how fast they can build 5g. and that is the whole thing about infrastructure. one of the things qualcomm can do besides come as you describe it so welcome a lot of the fundamental pieces of technology across the board -- we are mentoring the infrastructure space -- reentering the infrastructure space. providing semiconductors for railway stations. we are doing that right now, focusing on what we called
infrastructure 2.0, the next generation of infrastructure, going to be like the internet, completely virtualized, run en general-purpose servers, and that will allow many companies to enter the space. it will build 5g infrastructure in the public and private settings. it's an exciting development. we are getting a lot of industry support. a lot of carriers say that entering this space has been a game changer. it has allowed many other players to come back to the infrastructure business. we are very excited about that. you hear things like virtual radio access networks and open ran, all part of that conversation. jim: you are in san diego and your company is in san diego, big-city for 5g.
i'm in a place called lincoln, maine, a couple thousand people. give me a sense of timing. if i am living in rural america and i'm watching this, when i will i benefit from the fruits of 5g? cristiano: every generation of wireless, it takes a number of years to build the network. construction, new salt hours. but it is fair to say that we are tracking at least two years faster in this transition then we were in 4g. i would expect that by probably the veneto of 2021 areas of the meds it's will have dish areas of the united states will have 5g -- i would expect by the end of 2021, areas of the united will have 5g. you mentioned rural areas. another key difference of 5g
compared to other g that we had in wireless is for the first time you have cellular technology that can really replace or augment fiber deployment. with wireless, it is easier to get you rural communities and locations that don't have broadband. we are seeing an incredible amount of activity right now. we have 40 different designs for companies that are doing fixed wireless broadband equipment that brings cyber like speeds to rural areas and rural america. you mentioned the infrastructure bill. in the infrastructure bill, one of the things advocating is the opportunity to use 5g wireless to really bridge the digital divide. 5g will be able to do a better job with the incredible work
that was done by 4g. jim: cristiano, thank you for a fascinating conversation. thank you to qualcomm for making this broader conversation about important technology possible. cristiano: thank you very much, jim. great talking to. jim: over to our chief technology correspondent at axios. >> i am the chief technology correspondent for axios. our final just as the executive director of the manufacturing institute, joining us from washington, d.c. >> thanks for having me. >> definitely. we have been hearing about 5g for years. it has been available in some form for a little while. one of the big uses we have heard it talked about is how businesses can use 5g not just to equip workers with phones, but to automate all manner of things. where are we acting terms of business use of 5g?
>> manufacturers are reporting that by the end of the year, the majority will be looking to use 5g in their facilities and they recognize that the speed with which 5g is deployed were really impacted their ability to be globally competitive we are ready and waiting and looking forward to the opportunity that comes with this new technology. >> what are some of these is that your members are most excited about? carolyn: it is really about an innovative dish innovating on processes, efficiency and efficiency is key to competitiveness, and the more efficient we can be in processes and production, the more effective we are in the more we are able to serve the global market. the deployment of 5g will help us speed up inventory management, supply chain management, logistics, all of which reside during this last year in covid were critical and had a big impact on the manufacturing sector and all of our customers the ability
to use 5g to help speed up the processes is and bring in new systems and support systems to help deploy that pastor and be more real-time will have a big impact. ina: and to put things a little concretely, when we saw the start with 4g, but companies are using cellular technology to put a wireless capability on a lot of their gear, from robots to items of equipment in the manufacturing floor can basically so they have more real-time sense of what is going on. is this just about furthering automation, or are there ways that this is also benefiting human workers? carolyn: oh, it is absolutely benefiting human workers. that is one of the biggest fallacies, that automation is in opposition to humans for the that is not true at all. it is an essential tool in modern manufacturing to use the technologies being applied
today--deployed today. what we see universally when we go to plants and we talk to workers about the automated processes that are new, they say it replaced something we didn't enjoy doing, that was boring, that was repetitive. where things are being automated is not in opposition to the humans. we had 814,000 open jobs right now in our sector. we don't have enough workers who are ready to come into the sector. this is in partnership with humans to operate on the production floor and to make sure that our companies are competitive. and what these technologies are creating these new jobs, new skills, new opportunities for human workers to bring their human skills to work. it is really exciting. as we talk about what 5g will do, yes, you have new capacities and capabilities can engineers who are not able to be on the plant floor at the moment -- we saw this during covid -- were
able to remote in with 5g technology so they are there virtually if they are not there physically. more widespread adoption will allow more companies to manage their workflow and help their employees and be more efficient. the sky is the limit. ina: it can be a safety thing, too. one of the things that cellular technology allows, especially 5g with low latency, is the idea that somebody who previously would have to be in the midst of whatever and possibly in a dangerous situation could be further removed. a human operator could be driving a forklift or truck remotely and it allows people to go places they haven't been. you mentioned this message doesn't always get out. what is the key to people understanding what automation looks like? carolyn: you know, start at the beginning -- modern manufacturing is all about people. our workers are best resource.
