tv Hearing on Strengthening Communication Networks CSPAN June 7, 2022 4:17pm-6:56pm EDT
and a half hours. >> the subcommittee on communications and technology will now come to order. today, the subcommittee on communications and technology is holding a hearing entitled to, struggling our communications networks, legislation to connect and protect. due to the covid-19 public health emergency, today's hearing is being held remotely. all members and witnesses will be participating via video conferencing conferencing. as part of our hearing, macron's will be set on mute for the purpose of eliminating inadvertent background noise. numbers that we're disses you, you'll need to unmute your microphone each time you wish to speak. documents for the record can be sent to joe orlando at the email address we have provided to staff. all documents that will be entered into the record at the conclusion of the hearing. the chair now recognizes
herself for five minutes for an opening statement. back in march, this committee met to execute one of the most important functions holding an fcc oversight hearing. at that hearing, one thing was abundantly clear. there is bipartisan agreement that we cannot let the fcc's auction authority laps under any circumstances. congress has extended the fcc's spectrum auction authority on a bipartisan basis several times over the last three decades, and has never let it lapse. i'm committed to keeping that unbroken record intact. it is no exaggeration to say that the fcc really sets the global benchmark for spectrum auctions. to date, the commission has held 98 auctions, awarding more than 94,000 licenses, and permits, raised more than 233 billion dollars in revenue, and provided more than one trillion dollars in benefits for the american people. but the stakes are even higher right now.
in july, the fcc will be kicking off the two dot five gigahertz option that will -- midland spectrum to market. even a brief laugh soon if it is the auction authority could jeopardize licenses from being awarded, and ali the curious ability to supercharged our networks with the 5g spectrum that. cannot happen. the conclusion of congresswoman davis extending america spectrum auction leadership to act on today's agenda can prevent that. it would extend the fcc's general auction authority for an additional 18 months to march 31st, 2024, providing the needed time to complete the two dot five gigahertz option. i look forward to working in a bipartisan, bicameral we, to give the fcc the authority it needs to maintain america's position as a pace setter in wireless communications. i'm also excited to see congress man that leaves a
smart act on the agenda today. as my fellow co-chair of the congressional spectrum caucus, we want to give out more legislation that argument down, and the smart act is no different. this important bill would include spectrum management in the united states by establishing a standardized framework to facilitate spectrum sharing between federal and non federal users. well i'm interested in pursuing some clarifying edits with congress man guthrie, and congress confident that it can be done on a bipartisan basis, and set the path for a smooth markup in quick consideration on the floor. this bill is smart public policy and tackle zone emerging but crucial issue in spectrum, americas spectrum leadership. congressman carter's ideas code of occasion act would also be enforced in america's leadership in innovation by providing such a statutory authority for india's institute of technology telecommunications sciences. as a research [inaudible] at india, you vance's
innovation in communications technologies for cutting edge research. the ideas code of occasion act also established and initiative at ntia to develop emergency communication technologies for years in low income individuals trapped in areas where mobile connectivity may not be available we. also have two bills on the agenda that will increase broadband access and provide new protections to help survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking. representatives of lori and calculus ensuring from an internet access for snap recipients act establishes new reporting requirements to attract and improve lifeline enrollment among staff participants. ensuring critical assistance programs are working together to ensure participants will help deliver better services than those who need the most. especially as we continue to recover from the pandemic i.
hope this bill will provide information to improve the lifeline program. additionally, representative kuster iran issues a circulations act that establishes new protectors that will help survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking gain independence. too often, survivors accounts like domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual assault that he would trafficking remain stuck on a family of where it spread well as fundi bots. and that allows that uses to limit their access to family, social safety networks, employers, and support services. the safe connections act empowers survivors by allowing them to separate a mobile phone line from any share clan involving an abuser without -- including the lines of any dependence in the clear. and it requires the fcc to initiate to rule makings to connect survivors to a lifeline program and ensure calls or
texts to hotlines do not appear on call logs. he's smart quality and i hope our committee will consider it as a markup as soon as possible. i want to thank the authors of these bills and the witnesses for appearing today. i look forward to hearing your technology your testimony and i want to recognize my friend, ranking member al-ata, for his opening statement. >> well thank you very much, madam chair, and thanks for calling for today's hearing. and also thank you to our witnesses that are appearing before us i. really appreciated. as our nation's spectrum resources become more scarce, public policy plays an increasingly important role in ensuring efficient use. i've encouraged that today this subcommittee is considering legislation that will allow the united states to betty lies these valuable airwaves for economic growth and innovation. recently, chairman and i introduced the spectrum innovation act to accelerate commercial access to the lower three gigahertz band. access to this movement spectrum has made --
5g to farmstead households across roller america. i'm proud to have worked with my colleague to come to an agreement on this legislation, which should move through congress and should be sent to the president's desk. i'm also pleased that we are considering the extending american spectrum auction leadership act of 2022 this legislation extends the fcc's authority to conduct spectrum options and issued licenses for 18 months, which will allow the fcc to continue its ongoing work to make more spectrum available for commercial use. without congressional action, the ftc's authority will expire on september 30th of this year, and i heard swift passage of this bipartisan legislation to avoid any disruption to the fcc's planned auction activities like auctioning the 2.5 gigahertz band. while these are great steps forward, our work is far from over. the fcc, india, and -- continue to identify
opportunities through this guy to use spectrum or efficiently, which remains difficult as the demand for wireless technology works and spectrum resources become more congested. fortunately, we have engineers to add ntia's institute for telecommunications sciences or i.t.s. completely in critical role in advancing technologies to help ntia better manage federal spectrum resources. i.t.s. played a key role in developing solutions to spectrum sharing between federal and commercial users, and the citizens broadband reduce services band and the spectrum has been previously underutilized by the federal government. just now able to be used commercially to promote 5g, while protecting federal incumbents. i.t.s.'s role will only continue to grow in its importance as spectrum repurposing become more difficult, which is why mr. carter's legislation, each of 4990, the i.t.s. codification act, it's so important. this legislation takes an
important step for it by strengthening i.t.s. authorities and recognizing the contributions the lab next to our wireless economy. in order to identify areas where federal -- could be more efficient, congress must provide with the necessary tools to advance to its spectrum management mission. in further to mr. guthrie smart act requires ntia to establish an incumbent, informing take ability to take a holistic view of how federal users are using the spectrum resources across the government to identify opportunities for a new commercial uses, while preserving federal missions to keep our country safe. at the spectrum management decisions become more difficult we, must utilize every tool in the tool box to efficiently use these airwaves to provide certainty for commercial investment and wireless development. i'm pleased to see this legislation on today's fair hearing, and look forward to discussing these important topics. thank you madam chair, and i yield back the balance of my. time
>> the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes mr. pallone, chairman of the full committee, for five minutes for, his opening statement. >> thank you, chairman matt murray, and it's good to see and the subcommittee today. and that we put that to our members that this is what we call a virtual committee week, as set by the speaker and their three committee days today, tomorrow on thursday, and we're having a subcommittee hearing each of those days, two of which are legislative hearings. so we are always busy, even when we are virtual. we continue this good use long time work in this government and ensuring that our nations community communication networks are stable secure? and reliable, communication networks are essential superstructure to infrastructure to -- allow business operations to run more efficiently and effectively, and deliver
education and health services. today's legislative hearing will discuss footballs most of which are barter bipartisan on a broad rails of proposals aimed at ensuring that these infallible networks continue to develop and deliver this can in critical service to consumers. i want to comment on my own view on these files. first i'm pleased that reconsidering hr 770 83 -- introduced by representative davis, joins, wealth, and johnson. this has them -- working together in a bipartisan path -- because the inefficient committee. and this legislation is no exception. it will extend spectrum auction authority for this federal communications commission biting much from his desperation date later this fall and as a result the fcc will be able to hold its planned auction of the 2.5 gigahertz band in july without disruption, and also for the clothes at auctions that have already occurred. congress has never let the fcc spectrum authority laps.
