tv FCC Commissioners Speak at Free State Foundation Lunch CSPAN October 19, 2021 11:59am-1:00pm EDT
ox supports c-span as a public service along with these providers giving you a front row seat to democracy. next, republican fcc commissioner's deliver remarks at the free state foundations anniversary luncheon in washington, d.c.. topics include 5g technology, a wireless innovation and broadband access. this is one hour. >> we have four speakers. i'm going to ask them to come up one at a time and speak. and we'll do that. then also in addition to those speakers, i want you to hear from seth cooper when they are through. first up is commissioner brendan carr. is it true he needs no
introduction. i have introduced him so many times. i have a tendiancy to short cut it. let me just tell you a couple of important things. he actually brings -- he looks so young but he brings 20 years of private and public sector experience in communications and tech policy to his current commissioner. commissioner, that's hard for me to believe but i know it's true because i know it's on your website. mr. may: he was confirmed to the senate to his seat on the commission in august, 2017 after having been appointed general counsel at the commission in january, 2017. august, 2017, commissioner january, 2017. general counsel, that's pretty quick rise there to the top.
in fact, during law school i discovered that commissioner carr served as an intern for then commissioner kathleen abernathy who we saw earlier on the video. i'm going to short cut all of these so i have to -- i could go on and on. just a couple more things about brendan. he was described by axios as, quote, the fcc's 5g crusader, close quote, and for those of us who follow the fcc's work we are well aware and know how you earned that accolade, the work you have done on spectrum. among other things. among the other things, of course, are work on infrastructure, deployment that's been so important in our -- remain so important, and
also telehealth, which is much in the news now and deservedly so. so i'm going to stop there. his full bio is on the website. that's true with all the others. with that i ask commissioner carr to come up. [applause] commissioner carr: thank you so much for that very, very kind introduction. the youthful look is usually not one that i get, particularly with this hairline. most of the time people ask me how my confirmation process went to the federal radio commission. appreciate the accolades. it's great to see so many friends again. don't know if it's just getting out of the house that has drawn so many people together or whether it is randy and the free state that has done it. we don't need to paragraphs it. the good news is -- pars is.
p56789rset. the good news is it's great to see everybody here. the bad thing about the screen is it takes makes it very hard to see if people have fallen asleep on zoom. here, particularly at lunch, it will be easy to see the people who quickly nod off during these remission. commissioner leigh as well, you mentioned, randy, the good work. maybe i'll talk more about it. the fcc got done the last three or four years. it was a team effort. so many of those ideas were spearheaded by commissioner riley. i think it was unprecedented run that he had in terms of pursuing free market ideas that delivered for the american consumer. maybe we can talk more about that. also celebrating free state kudos on 15 years of remarkable run. this is an organization that's known for elevating the discussion, the discourse and putting forward great ideas. my team did some research and told me they found that free state was mentioned in over 70
fcc dockets, which is a tremendously prolific reach for the organization. cited something like 260 times in fcc decisions. an influential voice and fantastic run for 15 years. kudos to you and the organization. it's really been an invaluable resource to those of us at the commission. while we are reflecting, maybe i'll start back a few years ago f we look back to 2016. when it came to 5g builds in this country, the outlook wasn't that great back then. you had earns and young, deloitte saying that 5g, the u.s. was on the verge of getting completely left behind by china and other countries. i think it was deloitte said china was about to unleash a 5g tsunami making it near impossible for the u.s. to catch up. in a lot of ways they were right. back then it cost too much to build internet infrastructure. it took too long.
and the data supported those conclusions. back then the u.s. was building about three new cell sites every single day. at a point in time when china was mutt putting up 46 o new cell sites a day. what was taking us four years to build in terms of wireless infrastructure, china was doing every nine days. we were in trouble. on the spectrum front we had virtually no mid band spectrum for 5g. commissioner leigh with chairman pai and myself we rolled up our sleeves and got to work. we tackled this with a infrastructure plan for 5g. we had a series of four or five decision that is eliminateed red tape. and allow america's private sector to build wireless infrastructure again. commissioner riley led the way on 3.5cvrs. lee gatto had stuck around the
fcc for a long time, we moved on 4.9 gigahertz, 6 gig gigahertz, and the c-spanned. we had something like 6 gigahertz. thousands of megahertz of 5g spectrum that worked paid off. the private sector got to work. it built. 2016 we had 708 new cell sites go up. after our infrastructure and spectrum reforms, that 202-748-8002 jumped to over 46,000 -- that number jumped to over 46,000. the u.s. leapfrogged 20 countries on the global mobile speed index. we were bridging the digital divide. speeds were up threefold. prices, despite some recent inflationary pressures, were down for internet services. which was a great thing. some really, really good results i was very proud to be on the team that helped enable the private sector to do that. of course we can't stop there.