in order to compete in a global economy, we need to fulfill those jobs dish we need to fill those jobs. we need to tell a different story of what modern manufacturing looks like. that is why we have a campaign talking about and sharing with the general public and future workers what manufacturing jobs are like, they are filled with opportunity to engage with automation as well as interfaces, dynamic interfaces, coding all the things that are videogame-like that students across the country love so much doing, that those technologies are in use daily in modern manufacturing in the u.s. you have an opportunity to put those skills and focus to life, to work in the sector. in doing so, you are making not only our lives more enjoyable with all the technology we love to use -- those are the things that have gotten us through the pandemic -- ppe, the vaccines that are allowing us to reemerge in the world.
all of the things manufacturing enabled, everything we use every day, the technology is inherent in enabling those products. if you want to make an impact, this is the sector. when you look at what technology is doing, it is enabling employees. how do we deploy it together to get there faster to make sure that -- that workers are in the safest conditions, it is a top priority for every manufacturer. if you're able to use sensors not only to make sure that you are not in a place you would rather not be, but also to get ahead of maintenance and to be able to have real-time estimates of what is happening to him that is going and will make us more productive and it will make manufacturing continue to be competitive in the u.s. ina: to be clear, jobs are changing. it is not so much necessarily -- a lot of the debate is our job going away, our jobs being created.
my sense is that the answer is yes automation is changing the jobs and what once existed won't exist. my sense is that the key to long-term job creation is making sure we are ready for the jobs of the future. how ready would you say the u.s. is a globally competitive its competitors? not -- compared to its competitors? carolyn: it is hard to say. i agree read the that it is not about replacing jobs, it is about changing jobs. i was talking to an employee before covid lock everything down -- a 30-year employee told me he learned more in the last five years than in the previous 25 because of the new technology, the automation. you have workers who were able to stay longer. manufacturing because of automation isn't necessarily a manual labor job. it is enabling workers with varying capabilities and
abilities and also enabling workers to stay employed longer. it is not a manual job. they are working alongside automation and alongside technology and naturally enabling the worker in the human capacity. where we are versus the entire world, there is deafly some places where we could lean into the message that this isn't an either-or. it is not the robots are taking over or the humans will survive. it is not that dynamic at all. sometimes the message needs to break through more than it does. we are excited about the opportunity that 5g will bring to manufacturing and our ability to produce and be more efficient. 5g will enable that. ina: you talk about in the survey that a lot of companies are excited about this, but we are not seeing massive deployment just yet. when you do here hesitancy, what are the things that companies want to make sure exist before they commit to 5g?
what are tops on the list of concerns? carolyn: you have to plan for it. you have to plan for the investment just like in any space. we don't want to do -- no company is looking to do this, to put a new system and have the data go into a hole. that is what iot is all about. how do we bring the interconnected factory of the future to life with all of these systems talking to each other and having the infrastructure aligned so that it is not just going off into a silo, but really able to be best used? the hesitancy is not to begin. beginning is the exciting thing. it is how we make sure all the systems are in place that the technologies local and you are able to use it and that you know how to use it, that is something we spent a lot of time on as part of the national association
of manufacturers. ina: it sounds like the interest is there. one of the keys is making sure companies don't deploy 5g in isolation, but as part of a broader effort to get more insight, more value through changing overall processes. carolyn lee, thank you so much. carolyn: thank you, ina. appreciate you having me on. ina: thank you all for joining us this afternoon for another virtual conversation that is hopefully made everyone smarter faster. thank you to qualcomm for making this event possible. for my newsletter or to seek kim's work, visit axios.com/ newsletters, or within the axios app. till next time, see you on axios .com. >> peter osnos has published hundreds of nonfiction books in his career as founder of the new
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