since authorizing it in the early 1990s, so i'm pleased we are taking this important step for today. also want to thank the fcc chairwoman rosenworcel for her leadership on this and emphasizing its importance. i agree with the chairwoman and the hope that the congress can come together to use the funding from the upcoming upcoming elections to find important priorities like next generation 9-1-1 and the replacement of suspect communications equipment, among other great ideas. next, we considering into some thousand 132, with the safe connections act, introduced by representatives custard acts as you, and co-sponsored by representatives russian walberg. your weather is no question whether phone service can be an important lifeline for survivors or domestic violence, human trafficking data related crimes, the -- mobile chair of his plans can sub subject these individuals to hidden risks such as digitally beuse. as of this bill addresses disappears by recording noble private service providers to separate their survivors for a line from an account shared with their imbues are without
financial policies or other potential challenges, after they receive a request from a survivor. the ftc will also be required to establish -- communications so port for the survivors. this is life-saving registry legislation that has already passed the senate, and i welcome the opportunity to discuss it here today. we are also considering each year 4275, the ensuring -- in flint as says for snap recipients act, introduced by representatives lori and can't go. since 1985, the fcc's -- provide a discount of voices to qualifying americans. the data demonstrates that only a fraction of lifeline eligible individuals are involved in the program. so this will require the fcc to annually support of report to congress on the lifeline programs of enrollment of individuals participating in snap. it would also require the fcc to report to congress on the enrollment of new broadband consumers and the lifeline program and the effect the effectiveness of advertising of these knobs. now finally, consider two bills,
directed at the work of the national in telecommunications and information administration, specifically hr 4990, the ideas code of occasion act introduced by representatives carter and co-sponsored by representative o'halleran. and then, separately, each of 5480, six the smart act, introduced by representative guthrie, and collectively, these bills provide ntia with access to innovative spectrum management solutions, that in part by ntia's is dilute for telecommunication, scientists. i.t.s. helps strive innovation, and aims for the robust development of telecommunications is treacherous structure and helps protect the global internet. i finally also did want to recognize, if i could today, departing member of the energy and commerce committee team. pablo decide is a native new jerseyan, and does done terrific work for the committee over the past five years as she joined us as a detail from the fcc. she's now headed to a new role
at the. we all know the incredible amount of work that she has before, and i want to wish or nothing but the best in the future. thank you parole, and with that, a yield back the balance of my time, madam chair. >> the gentleman yields. back to turn now recognizes mrs. rogers to, ranking member of the full committee, for five minutes, for her opening statement. >> >> thank you, madam chair. good morning, everyone. the success of our nations wireless future depends on smart management over spectrum resources. earlier this year, we had a hearing on spectrum issues. where we heard overwhelming for support from witnesses to extend the federal communication commissions spectrum ocean alterity. to ensure the successful competition of the fcc's upcoming spectrum auction, the 2.5 gigahertz band. this will allow careers to expand 5g across the united states. i'm pleased to announce that this committee responded.
today we are considering bipartisan legislation to extend the fcc's oxygen or 30 4:18 months through march 2024. this bill will ensure the agency completes their on their spectrum activity and it provides certainty to beat yours in the upcoming two top five gigahertz option that the fcc will be able to use their licenses to -- it i. want to thank chairman pallone and chairman doyle for working with us to reach this bipartisan agreement, and i look forward to advancing this legislation. as demand for wireless technology grows, we need to adapt to make sure our spectrum resources are used efficiently. while it is critical to repurpose the spectrum from federal commercial use, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find prime spectrum bands that are unencumbered. i'm pleased that we are considering my colleague representative guthrie's smart act today. which were choirs in ntia to
establish an incumbent informing capability. this will allow ntia to see spectrum usage by agency across the federal government and help them improve spectrum use efficiently, while also protecting national security. representative carter's bill, the i.t.s. codification act, will codify the important duties of ntia's institute for telecommunications sciences, the government's premiere radio frequency laboratory, clarify the agency's responsibilities, and direct them to advanced spectrum repurposing opportunities and certified new technologies as we continue to advance american wireless leadership. u.s. leadership and next generation technology depends on our ability to develop innovative solutions to re-persons spectrum for commercially. this will ensure spectrum resources are available for future use is not yet known, and maintain the united states representation as the number
one place for businesses to invest in innovation and grow the economy. this committee is leading on solutions to make spectrum resources available. but to unleash the full potential of today's spectrum legislation, we also need to address barriers to deploying wireless interim infrastructure. energy and commerce republicans are leading on a package of bills, the boosting broadband connectivity agenda, which will back duplicative, burdensome regulations, and permitting requirements, to speed up deployment of broadband infrastructure, without permitting reform, it will be difficult for the united states to compete and be china. if we fail to address these reforms, this committee will miss an opportunity to strengthen american leadership and next-gen communication technology. we are also considering legislation that would allow survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking to separate from any shared mobile
contracts with their abusers. republicans have several changes we'd like to see made to this bill that advances, but we stand ready to stand with our colleagues to find a solution. survivors of domestic violence must have the freedom to have a new start, to be safe and secure, and able to separate from their abuser quickly. this hearing is a great first step to discuss these bills, and hear from witnesses about how they will impact the marketplace. i look forward to hearing from all of you, and i yield back the remainder of my time. >> >> the gentlelady yields back. at the chair would like to remind members of that pursuant to committee rules, all members written opening statements shall be made part of the record. i know would like to introduce our witnesses for today's hearing. miss anne and i'm gomez, partner, while the ryan, lp. top doctor thomas e kadri,
assistant professor, georgia school of law. mr. marc gibson, director, business development and spectrum policy, comsco and regulatory officer of the uncool alliance. and doctor alicia valentin, senior director of telecommunications policy, national urban league. at this time, the chair will recognize each witness five minutes to -- their opening statement. ms. gomez, you are recognized for four minutes. >> thank you, chairwoman, ranking member -- chairman, ranking member where suffragists and esteemed members of the septum 80 for the opportunity to affair before you today. my background from working at the fda and ntia as well as my experience in the private sector give me a unique view of spectrum challenges. however, my test of only test when you today reflects my
obvious and are not necessarily those of my clients. the task that ntia and fcc share in managing our nations airways appeared dodging even -- as well as our continuing need to identify additional spectrum for new and innovative uses. it is important to enforce and respected agencies and chip responsibilities. i therefore want to thank the committee for its bipartisan attention and commitment to its -- weight to strengthen u.s. spectrum management. -- reallocation is just respect him and put authorized proposed -- which will provide a common platform for sharing -- congressman guthrie for introducing this platform legislation. ntia its missions are critical and complex. the tools congress has provided ultimately allowed ntia to draw and his experience to ensure continued u.s. leadership and