we have to keep going forward. and for that reason i laid out a spectrum calendar that can show how do we continue to build on those spectrum wins we got the last couple years. at the end of the day, spectrum policy in this town right now is not limited to which organization has the best -- government agency has the best engineering or the right policy call. whether we like it or not, clearing spectrum for flexible commercial use right now requires fcc leadership that has political capital and willing to spend it. i remember a couple years ago walking down the street in a city bus drove past me. there was a c-span advertisement on it. that advertisement shows the face of the then fcc chairman, pai. some ways it's funny and some ways it's meaningless. other ways it goes to show someone that accumulated political capital in this town. that's why we were able to get things done on 5.9. a pushback from the department
of transportation. why we were able to move forward on the l band despite pushback from the department of defense. and why we held the line on millimeter wave in spite of the pressure coming from noaa and other weather services. whether we like it or not that's the model going forward. we need to make sure we have fcc leadership willing to stand up, have chill capital, and spend it to deliver results for the private sector. infrastructure, we have to keep the wins going. one of the most important things we can do there is complete our broadband mapping process. back in march i called the fcc to complete that map by sometime this fall. very briefly in july there was a rumor that popped up at a senate commerce committee suggested the maps would be done by the end of july. i put out a statement i was very pleased to see that. then on august 1 i was very displeased to see that didn't take place. yet we saw the black box, that's are the spectrum maps going to
get completed. there is no reason for it to be black box. be honest. first quarter next year, second quarter? there is so much planning that can take place once we know when those maps are going to get done. it's the key to moving to the 5g. the key to unlearning money for rdot. also a key to the infrastructure spending that's going on in this town right now. if you put the current discussion to the side about the 1.5 billion that congress may or may not get across the finish line, by my estimate there is about $800 billion over the last year or so that congress has either appropriated or agencies have budgeted that could be spent on broadband infrastructure. could be spent on other infrastructure but could be spent on broadband infrastructure. some people estimated it's $80 billion to finish the work of bridging the digital divide. we have 10 times that much money sitting right now in the pipeline at the fcc, commerce, department of education, treasury, and ag. in july, early july, i sent a
letter to the four of those agencies, and asked them, where are you with the spending of this $800 billion? what guardrails are you putting in place? are you going to sues the fcc's map when it's available? my concern is we are about to see a repeat of the 2009b top level waste, fraud, and abuse on steroids. it was a then rel relatively small amount. we have $800 billion. the responses i got back to the agencies do the extent i did get a response. can a couple you know who you are have not responded, it did not give me comfort that we were putting guardrails in place to make sure the $800 billion will get spent going into the ground connecting unconnected americans. we are going to avoid the waste, fraud, and abuse we saw before. it's not inevitable yet we see a repeat, but it is pretty darn close to being inevitable we we'll see a repeat of the b top
failures. that's a problem. we have never been in a situation in which we have the funding to fully bridge the digital divide. we have enough dollars to get the job done. i don't think we have been in that position before. so shame on us if we don't have the policies or guardrails in place the next two or three years to get that job done. i think it's increasingly likely if you flash forward two or three years we'll meet at events like this, where did that $800 billion to go. we need $80 million more to bridge that divide. a lot of the funding i have been talking about so far has been appropriated funds. which is to some extent at least in the short term relieving pressure on the fcc's own funding mechanism. that funding is under a lot of strain right now. we collect $10 billion a year from consumers by adding a 30% charge on the, keep it simple, telephone portion of their bill. that charge started at 5% or 6% and is now 30% a new pay per house said that could go to 75%
in the next couple years. we need to do something about t i put out an idea that would take that 30% charge, eliminate it from consumers' bills all together, and look to some version of large technology companies to start paying a fair share. you could target it at digital advertising revenues, for instance, an area that will make it difficult for that charge to find its way back into a consumer's montyly bill give the way the market operates. big streamers, other entities that use so much of the bandwidth that it's supported and funded by the universal service. the fcc should get-going. i have been surprised at the bipartisan support in congress to look at these types of fair share ideas. there are some legislation that's been introduced in just a week or so ago i testified in front of senate commerce in the subcommittee chair, lujan, had some favorable remarks for taking a look at these ideas f you missed it i clipped it and
tweeted it out to help you not miss the favorable remarks from chairman lujan. hopefully you'll look back and see that. with that i think my filibuster is close to coming to an end. it is really, really great to get to join you again. i enjoy these discussions. it elevates the discussion above the couple of characters that we are usually limited to on twitter and other forums. it's a really important opportunity to have some more in-depth, more substantive discussions about these vitally important issues. i look forward to hearing the remarks from commissioner simington and the other distinguished speakers. thanks very much. [applause] mr. may: thank you very much, commissioner carr. by the way, regarding your proposal to have big tech contribute in some way to