in facilitating the development and deployment of new and innovative services, which spur economic growth, investment and job creation, while ensuring that the federal agencies have the spectrum they need to be their mission. -- telecommunications the institute of telecommunications sciences or i.t.s. codification it ensures that he ntia has the tools necessary to effectively manage the census spectrum. i.t.s. isn't it to quell arm of spectrum and meant by providing research, testing and analysis, both two ntia as well as to entities with which is contracted dike -- providers and other our government agencies. by providing the statutory authority for i.t.s. the -- well better support spectrum management initiatives. and i want to commend congressman carter for introducing this legislation. in recent years, and the ntia and fcc coordination process has been increasingly challenging. however, the two agencies recently announced their joint
spectrum coordination initiative. -- developing national spectrum strategy is particularly essential. and any strategy should include identifying the additional spectrum for new uses while continuing to ensure that federal agencies can beat emissions. of course, identifying additional spectrum -- if the fcc does not have the authority to conduct office to lessons that spectrum. in addition to encouraging the past and highest use of spectrum, spectrum auctions can raise over 200 billion dollars in federal revenue. congress has intern used that revenue to significantly reduce our national debt and to pay 40 national priorities such as the -- network authority, and for 9-1-1 grants. whatever new spectrum arches also helps facilitate the repurposing of federals and non federal spectrum through the spectrum reallocation fund. accordingly, congress's extension of the fcc spectrum almost asked auction authority is of paramount in store and
wanted. i want to thank the bipartisan leadership of the subcommittee for the conglomerates to extend the fcc's auction authority. once extended, this subcommittee has an important role to play in overseeing the work and producing a national sport suspected strategy that identifies additional spectrum bans for repurposing. i want to conclude by urging the subcommittee to continue to look for ways to improve the existing spectrum management framework. in that regard, i referred to fcc chairman -- recent letter to the house and senate congress committee leaders regarding improvements to congress can make to existing spectrum processes, which includes recommendations for updating the commercial spectrum in has meant act or csa to make it even more effective for repurposing spectrum. where the csea isn't effective poor there is resume for improvement. for example congress has further incentivized to federal agencies by removing the -- legislation which will then with a lot of federal spectrum uses to modernize their -- equipment as part of the
spectrum reallocation process, generating greater incentives to -- underutilized or duplicative spectrum brands. in addition, performing reforming csc csea to recover costs to -- when there are strong federal entities will allow ntia to examine thorny issues affecting commercial providers. thank you again for allowing me to share my thoughts with you on my perspective on pending legislation to improve our nations spectrum now management connectivity's. a look forward to answering any questions you may have. condrey, you are >> thank. you doctor cautery, kadri, you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. chair, ranking member latta and distinguished members of the security, i greatly appreciate the opportunity to testify before you today. by way of background, i'm a law professor at the university of georgia, but i'm also affiliated with the institute
for winds that is at the institute for cybersecurity and privacy. obtained by ph.d. from yale law school, and my research focuses on the legal and technological regulation of privacy, speech and abusive. and doesn't affiliated researcher with cornell's a clinic to end techno beauty, ceta how, i work directly with victims to interviews. -- now use the term digital abuse to reform broadly to help people explore technology to harm arthur's. more specifically, digital abuse involves using technology to control, harass, stop, surveil, or threatened someone in a way that invades their privacy or autonomy, or harms them emotionally, physically, reputation really, are financially. now, digital abuses on the rise. domestic violence charity refuge estimates that 95% of its put cases involve technology while the national domestic environments hotline
has seen a 155% increase reports on digital bs between 2015 and 2018 and those numbers actually coined during the. pandemic relati onships. but one in three women and one and six men have experienced abusive relationships. and given how central digital technologies have become in our lives, they are growing role in inter personal abuse is predictable. why is digital abuse so harmful? this is obviously a complex question, but one common theme is that abusers used technology to become ever-present in a victims life. or at least, to create that impression. now, but might be tempting to focus on more sensational topics like this -- the work of dr. karen levy and others has shown that digital abuse is often mundane in that it requires a little to no sophistication and relies on every day devices and services. and a classic example of this
is family phone plans. information that an abuser can gather from these plans might exacerbate abuse and even thwart a victims attempts to escape. and these serious, yet underappreciated risks make family phone plans the snake and the grass of domestic violence. these plans 11 abuser monitor a victims calls, texts, and even their precise location of their device. and abuser may, for example, discover where a victim is currently hiding or planning to go. as well as any contact they've had with family members, domestic violence hotline, or crisis response centers. as diana freed, a lead researcher ad cita has observed, people would come into the clinic and say that the observer -- they have moved on to a new relationship, new france, and suddenly all of their contacts have been contacted by the abuser and there was no idea how this person got the number. though a victim could always
abandon their device entirely, this might actually worsened matters if their phone and it's number connect them to friends, family, work and crucial services that can help keep them safe. and if a victim does try to leave a family plan, phone companies often charge high fees of up to $350 per line. in addition to the manning upfront payment for any devices being financed in installments. now, for many victims, paying the sums all at once will exceed their financial means. especially when their abuser controls their economic resources as is common with domestic violence. and currently, no federal law allows victims to leave family plans. existing state laws meanwhile provide inadequate protections. and people in states without any legal right to get out of a family plan, especially people with low incomes, could effectively be trapped in a contract that allows their views are to control them. a strong federal law, empowering victims to leave family plans, would help vulnerable people in all states to cut this dangerous tight
with their abusers. the legislation before your subcommittee, the safe connections act, represent significant progress by making it easier to leave family plans quickly, remotely, and for free. victims rely on phones as a lifeline. but that same technology can simultaneously expose them to abuse. and the act represents the careful effort to respond to how phones play this essential, but complicated role in victims lives. it's encouraging to see the bipartisan consensus that has emerged as the act has passed through congress, or progress through congress. and even the telecommunications industry has now signaled its support. federal law should allow victims to make a clean break from their abusers with minimal barriers and risks. and the safe connections act will be a step in the right direction. thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. mr. gibson, you are now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, chairwoman matsui. -- thank you for the opportunity
to testify today. it is a honor and pleasure to be here, if virtually. i'm here today in my capacity's regulatory officer and board member of the -- the mission of the alliance is too -- for the development, commercialization, and adoption of lte and 5g solutions for the u.s. -- radio service. this is a variant important -- as it is one of the first 5g -- and i would like to discuss how the legislation of today's hearing will -- the employment in the citizens of broadband radio service from cbs, launched in january 2020. and then nearly two and a half years since the pr s service launch, they are thin well over 2000 stations over the country. -- including support for distance learning during covid, enabling hospital covid triage centers,
helping otherwise totally unconnected farmers achieve 5g connectivity, support through critical manufacturing automation, and helping to connect corners of our supply chains. -- the band is shared with several types of uncommon operations, including satellite surface, legacy broadband, and the d.o.d.. sharing happens through -- it's to tell base stations what frequencies they can operate on at their locations without causing interference to operations. our fix satellite and broadband deployments -- and can easily perform frequency availability analysis. however, are dod operations -- therefore, these operations are identified through a sensor network called environmental
say something capability. each network is comprised of scores of coastal sensors that sense radar operation and alert -- which then tell based nations to avoid the radar frequencies and use. the sensors must quickly sense writer operations that occur over 150 miles off the coast, which means that the sensors are extremely sensitive to very weak signals and this also means that the sensors can be susceptible to interference from based asians. to avoid interfering with the sensors. the devices -- must operate at reduced power or avoid operating altogether. this creates a de facto protection area around each sensor. -- these operators have try to minimize these protections aligns through sensor design and by placing sensors as coast
-- but sometimes, avoiding populated areas is unavoidable. -- affect millions of americans in coastal regions, as well as -- who paid over four and a half million dollars in auction. however, there is a remedy to this problem in the form of -- the ntia has proposed creating a portal -- this would allow for any -- with at least a few minutes noticed. this would then be communicated to -- they could specify a time, duration, location, and operating frequencies. and this information could be provided -- this would then protect the areas as if a sensor had since the radar. the only drawback to this is
operation and funding. there is currently no funding timeline and no authorization of a specified funding source. this would greatly enhance 5g operations. -- and fully realize the value -- allowing potentially millions of americans along the coast to benefit. this is why the alliance fully supports -- or simplifying -- be smart act. we honor -- the -- to build the capability that will allow for -- thank you again and i look for to your questions. >> thank you. you are now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you so much. chairwoman matsui, ranking member latta --
thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. i am the senior direction of technology in telecommunications policy at the national -- i bring you greetings on behalf of our presidents. -- where i advise the commissioner on broadband policies that impact communities of color and low income communities. in this capacity, i made policy recommendations regarding -- i was also the person watching the live stream, or sitting behind my former boss as he answered the committee. my seating arrangement has changed today. the national urban league and our affiliates have long recognized that access to high-speed internet as a civil rights. the covid 19 pandemic demonstrated that everybody needs broadband to learn, work, received health care and access critical government services no matter their income, no matter their race, and no matter their
geographic location. last year, the national urban league published a plan for digital equity and inclusion, where we presented four goals. -- getting everyone connected, creating new economic opportunities to participate in the growth of the digital autonomy and using that to improve how we deliver essential services. we recognize that in order to achieve these goals, we must have -- including availability, adoption, and affordability. today, i will focus on affordability. nearly 47 million people in the united states are left off line because they are unable to afford broadband. and this disproportionately impacts black and latin ex-households. in fact, 29% of black adults and 35% of latinx adults do not have a home broadband connection. prior to the pandemic, low income families were dependent on the fcc's, lifeline program,
which was the only program with affordable services. this program must be modernized to help households who need it most. it is very underutilized. -- we need a whole of government approach to get household enrollment in what is already a literal lifeline for millions of families. that is why the national urban league supports the goals of ensuring phone and internet access for -- which requires the fcc and -- on enrollment and a lifeline by -- it also requires the commissioner to report on projected lifeline consumers through federal assistance programs and the efficacy of various efforts to advertise the program. the requirements of this bill should be extended beyond lifeline to include the affordable connectivity program, which was established with the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure law. almost 12 million households have been rolled in this and estimates show that
approximately 48 million households are eligible. congress, the fcc and and cia have recognized that -- working on the ground. the national urban league could not a great more. we believe the -- should not fall solely -- there needs to be more resources provided. we also think about solutions for the future that can extend the life of the program, although the national urban league has now taken -- we do believe that congress should consider a number of ways to provide permanent, sustainable funding, such as using proceeds to foundational equity and affordability efforts. an era of rising income inequality and increasing dependency on the -- we must recognize that there is a moral imperative and an economic benefactor connecting everyone to high speed internet, including both workers and a
small business owners. the national urban league believes that spectrum winners should be encouraged or incentivized to hire from under represented communities beyond entry level positions, establish diversity hybrid goals, increase supply or diversity. our organization has taken up efforts to increase equity in companies because we know that black and latin ex-workers and entrepreneurs deserve to experience the economic benefits of this sector. we have reached a critical juncture in history. it is time to move forward and creating an inclusive technology ecosystem that centers the needs of communities of color and low come communities. thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony today and i look for to answering your questions. >> thank you. we have concluded openings. we will now move to member questions. each member will have five minutes to ask questions of our witnesses. i will start by recognizing myself for five minutes.
>> the fcc's 2023 budget to congress earlier this week expressed confident that the -- we'll likely conclude before the end of the fiscal year of 2022, including option set to expire. they also announced certain -- may continue into fiscal year 23. miss gomez, yes or no, do you believe extending the fcc's authority, will help ensure the -- for that issue? >> yes, chairwoman. >> i have long insisted on supporting agencies to find innovative ways to -- the s.m.a.r.t. act introduced by congressman guthrie would that supply resources for --
mr. gibson, why is it important to have a standardized framework for sharing -- and could you describe the potential for the system to support commercial applications? >> yes, congresswoman and chairwoman matsui. that's an excellent question. the -- to facilitate the job that they're already doing in the background, which is supporting the sharing of spectrum. what's the eye i see would do, as i noted in my testimony, would be to allow a more robust -- which -- where they may be issues of classification. so, the concept of the iic it's to move that responsibility over today ntia by allowing