addressing the shortage and support for universal service programs, that's something that i thought was really a creative and interesting proposal. i have actually written about it as well. i would like to see the commission start the proceeding as well. i want to -- i didn't say this earlier, but i want to mention that c-span is here with us today recording this event. it's going to be shown, you know what c-span does, it will probably be shown many, many times over the next several days. and we are grateful they are here. we always appreciate that. i'm still a c-span junky myself. probably always will be. so the other thing i want to do quickly before i call commissioner simington up, i have a few people i want to
recognize here today. i wish i could do more. former fcc chair dick wily is here. [applause] mr. may: dick was in the video. we are going to watch some more of that later. also rob mcdowell is here with us. [applause] i really still remember this, rob, i think you gave one of your very early addresses to the free state foundation. we appreciated that. finally, my good friend, long time friend, david gross, ambassador david gross. [applause] david always reminds me, properly so, that once you are an ambassador, and have served
in that capacity, that you are always an ambassador. that's not even true of a commissioner, i think. you don't carry that title. we thank all of you for being with us. next i'm going to introduce commissioner nathan simington. speaking of early addresses given at the free state foundation, nathan simington gave his inaugural maiden address at a free state foundation virtual event, but it's especially nice for him to be with us today to give an address in person. again, the short version of commissioner simington's biography is he was nominated to serve as a commissioner last
fall by president trump. he was confirmed later in the fall by the senate and took his seat in late 2020. he brings with him a wealth of both private and pub public sector experience -- before becoming a fcc commissioner. he served ntia as a senior advisor where he worked on many aspects of telecommunications policy. commissioner simington holds more degrees certainly than i do, and i think more than many of us in this room. it's always been interesting to me that a couple of those degrees are in music theory, which at times that might be helpful over at the fcc if things ever get exciting.
i don't mean they are not always exciting at the fcc, but it is true, isn't it, commissioner simington, since you have been on the commission with this 2-2 deadlock it's probably not exactly the same experience it play be at some time in the future, however that goes. we are really pleased that you are with us. if you would come up and deliver your remarks. [applause] commissioner simington: thanks very much for that kind introduction. it's a pleasure to be here and have a chance to speak with everyone today. as i always say when music comes up, music is, after all, with spectrum as well. it's an honor not just to be here but rarefied air. it's a delight to speak in the shadow of the f.s.f. history and with the other distinguished speakers today. it's also a pleasure to join the free state foundation for this
15th anniversary. for a decade and a half they have served as an important venue which lawmakers, regulators, and policy professionals from both sides of the aisle and a few aisles further over have come to hatch out ideas related to the free market and limited government. while those ideas have been center rered with telecom technology. the principles are universal. i look forward to speaking with whom i share an opinion perhaps more importantly those with whom i disagree at many free state foundation events to come. as some of you may know i selected the free state foundation for my maiden address, and in that address i remarked on the 25th anniversary of the telecom act of 1996 and filament of the promise of the deregulatory era. i was cautioned by some there would be incumbent interest who took um bridge with the sentiments i spread in that speech. almost now a year on the commission in the rear-view mirror i understand it's not possible to utter a sentence which is not true that a vital
and brilliant interest in telecom will reasonably, politely, and great length object. i'm sure if i came out today in support of chocolate ice cream i would be hearing from the vanilla bean course. with the detailed power point on the importance of the have a naila bean. i include it's best to be about the process. to learn what i need, forget the rest, not to pick fights that don't need picking. it's a good thing. now i'm talking about receivers. after the crystal anniversary. what could be more important than talking about radios. that did ruffle a few feathers. i hear from some corners that building better receivers is an expense. that's true. a public resource withheld from use. interference fierce due to intermissions are expensive. they don't have any answers because they are not easily been the within within the control of the transmitting party. the transmitting party would have to voluntarily withdraw from using the full capacities
that their really entitled to. every digital bit is an expense. operating our wireless future on the backs of devices sensitive to interference will potentially be a very large expense when these devices fail. i don't know how big, i'm willing to bet it's smaller than the expense of the implementation of receivers. i hear from some other corners that requiring better receivers stifles innovation. many of those same players serve incumbents in the federal bounds. i am neat sure they made the same case to the ncia regarding the standards. naturally, i'm skeptical that the very existence of standards are likely to stifle innovation. here's one thing i'm not skeptical, it's easier to build a cheap wireless defies and poorer performs in china than here. what happens when the, do consumers pay more? possibly.