them to build a portal that users would then put that information into a portal and that information would be available to commercial users. we believe that this is probably one of the best ways to effectuate the sharing -- and as well ntia have noted, that could go over all domains. >> well we have made strong progress over the years, bringing -- we need to keep looking for new opportunities to -- to support 6g wi-fi and satellite broadband. miss gomez, what role do receivers and other technologies play in -- >> thank you for the question. agencies have equipment that at times is aging. and unfortunately, the spectrum relocation fund does not permit these agencies to use those funds to do anything but
replace their equipment with a comparable capability. this serves as a disincentive to the extent that agencies equipment is close to the and of -- or is decades old. for many agencies to explain their systems capabilities, would serve as powerful incentives to help -- >> okay. thank you. the fcc's life sign -- can maintain broadband services. the onset of the pandemic, i wrote to the chairman, urging him to take immediate steps. -- as they become eligible directly -- it is important that we continue to reduce barriers to and expand awareness of the lifeline program. doctor valentin, do you see additional ball opportunities --
to increase a coordination between the fcc and other organizations? >> definitely. the bill before us today, at its core, it's about understanding where we are, understanding where we're hoping to go and identifying any gaps that may persist in the road to get their. i think that it will also help us to understand who is eligible for the lifeline program. is that those who are struggling with housing insecurity? is that those who are struggling with food insecurity? and that could then help organizations like the national urban league to figure out where we need to focus our efforts to raise awareness about the lifeline program and the affordable connectivity program. >> thank you. my time is expiring. so, i yield back. i recognize, mr. latta to ask questions. >> thank you very much, madam chair. and again, thank you for our
witnesses for being with us today. i really appreciate it. mr. gibson, the new case -- demands federal agencies to find new tools to make more efficient use of spectrum use. -- seems to show great promise -- this tool would get ntia greater understanding of -- how would this tool help better inter coordination? >> thank, you chairman. that's an excellent question. as we all know, the ntia is the spectrum manager for the federal government. and in that role, the ntia it is ultimately responsible for interfacing with commercial users in that regard. the -- capability will allow other
agencies to interface with a portal that v ntia can then use to make that information aware to commercial spectrum users. this could be made aware through something that i talked about through the -- ntia has constructed a very broad concept for this. the concept of the iic should facilitate sharing across all federal domains and allow federal spectrum users to put their usage information into this. that would thereby be made available to commercial users. >> thank you. miss valentin, -- the s.n.a.p. act would require the -- would benefit with this provide? >> i believe that it will help
the fcc better coordinate with -- i think it can be extended to other federal agencies. it's important for us to know where we are, where the gaps in participation are. and i think it is also really important to help us understand what's affected advertising efforts there are out there so we can better focus those efforts as well. >> let me follow up. does the fcc currently have the s.n.a.p. enrollment data or would this be new data collection? >> there is some data. i know there is some data in the s.n.a.p. databases and the folks that are directly and rolled through the state. that enrollment rate is about 13%. but then there are also folks who get into the program on like kind of a multitude of databases. and i don't have clarity and i am not sure the fcc has clarity, on how folks are entering when they are eligible through
multiple programs. this would help us better pinpoint that information. >> thank you. i also want to note that there is an ongoing discussion required by the infrastructure law as to what's the future a spectrum should look like in light of all the -- i'm not really sure right now this legislation is necessary at this time. mr. gibson, the i.t.s. act will provide additional -- as a significant user of the cbrs spectrum, what -- you have benefited by their work. what role was i.t.s. play in the cbrs framework and how can expertise be utilized to address our future spectrum management challenges? >> one excellent question.
i.t.s. started initially by doing a series of intermission -- interference measurements of radar systems into commercial systems. that report was huge and was made available initially so that the commercial world could better understand what role radar was playing. that was the first work that they did. as we move through, i.t.s. whereas the agency that a for the sases -- on behalf of the fcc, they did all the testing. as we have been working through this, i'm not sure if they have actually been able to do it. propagation modeling efforts to help better inform the propagation labels that we've been using. >> thank you very much. madam chair, before i yield back, i will have to turn my spot over to my good friends
from -- bilirakis -- but i really appreciate today's hearing and thank you, witnesses, and thank you madam chair, and i yield back. >> thank you. the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes mr. pallone. >> thank you, chairwoman matsui. i will try to get three questions in. so i would ask all of you to only take a minute or so. miss gomez, can you tell us how access to spectrum -- [inaudible] [inaudible]
so no one would be without a phone in case of emergency or keep in touch with friends or loved ones -- it has been proven to be an essential program for many people, that we know that just a fraction of the eligible population, just about 19%, believe it or not, is enrolled. so, my question, miss valentin, could the data requirements i'll policymakers and community operations raise awareness of the lifeline program and ultimately help those who need this help? obviously, we want more people to sign up if you will. >> thank you for the question. yes, the data requirements in this field could absolutely help committee organizations raise awareness about the
lifeline program and figure out where we need to target our efforts. it is also about accountability as it relates to government agencies, fulfilling their obligations to help people most in need. the national urban league, we understand that access to critical communication services such as the lifeline program, directly correlates to economic opportunity for both workers and entrepreneurs and we want to be able to close those opportunity gaps. >> thank you so much. thank you, chairwoman matsui. >> thank you. the chair now recognizes mrs. mcmorris-rodters. >> thank you, madam chair. i'm very pleased that we have come together with bipartisan legislation to extend the fcc's authority for 18 months. miss gomez, this 18th month -- of the two dot five gigahertz
ban and avoid destruction of the fcc's operations. however, some people think that the fcc's authority should be extended for a longer term, such as ten years. one of the benefits are extending the fcc's auction authority for 18 months versus a longer term extension? >> yes, thank you. i do think a lengthy extension could be very beneficial. but at this point, the extension is the most practical path at this time. we only have a short time left before september 30th. we don't have any current spectrum identified. so, there wouldn't be any spectrum and the extension of the authority. we don't have a national spectrum strategy either. so, at this point, we find a pass to extend. but congress provided oversight -- >> miss gomez, as the former
deputy experience -- ntia -- i.t.s. does important work to understand radio frequency propagation and develop technologies to improve spectrum efficiency. what role does i.t.s. plan the federal government? >> apologies for the delay and unmuting. the i.t.s. plays a very important rule in -- as well as with regard to -- as well as a coordinates with the fcc on spectrum decisions that might affect federal agencies. that could be research and development. it connects testing.
it also enters into other federal agencies -- as well as with commercial providers. there is a variety of ways that i.t.s. it's important in the spectrum management ecosystem. >> and as we look to the future of wireless technologies, we know that effective spectrum management is critical to our success. how can we better leverage i.t.s. to promote innovation and continue to compete with china and applying wireless technology? >> i'm so glad you asked this question. i.t.s. it's a very important component of spectrum management. it is also largely funded through mutual agreements. being able to pass the act that is being proposed, being able to draw attention to the importance of its resources and being able to bolster the i.t.s. functionality all will help support our efforts, both
domestically and internationally. >> thank you. i appreciate that. mr. kadri, earlier this year, the senate -- to ensure survivors of domestic abuse can separate from a shared phone plan with an abuser. this is an important legislation to help -- however, it is also important that we get the details right in this legislation so that both survivors and wireless carriers have a smooth process for providing relief. would you speak to the challenges survivors of domestic violence face when they are trying to separate from the shared aspect, such as shared phone contracts? >> absolutely. thank you, congresswoman. the obstacles are many and varied, but i will just focus on a couple, since i know our time is short. for one thing, it can be quite difficult to even detect this level of surveillance that goes on through family phone plans. some victims are just unaware
of it. when they do become aware, trying to actually protect themselves can be a real challenge, oftentimes, phone company won't allow for changes to the accounts unless they have the primary account holders permission. in many cases, that will be the abuser. at other times, there are considerable fees and upfront costs that really make this kind of barrier to separates too daunting for survivors to go through. i'd be happy to mention other obstacles. but those are a couple that i think are of particular concern to survivors when they're trying to get out of these plans and protect themselves. >> thank you. do you think including a remote option to request a line separation might be part of the answer? >> absolutely. i am pleased that the act does include such a protection. particularly, given the fact that so many survivors may have real concerns about going into a physical store, particularly in smaller communities, where
the people working in the stores may know them, they may know -- i think that remote option is crucial. >> super. i appreciate your insights and your work. i yield back. >> thank you. the gentlelady yields back. the chair recognizes mr. mcnerney for five minutes to ask questions. >> i think the chair for holding this hearing and i think the committee staff are putting together -- and the witnesses for bringing their expertise this morning for us. miss gomez, how would greater federal's -- impact the current deployment of our 5g networks? >> thank, you congressman, for that question. during a certainly a tool for deployment. as it becomes more and more challenging to identify additional spectrum, it enables us to find new ways to obtain a spectrum. but of course, it continues to
be preferable to provide q lear spectrum for -- to enable infrastructure providers and manufacturers the certainty they need to make the necessary adjustments to establish u.s. leadership in 5g and beyond. >> do you think moving towards a more agile spectrum, sharing environment will blur the lines between the licensed and unlicensed spectrum? >> thank, you congressman. i don't think we have the technology of the systems in place today to get to a place that would globalize licensed and unlicensed -- but i can imagine sometime in the pretty far future when that could happen. it would require investments in psychology, changes in our eye location practices and how our regulatory agencies approach spectrum management. in the meantime, spectrum has been hugely successful --
but there is also a place -- to succeed, the participants much have the certainty necessary that makes them willing to invest in the option as well as to invest in deploying the network. >> thank you. again, the spectrum sharing a framework outlined in the s.m.a.r.t. act includes a system to enable time based spectrum sharing. miss gomez, what degree of automation would require -- do you see a role for artificial intelligence and machine learning and time sharing and distribution of the spectrum? >> yes. i have to admit i'm not an expert in this exact area. but i will point out that ntia wrote a report on the iic a while ago, in which it mentioned that eventually, the system should be to a point where a i and machine based learning is utilized as a
method of implementing these sharing mechanisms. >> good. thank you for that response. mr. gibson, and your written testimony, you mentioned the concept of -- as a mechanism to manage interference more -- specifically andy citizens band radio service. could be iic expanded to other parts of the spectrum? >> thank you, congressman, for that question. that's a very good question. i don't know that i think iic manages interference. it manages spectrum -- but absolutely, it could be applied to other parts of spectrum. in fact, the ntia's vision for the iic is to be used across all spectrum domains -- and it could also be expendable to federal, federal sharing in the extent that that is a thing. their vision on it is very
broad and it could really easily -- >> it is artificial intelligence used in that process or plan to be? >> it is not plan to be used in that process, but artificial intelligence, absolutely lend themselves to spectrum enrichment. that is my area of expertise. we were -- and we've been using bits and pieces of artificial intelligence to improve the fidelity of responses to spectrum queries, thereby eliminating interference. it is nascent, but it is beginning. >> excellent. well, what implications would iic half are unlicensed there 5g and the deployment of broadband? >> to the extent that any sort of deployment will be and spectrum. it wouldn't matter with -- they could handle licensed. a good handle unlicensed.
for example, in the six gigahertz banned in the united states -- that is coordinating much like a sas for commercial six gigahertz -- the same thing could be applied in the eighth gigahertz band. it would absolutely lend itself to that. >> very good. it looks like my time is expired. i will yield back. thank you for your responses. >> thank you. the chair now recognizes mr. guthrie for five minutes to ask questions. >> thank you, madam chair. you said in your opening a statement that we have more spectrum bills that we can count. i agree. each time it's been a pleasure to work with you. i appreciate that very much. my first question today is for us gomez. i want to thank you for your support and my legislation.
spectrum is obviously a valuable and scarce resource. i believe we need to do all we can do to ensure that every spectrum user is as efficient as possible, including the federal government. my question is, how would an incumbent informing capability hello ntia resolve technical barriers to make -- >> thank, you congressman guthrie. while there is a preference -- sharing has some benefits. the iic will provide needed transparency and certainty. it would also replace other sharing methods that are proving to be technically challenging. i would know that the capability would not enable the use of -- it would permit larger uses of spectrum in areas where the federal agencies may not be
operating. >> thank you. i keep meeting in between so does that feedback. sorry. these s.m.a.r.t. act -- to share more realtime usage information. awe ntia it seeks to identify new bands to clear for commercial use, how would this -- such as those carried out by the department of defense? we all want access and better spectrum, but i also want to make sure that our agencies can accomplish their core missions. how does this balance that? >> thank you, congressman. that's right. the ntia's mission is to support the other agencies missions to fulfill -- while balancing the need to supports the economy. the iic would enable them to
continue using their spectrum. they are widening opportunities to access more spectrum, while allowing the agencies to continue. >> okay. thank you. in the bill we are discussing, it is focused on sharing. i want to reiterate my support for making spectrum available for commercial use. can you talk about the role of ntia in finding ways to incentivize federal agencies to be more efficient? does this bill strike the right balance between prioritizing options i am sharing where it is not feasible? >> thank, you congressman. i'm glad you asked me that question because of something i'm very passionate about. the ntia must work with all agencies to make sure they are making efficient use of their spectrum. it is a challenge --
identifying spectrum or to make more efficient spectrum use. the sole purpose is to -- when fulfilling their missions -- well supporting the innovations -- the -- i noted in my testimony, it can be made to provide additional incentives. in addition, it is helpful when congress or the white house includes spectrum bands to be studied. -- such actions bolster the work that ntia is doing and get the federal agency's attention. >> okay. thank you. i appreciate that. i yield back, madam chair. >> thank you. the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes mr.