do we define what constitutes the minimum viable product in way that supports higher quality of service and may exclude low quality players that are coming from foreign manufacturers? potentially making it feasible for -- domestic manufacturers to compete to make higher quality devices. perhaps some of these will be made domestically. that sounds to me like it would have a protective -- and a minimum mitigate the dominance of foreign manufacturers in a domestic market. what's more as a prak particular at mountaineer -- matter industry sets its own floors. no one would say there aren't standards. instead i think everyone's concern would be the commission would have a part-time -- hard time finding the right standards. i agree with that premise. after all, i was just sitting and looking at the membership rules of some of the big trade associations. it occurred to me there are individual trade association that is might have two or three times as many companies as the
s.e.c. fcc have st. there is a vast wealth of knowledge if we engage in this process that does promote the public good. so i hear from other corners, at this point i'm not sure what i'm talking about it's been the commissioners' powers to regulate receivers. they regulate transmission only. i tend to think our regulations don't regulate trens missions. we regulate reception. interference as experienced by an end user or device takes place in a single transmission reception process. traditionally we haven't foe focused on receivers. i think the commission agreed to that in a task force in 2002 and been a general level of support whenever the issue's been raised. there may be reasons we haven't acted yet. i don't think that some of those reasons would include discomfort or ambiguity over the regulatory authority to do so. but to close on a free state
foundation note, we are the free state foundation. i did not come here to argue for an overbearing, arbitrary commission case on this subject. i hope the commission doesn't ultimately regulate receivers. after i gave you the reasons it should. i suspect the trade associations are in better positions than the commission to project likely problems and anticipate them without fearing of drawing a veto from their marginal actors as they lay out the benefits and harms. i'm sure commissioner staff would not like the headache of writing regulations. our best bet is to serve as a clearing-house to encourage industry coordination. perhaps it's not a bad thing the spectrum of regulation from time to time looms out to help industry act. i think this issue will be resolved and i'm sure industry will do that. or the down side is perhaps one day the commission will find its hands tied by public opinion and
be forced to do something. the best thing to do is avoid the necessity and move forward as the industry, speaking with one voice, to address the problem. i think that's the way to avoid strict controls that are unlikely to suit everyone properly and get nuanced, thoughtful treatment of the issue. for the good of the american people and deliver on the promise of our wireless future, i'm raising this question with industry today. i appreciate everyone's patience and interest in this issue. thank you again for the kind invitation to attend today. it's been a pleasure. thanks very much. [applause] mr. may: thank you, commissioner simington. now it's my pleasure to introduce my good friend, all of
these people are my good friends, i've got to be careful there. my good friend, mike o'reilly. mike served as an fcc commissioner from november, 2013 through december, 2020. of course he served out a term and was confirmed, nominated and confirmed to another term. i started to say commissioner riley -- o'reilly, i'll keep doing that, probably. he's a visiting fellow with hudson institute's center for economics of the internet. and he also has established a consultant antsy -- consultiancy, m.p. o'reilly. i know mike knows this, i introduced him on many
occasions. the first few times i would print out his bio and go down his long list of senate positions. there were about -- when he served on the staff over in the senate. there were about 12 or 13 of them increasingly responsible, more senior positions. mike, with your permission i'm not going to do that today. i do want to, instead of that, just say to those here and to our c-span audience as well, that the work you did while at the commission really in so many different areas was so important. infrastructure, spectrum, and there are others. one that you and i talked about a lot and that you talked about with us at flee state foundationp -- free state foundation events, has to do with fcc reform, what i call
institutional reform sometimes. you were really a leader in that regard and i have always been grateful for that work as well. with that please welcome michae. [applause] mr. o'reilly: my good work on process reform. that got me a lot of positive things. so good to see so many people. thank you so much for, randy, for having me here and being such an advocate for many of my past positions and endeavors at the s.e.c. fcc. it is a true pleasure to you included at such an important event. i estimate i probably attended upwards of 20 free state foundation events over my time at the commission. far exceeding my participation at any other engagement or conference. think about it, 20 times i