o'halleran for five minutes to ask questions. >> thank you, madam chair and ranking member for holding this meeting today. we need more hearings like this, where we are working together to solve a problem. where we are more focused on finding a solution then on partisan bickering. i peachy ate the bipartisan focus on this meeting. i want to voice my support of this act, which would take necessary steps to protect victims of domestic abuse and other crimes. i thank you for your leadership on this and i'm glad to see this committee considered the bill and hopes to make it move through the house quickly. another bill we are considering today addresses a problem i see far too often in my district and in under-resourced communities in general. congress passed this legislation, oftentimes aiming to help struggling communities,
working families, or seniors. but the people it is supposed to help don't know the program exists or that they're eligible at all. far too often, people don't know how to navigate the systems. we should be doing everything we can to make it easier for them to get the help they need. myth valentin, which is a whole of government approach look like when reaching underserved and other resourced communities? >> thank you so much for the question. i would say a whole government approach means that federal agencies across the board are using their existing authorities, using their existing resources to reach underserved communities and coordinated -- eligibility for programs like lifeline and the affordable collectivity program are based on other federal assistance programs, but too often, federal agencies are working independently to administer their respective assistance
programs. so agencies can work on creating coordinated educational materials. they can share information across agencies. and just work on effective outreach efforts. >> i was just out in the field yesterday. it's different communities in my district. each one of those communities brought up a lack of knowledge on what was going on in different programs within our whole of government approach. so, somewhere along the line, we are missing the opportunity to get the information out there. i know that my stuff does a consistent job on that. but we have to find a way -- i don't care where it is hot and what agency it is. we have to find a way to allow our citizens to know what is going on out there. >> another question. beyond this bill, are there other approaches congress should consider too allow
access programs like lifeline and affordable connectivity program? for example, certain tribal programs administered by the bureau of indian officials qualifies households for the acp. should congress consider -- about the acp. or should other agencies be working together for a whole of government approach to get this information out there. both access issues as well as affordability issues. with the lifeline program as well as the acp program, that is recogniz -- and with the lifetime program as well as the ac program, that's recognized, and that's why tribal communities receive those enhancement -- for broadband services. what those benefits gonna leave affected, as you, said if the households actually know that these programs exist. so i think that congress should definitely explore all options that encourage and incentivize
federal agencies to work together in reaching these households. and i think cross collaboration between the fcc and ebi a can certainly help increase enrollment, and we certainly what the legislation that supports us cause. >> thank you very much. and i'm also glad to see that discriminatory consider builds between the ntia and the fcc the national day to necessary tools to manage spectrum in an efficient and innovative ways. spectrum is a public resource. it belongs to all of us. but it's also a finite public resource. our approach to spectrum policy must reflect that reality. this comment, but reactions should the fcc and ntia take to ensure that spectrum brands are used as you officially as possible? >> thank you, congressman, for your question. the fcc and ntia are constantly -- as efficiently problem. but on high level, i would say,
number one, increasing transparency as much as possible. sometimes this can be difficult with sensitive or classified systems, but the more knowledge that we have with about how spectrum is being used, that the more creative ways we can come up with of using spectrum or efficiently -- . plunges firefighters and participating in -- development. >> thank you very much, madam chair. i yield. >> thank you. the gentleman yields. the chair now recognizes mr. bill bilirakis for five minutes to ask questions. >> thank you, madam chair. clinches is i'm pleased to see the bipartisan bill to extend the spectrum of auction authority for eight months 18 months. his benefits that actions are brought through increased revenue, technology technologically mission and consumer choice have been immeasurable. miss gomez, it is legislation is not signed into law, and the
fcc's auction authority is severely restricted, what implications does that have on the international stage and would reveal -- our international competitors or forces like china would have a leg up on the future of technology? >> -- that's a very important point. i do think it would have a significant effect on our international standing, largely because it would make it, would put us back to the old-fashioned way of licensing spectrums, which is very lengthy and inefficient. and so we would be significantly delayed vis-à-vis other countries who are actually quite advanced and providing spectrum for new and advanced services. >> thank you. next question. it's been sometimes since about up natural disasters in the subcommittee.
and with sun june 1st being the beginning of florida's hurricane season, the time is ripe to remind people of the dangerous but also the promise of technology -- that again, we have to save lives. congressman curtis i.t.s. codification act includes the creation of an emergency communications and tracking technologies initiative that would help who get trapped individuals doing it in the vents when communication lines are down, helping save lives when seconds count. again, this goes, what can congress do to continue advancing ideas leadership in technological innovation? >> thank you for that question. i.t.s. that's core research for public safety to better understand the components of what communication signals need to be prioritized to see three smoke in a video, -- resolution, it's a necessary resolution for public safety
responses. so the work that they're doing is very important. -- finding i.t.s. for it s is critically important for us to be prepared as a nation to be the challenging of the changing environments and what that poses to communications systems. so you know, congress, supporting the act is terrific, and continue to find ways to realize i.t.s. and to bolster its funding would be terrific. >> thank you. as a follow-up, mr. gibson, what role can i.t.s. play in developing technologies to more efficiently use spectrum resources? >> thank you for the question. is very insightful. and i would say that, you know, i wanted to make sure that i did say this, and i think in my opinion, i.t.s. is probably the best at what they do. and so i think that some of the collaboration that i.t.s. has done with industry and also
with our government in terms of innovation, but we can do an industry and also federal government's come up with ideas and then ntia, i.t.s. can institute those ideas and whatever. they can both models, they can build tours, and which is similar to what they're doing now. in fact there have brought the tour to support spectrum spared sharing another spectrum brands in -- so i think allowing as mr. gomez said allowing them the funding they need to get going, along a collaboration with other experts in the industry i think that will help bring about what we are looking for. >> that's good. thank you, mr. gibson. and a yield back the balance of my time, madam chair. >> thank you. the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes mr. soto for five minutes to ask questions. >> thank you, madam chair. the internet is integral to our daily lives. from online education to
e-commerce, tell us south too smart to agriculture, till health is essential for essential floridians. and we need a big promise and put our money where our mouth goes with the infrastructure law, 65 billion dollars for a high-speed internet for rural broadband. it's going to be key for our rural areas in florida, as well as low income areas in florida that right now don't have equal access to internet. -- . ,. . the standard standard i spectrum sharing framework. we also see more specific legislation on the agenda today to help victims of domestic violence and human trafficking
spectrum. what actually happens on the day today, to slow the stuff down, and how does the smart act address that? >> thank you, congressman, for this question. on a day-to-day basis i actually think the coordination between the agencies is quite good. there's a good relationship understaffed level between the agencies. when it becomes difficult it is when we are asking agencies to -- from data damages and to find ways to free apps spectrum for other uses. as i mentioned before, what we need is incentive for the federal agencies to focus and to provide the engineering if that is necessary in order to determine how we can utilize spectrum in a more efficient way for the purpose of a z repurpose that for the uses. >> and you -- please, continue. >> --
>> do you believe this s.m.a.r.t. acting -- >> -- so for purposes of sharing, i would definitely help ntia fulfill its mission and work with the fcc to find more ways to share spectrum. >> okay, so it helps -- . dr. kadri, not constituents would be shocked to know that domestic violence and human trafficking victims can't even separate a shared line from their attackers site. and i was looking in your testimony, roughly only a dozen states provide protections. so 38 states across the united states have nothing to help the victims of domestic violence can away from something as is having their own cell phone. did you also mention in your testimony requiring a court order. so does this legislation, that
helped those -- and will it need a court order? or will we be able to really fast-track this going forward? >> thank you, congressman, for the question. it certainly would help all of those people in states where there are just no easy existing protections. and no, thankfully, the bill as currently drafted, would not require the burden of trying to seek a court order to force a phone company to do this. the survivor would have to provide certain documentation from a third party in order to get the light separation but, they wouldn't have to go to court in order to be able to do it. and that would be epic change, even for those folks in many of the other states where there are some limited protections for them. but as you point out, for those folks in other states, who currently lack any nickel recourse to do this, it would be a big big difference. >> thanks, dr.. and i'm proud of this legislation to make sure empowering victims, i yield back. >> thank you. gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes mr.
loan for five minutes to ask questions. >> thank you, madam chairwoman. and miss gomez, as you probably see on the wall behind me, my 42 year old auctioneer license plate from here in missouri. and so i've got a long, long history electioneering before i went to congress 12 years ago. in the fcc spectrum auctions have helped create the wireless services that we all enjoy today. congress can take a little bit of credit for this success story also with. one exception, every time congress extended the ftc auction authority, we told the fcc to auction spectrum. it seems to me that this short term extension will give congress the time we need to find the right balance for which to auction this goes, isn't that why short term the extension of fcc's auction authority as included h are 7783 makes the most sense? >> yes, congressman, i agree
and makes the most sense for the reasons you articulate. >> thank you. and also, sticking with you, miss comas, that's a national telecommunications and information administration, ntia, of course, is statutorily, easy easy for me to say, statutorily responsible for -- federal matters before the fcc and fcc actions may affect a federally user spectrum. in recent years, across the process of getting public attention, how would standardized frameworks contemplated in the s.m.a.r.t. act improve ntia's ability to represent federal views? >> thank you, congressman, for that question. so the s.m.a.r.t. actual both provide -- this more transparent and efficient tool to permit it to enable the sharing of federal spectrum. but it will also recognizes that that ntia is the manager of federal spectrum and baftas the status of that recognition.