jumped on a stage just like this or this one exactly and 20 times many of you ignored every single word i said. i see some of you nodding. people ask me what's it like to be a former commissioner? one, i'm not wearing a tie unless i have to. two, i'm taking this luggage tag and not asking anyone's permission. when i look around the room to see some of the telecom elders if you will, like me, begun graying or balding, we know that you saved the birthday parties for the important ones we recognize the difference between growing older and maturing. for think tanks, especially those that have a focus on telecom policy, still standing after 15 years to continue to make major contributions in the overall conversations and debates is actually an amazing accomplishments. that is why we are here today. to recognize the decade and a half of free state foundation's voice and comments and thoughts
and producting -- prods and reminders and legal challenges supporting its view to adherence to free market principles helps deliver the greatest benefit for consumers andp communication sector. this organization has both aged well and grown up to become such an effective thought leader. thanks to randy, its work is still incredibly influential at the commission, in the congress, and within the larger private sector community. i send my deepest congratulations to randy and his team for their contributions over the year and look forward to seeing free state's next 15 years. as previously promised, some of you, i want to raise some substantive issues, what else would we do at the free state foundation, that have been getting under my skin as a private sit citizen. these are my personal views and do not add voa kate or engage in any fcc proceeding. you got that? be clear on that. i am not. i'm going to start with a simple
question. what does made in the u.s.a. mean for telecom manufacturing? surprisingly this question is being posed repeatedly without much forethought on capitol hill in hearings and legislation. unpack it a bit. ostensibly intended to protect national security and maintain vital supply chain lines, it's also been considered by some as a way to facilitate open radioactive nedworks. the logic seems to be limiting funding and authorization to u.s. manufacturers, provide select companies some time of preference frorts these slarnlg -- supports these larger purposes. what does it mean to be an american manufactureer? to date, some experts have stated the location after company's headquarters is definitive. it feeds nationalistic urges as well as furthering the motto of american preeminence. a u.s. h.q. means company executives live in our
communities and take their kids to local schools and workers live locally, too. products are made, packaged, and shipped from u.s. located plants and services are offered, sold, and managed locally. what if that isn't a reality? a company can have a u.s. h.q. and little actual presence in the united states or farm out its manufacturing and software coding to be done overseas, either by self or third party. essential a u.s. headquartered telecom manufacture in name only. you rely on having a presence in asia for production. how does that support the larger policy goals? on the other hand, each of the global telecom manufacturing companies headquartered overseas have extensive investments in the u.s., in terms of massive physical manufacturing facilities and thousands of u.s. employees assigned to manufacturing, enat that layings, customer management, and so on. if the bulk of equipment production network deployment monitoring or other essential
services are being done by u.s. workers as part of a u.s. subsidiary, why should these global telecom manufacturers be in essence punished by law? in fact the location after company's headquarters has proven time and time again through review of many sectors to be a poor indicator for determining national security exposure or threats to supply chains. g.m. from detroit, manufactures and imports cars from numerous foreign contrissments honda from japan has extensive manufacturing in 12 u.s. states. locally producing five million cars and trucks annually. is honda u.s.a. a greater national security risk than g. g.m.? are the supply chain issues that much more different because of the location of its headquarters? the simple answer is no. moreover, for some of us, the principle free trade has become passe recently, there are still very valid reasons based in part
on david ricardo's comparative advantage theory and since proven practice to have facilities in many locations. all of though is to say that the real issue should not be headquarter location but reliance on trusted manufacturers. according to public information, the global national security agencies generally eye the large telecom manufacturers operating worldwide minus a subset from china as trustworthy and helpful partners in minimizing potential threats or supply chain difficulties. trusted manufacturers, not corporate structure or location, should be the deciding factor. second issue, and last at least for today, is the lack of sufficient mid band spectrum for 5g services. great work has been done in the last commission i believe, but it's not been enough. i read comments from a high ranking official. they appropriately championed the work being done to implemented and make operational this year the first tranche of
c-span spectrum and plaw through the 3.54 auction. there are also some work done on the lower three gigahertz. for both lance licensed and unlicensed commercial purposes. i love the fact others are joining the chorus. lord knows i served as pied piper for getting these bands available for 5g services during my time. we as a nation are still hundreds of megahertz short compared to the 5g portfolios of the rest of the world. simply put, the u.s. cannot successfully lead globally on 5g with substandard spectrum allocations. yet the u.s. is at best middle of the pack of wireless leading nations. i ask, where are the next 5g mid bands coming from and when will they be available? i get it. as commissioner carr mentioned chenoweth-hageing spectrum policy is difficult. it ruffles feathers and shakes
up norms. we have federal agencies with misguided trips on allocation that they no longer need or cannot justify. we wince at the shiny medals or flawed science. it's easier to focus on giving away and spending free government money y. sound spectrum policy, one that recognizes the quest of consumers for more wireless services and benefits it-t brings to the rest of the economy and consumer welfare is essential core work that will help decide the future success of our nation. call it a calendar, game plan, timeline, or whatever. all terms are good. it's also an area that congress needs to lead. this is a moment for leadership in the public and private sector that would address a national need. i ask again, where are the next 5g bands coming from and when will they be available? expect me to keep asking until it's resolved.
is it time for cake yet? i was promised there would be cake. that's just a joke because i have been told there was going to be cake and there is no cake. i want to thank randy and all of his work over the years. we have been incredibly good friends. we worked on many projects together. free state foundation has to be a wonderful job. i appreciate alt contributions you have made and look forward to the future. thanks very much. [applause] it randy: i think maybe i didn't get a good width. can you come come up, brendan. can you come up, brendan. commissioner simington.
thank you. i think was it ronald reagan in the new hampshire debate in 1980, i know some of you are too young to remember this, where they didn't decided not to have him speak or something. he said i paid for this mike and i'm going to speak. i paid for this photographer here. i paid. we are going to get some photos. mike, thank you. when mike was speaking i was thinking that you can take mike off the commission, but you can't take the commissioner out -- off of mike. that was good. you should get someone to post that on the fcc's website.
when you mentioned david ricardo and the comparative -- theory of comparative advantage, you had me right there as you know. next it's my pleasure to introduce deborah laythan. deborah, to be braining frank with you -- to be frank with you, she has not spoken as many free state foundation events as the commissioners, but she has spoken previously. she's been a long time friend and someone that i have admired for a long time as well. and i thought it was important to have her here today because she has a perspective going back quite far. i'm going to give you just, with her permission, the previous
highlights of her bioso we can get her up here -- bio so we can get her up here. she established laythan consulting in 2001. that was after she left the fcc as serving as chief of the cable services bureau. where she started in 1998. she in that position led a team of 100-plus lawyers, economists, and engineers. that was at a time just to put a point on it when we were beginning to talk about the digital convergence out of the landscape was changing, and of course importantly for the way in which we think about things at the free state foundation. what that would mean for changes in the regulatory policy. deborah served on the boards of
major fortune 500 corporations. for example she's been a director at british telecom and held many other board positions. without further ado, if you would come up, deborah. [applause] deborah: thank you so much, randy. when i got your email inviting me to speak, i was so thrilled and honored. i know i'm the old person pulling up the rear guard and i said to myself, how did i get to be this old? but there are lessons that we learn as we age. i'll talk a little bit about some of those. but first i really want to say why i love your organization so
much. i know, i would say i was a democrat. then hi to stop and think at 18 my first vote was actually cast for chuck percy, senator from illinois. but what i see when i come here, we are not democrats or republicans. we are people who come here to discuss important telecom issues. and discussing a very academic and substantive way. there isn't what we see too much of in our country today, people talking and not listening to each other. that is one reason why i cherish, i cherish being here and cherish the many discussion that is we have had. discussions that we have had. i want to congratulation you -- congratulate you on doing something that is spectacular and necessary to have civil discourse in democracy. let me just tell you a quick brief story. i was -- always wanted to do
civil rights, thoughdy corporate stuff most of my career, so one day i called up bill and i said -- i was living halfway in california, riding my bike along p.c.h. i still had this commitment i wanted to do civil rights. i called bill up and i said, bill, could you give my resume over d.o.j. because i want to go to the civil rights division there. bill called me back and said, well, i really would like for you to come and work for me at the cable services bureau. and i said, bill, maybe you didn't understand me. i want to do civil rights. and bill said, look, deborah, the next civil rights struggle will not be fought in the streets. it will be over who has access to the internet, who doesn't have access, who has access to information. it will be coming from the internet. this is 1998.
bill was prescient when he said that in 1998. that was the impetus that got me to come to washington and fall in love with technology. let me just give you a little retrospective on where we were in 1998 when i came and some of the issues that still -- some of the lessons that were learned. when i first got here, it was all -- you have dial up. d.s.l., there was the big regulatory fight going on called open access. many of you might remember open access. there was an allegerment about how the -- there was an argument about how the internet should be regulated. i think what the fcc did write at that time was, we are going to take a light touch approach to this new thing called the internet. it is not the internet that we know today. we were not streaming video.
people weren't wedded to their phones. it was basically d.s.l. and we got great, great pushback on not taking the old legacy regulations and applying them to this new thing called the internet. but i think we did right with the light touch regulation. i think we got the deployment that we were hoping to get at the time. and clearly there is still a very long way to go. my point here is i think that government has to be flexible when it comes to regular regulating things. flexibility and looking at things for what they are now as opposed to trying to put them in buckets that were left over from legacy regulations. one of my big issues right now that sort of strikes my heart and my passion, it is health
equity. i think that that is one thing that became so blatantly apparent when this covid crisis was what inequity looks like in the american health care system. and i think we have read lots and lots about it, but it became very, very clear that that is one of the pressing issues of our time in this country is to ensure that all americans have access to good health care. and that ties into telehealth. i think one of the good things, if we can say good, that came out of the pandemic was an understanding of the importance of telehealth. when regulations were waived to allow telehealth to be more widely used, we saw usages of telehealth during a time of great need where people -- we could limit the spread of the disease but still have access to
medical care. but what we see before those rules was -- i live in northwest washington, d.c. my physician is five, six miles away in bethesda. prior to the waiver of some of the regulations, i would not have been able to do a telehealth call five miles away from my house. so much of the regulations that pertain to telehealth is divided between states, medicare, medicaid we need to have a serious study to understand what we learned from this pandemic with respect to telehealth, and we need to eliminate the barriers that keep us from using telehealth more pervasively. we need to look at license sures for doctors across borders, across states. we need to look at same pay. physicians should be paid the same if they are doing a telehealth call versus if you
come into their office. there are a myriad of regulations that simply, first of all, need to be re-examined to make certain that they are not barriers. because this is critical. it is critical that for our rural areas, it is critical in urban areas to have the type of -- we don't know -- just like we dew point know what kind of innovation was going to come from the internet. would you have ever imagined you would be owned by your phone or that you -- your kids would just be using their thumbs for exercise as opposed to running -- i'm joking. we could not have envisioned the things that we see. which was evident envisioned the platform companies that now exist. i think we are at the beginning of a new frontier when it comes to telehealth. i think that we have to do everything with our power that requires state and government and medical people to come
together to come up with a proper framework for telehealth. i'm just about running out of time. i think that in order to do that, what we learned from the internet, is you have to have regulatory flexibility. you have to have think of new ways of doing new things when you are presenting, when you are presented with the type of issues and the possibilities that we have from this. i thank you so much. randy, again, congratulations. you are wonderful. [applause] randy: thank you so much, deborah. it was great having you again. deborah mentioned bill, i'm glad he was able to pull off that switch switcheroo. i didn't know about that story.
i don't know whether you were here earlier, but i had a video from chairman cunard from bill earlier which i was really grateful to have. but one of the lines, i have quoted it often, maybe you wrote it for him, if you did don't say so, one of the things that bill said, i think it was in 1999 or 2000, he was speaking to a group of state utility consumer advocates, i believe, and he was talking about the pleas to impose open access, which you referred to. impose a common carrier like regime on the emerging brond band. at that time, remember i'm talking about 1999, broadband of course really was truly
emerging. cable broadband. bill said in his speech, one thing i don't want to do is dump the whole morass of tell telephone -- telephone regulation on the cable pipe. and he didn't do it. not only did he say that, he didn't do it. i thought that was really an important moment in the development of telecom policy. with that the final speaker that we are going to have today is my colleague, seth cooper. for those of you that were here earlier, i talked a lot about seth's contributions. so i'm not going to repeat that now. i'm just -- i just say that i'm really grateful seth has been such an important part of the
free state. immediate immediately after seth speaks i'm going to ask the video be restarted. there are really some 2357b it'sic -- fantastic videos you haven't seen. i hope you'll say for 15 or 20 minutes watch those videos. i think you would enjoy seeing them. with that, seth. [applause] seth: good afternoon. nice to see everyone here. thank you for coming. i hope you enjoy your free state foundation luggage tag. i would urge you to please when you use it, write your name on the card. otherwise we could get a lot of lost luggage being sent to the free state foundation office. please do that. if your luggage is back to the free state foundation, we'll do our best to get it to you.
about 12 years ago i began my work with the free state foundation. i had a few good reasons for wanting to work there. i'll share a few of them with you very briefly. the first it was the opportunity, wonderful opportunity to work with an organization, i was focused on fascinating issues. internet technology, broadband services, and the policy. it's about 2009. the convergence of traditional cable telecommunications and wireless services well under way. you have streaming video is off and running. people have smart phones. it's a very interesting time. to see that interact with a policy framework that had just about none of those things in mind when it was developed. a law that is old and getting older. it was passed when i was a high schooler. and i made a point where my oldest child will be high school age in about four or five years.
it was really fascinating that way. the second reason is institutionally the free state foundation had a lot of gravitas early on because it brought a lot of high caliber scholars and former officials that had been enlisted in providing research and writing, people like dennis wiseman, people like glenn robinson, people like michelle connolly. deborah taylor tate. christopher. later we had daniel leighons and others. to be affiliated with people like that was a terrific opportunity. that leads me into the third reason which is personal. that is simply to work with the man himself, our president and founder, randolph may. the free state foundation's indispensable man. before i got to work with free state foundation, not only had i seen his work, but i had the chance to see him in other
venues. i could see the respect which he commanded and really saw that. i was impressed by that. so then i continued to see that as i worked with him. for 15 years. he's led the free state foundation. with skill, hard work, vision. bringing a sharp lawyers' mind to his work with a depth of experience speerns from being an -- experience being an accomplished attorney, fcc official, law professor, public scholar, expert in communications law, administrative law. randy have the ability to bring thoughtful analysis to these complex and intricate issues in a way that interesting, thoughtful, and also deliver. lots of times a good sense of humor. and to be able to get to the nub of things. write about these things and can
step back and look at the broader principles. the first principles of things like the declaration of interpens and the united states constitution -- independence, the united states constitution, rule of law, federation of powers, limited government. free markets. private property. intellectual property. freedom of the press. and freedom of the speech. i think we have always known those kind of principles, they are hard fought. they are not automatic. you have to continuously explain them, defend them, seek to vindicate them, and try to influence those who have the job and task of implementing them. we have seen certainly in the freedom of speech come under some attack. we see that for communication services, very important, it's very important to us that freedom of speech remain becauso be a free person. to be free people. technologies of freedom. not for coercion or social control. and it's important because not
just simply trotting out the constitution in on a slogan or banner for protests, it's important, absolutely important as that is for flesh and blood people, to see that through the policy and implementation stage, even in the details, even in the modern technology. when do you that and you host events in which you accord people of different views that freedom of speech, you are sending to them the respect that belongs to all people. all free people. i think that's very important as we continue our work. and i look forward to continuing that work. randy, i'm grateful for you. you have been a terrific boss. i am not only thankful for you. the cooper family is thank you to you. we pray for the may family. like forward to. thank you. [applause] >> arizona police chief chris
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