>> okay. and why is it important that ntia retains its role as spectrum energy across all federal agencies, rather than have each agency manage their own spectrum usage? >> thank you, congressman. this is a very important issue. ntia must retain its role of the spectrum manager across all federal agencies. there's an important distinction with the agencies, which are spectrum uses, and ntia, which manages spectrum used by federal agencies. facing the risk -- that the spectrum used, which are in a federal agency or commercial use, represents an infant parent conflict of interest. even the fcc doesn't manage its own spectrum. rather, because the fcc is a federal user, ntia manner just spectrum. southern federal agencies each have their own missions to accomplish, and managing spectrum efficiently is not among those motions. ntia has the balance has to balance its duty to ensure that federal agencies can perform
dimensions, with the duty of working with the fcc to enable you, innovative uses to enhance the u.s. economy. triple from this mission while, it ntia must remain the regulator, and to be charged and bolstered has the agency that makes these difficult decisions. >> okay, thank you. and i told you i was a fast talker. so madam chairwoman, i yield back one minute and 45 seconds. >> thank you, mister long. the chair now recognizes miss rice for five minutes to ask questions. >> thank you so much, madam chair. and miss gomez, i'd like to continue along with billy, i'm sorry, rep long's questions. i hear you on ntia remaining the manager of all the specter. whatever to lot about's ways that we can make that management more efficient. i'd just like to go back a step. can you tell us the ways that spectrum is being inefficiently used, no, in order for us to
make sure that we come up with ways to make sure that the management is as efficient as possible? and maybe we give examples of these are specific bands that have historically been under used, or that are rapists for repurposing? >> thank you for that question, congresswoman. so, actually has an interesting the efficient way of managing spectrum in that it actually facilitates more sharing between federal agencies and what do you see of the ftc's licensing process, which has to be more exclusive licensing. that can also create certain inefficiencies. for example, when the ntia approved systems that have similar products, but they are using different brands for those products for different reasons. this happens in, for example,
in the gigahertz band, where you have faa -- have, you have i believe, it's noah, that has, have similar uses, similar products that they utilize, that they are utilizing them, in ways that really can be consolidated, and therefore that could be more respect your freedom. so that's one example of inefficiencies that can be addressed. >> and how we are dressing them? or how do we address them, so that we make sure that these, that this limited, finite universe that we have his managed most efficiently? >> well obviously, i think one of the -- yes. of course, ntia it's constantly studying ways to make the users more efficient. giving them the tools to be able to upgrade their spectrum management systems, which are quite antiquated at this time, would be really helpful. increasing the transparency of
federal users, and as i mentioned, increasingly, the incentives for federal agencies to study their own systems and to find ways to move or repurpose the ones that they have, so that we can, re-up additional spectrum for new uses. >> well thank you so much, miss gomez. that's a very helpful. i would like to return to dr. if valentin i can for second. hr -- we've talked about this all morning, but why eligible individuals and up in rolling, and more often why they don't enroll in lifeline. while this bill is focused on lifeline in rome it -- eligible individuals, it should offer important that is for every agency and program that qualifier consumer for life to line. so for instance, more than 10% of likely beneficiaries are veterans. even though just 0.08% of
participants, and that's one out of every thousand, qualify for the program of through their veterans pension or survivor pension. so, dr., either waits for the department of veterans affairs and other relevant agencies to improve coordination and outreach around the lifeline and acp program so that more qualifying veterans are able to take full advantage of the program? >> thank you so much for the question. you know, as the daughter of two veterans and cyst sibling of the veteran, i'm glad that you raise this because i think that veterans are often a group that's left out of these conversations. and we're talking about the digital divide. and they make so many sacrifices for our country, it is also folks to deal with, kind of, multiple levels of marginalization. for example, you know, black veterans. one third of all veterans experiencing -- our black veterans is. and i do think we need a whole of government approach to getting households involved in the lifeline program in the
affordability, affordable activity program as well. and we need to make sure that as someone signs up for a program, you know, at the va, the sign up for the program at u.s. ca, they are immediately notified about all the other programs that they're eligible for, including mike -- program, including the affordable connectivity program. >> that's good today. thank you. i just want to thank you the witnesses so much, and thank you madam chairman and the ranking member for bringing this hearing today. thank you, and i yield back. >> thank you. the gentlelady alleles back. the chair now recognizes mr. walberg for five minutes to ask questions. mr. walberg? mr. walberg, are you hearing us? we can't hear you. okay, let's go on to somebody else.
to do? know, low is already done. okay. this >> can you hear in our, madam chairwoman? >> yes i, can i. >> i'm sorry about that. >> okay. >> sometimes technology doesn't work in a tech committee, i guess i. >> understand. >> i think he is a witness for being here today, and today's hearing touches on a number of extremely important bills for both consumers and businesses. but first i want to highlight the importance of each are 7132, they say connections an act. i joined my colleagues in -- the lead republic on this legislation, because no one should ever have to make the choice between staying connected and staying safe. this partisan, bipartisan bill allows survivors of domestic violence, stalking and other homes to separate their phone line from any cell phone plan shared with their abuser, without having to worry about
financial penalties or other requirements. it also directs the fcc to examine further ways to support and protect survivors after they disconnect. she had blames can be used by abusers to continue stalking or controlling their victims and fees and arduous paperwork should not be another impediment to survivors getting to safety. an extremely i'm extremely heartened by the broad support this legislation has had. the white industry worked closely with domestic violence groups to come to an agreement that passed the senate by unanimous consent. and i know that we, here in the house, can do the same doctor kadri, your testimony outlines the patchwork of state laws that currently exist to address digital abuse and ensuring mobile service contracts. in what ways does the safe connections act strengthen current laws to make gaining digital freedom easier for survivors and can also, what
gaps still remain? >> thank you, congressman, for the question. expandthe safe connections act,i think, really sets, really so much foundation from which we can expand protections for survivors. so it's that a really good base in making it easier, cheaper, and more accessible for survivors to be able to get out of family phone plans that to push them the risks that i've discussed this morning. and then it also employs the ftc, i think, to engage in some really wise, innovative rulemaking to try to provide for the protection. so i think for example the provision in the bill that's before you that would have the scc look into removing or concealing communications with domestic violence from phone bills would be of crucial importance to survivors as they try and safety plan and get out of an oppressive relationship. and similarly, the efforts to expand access to the lifeline
plan, as my fellow expert today, dr. valentine, has i think is so compellingly told us, i think it's so essential in trying to close that digital divide. so i really commend those aspects of the bill. >> thank you. also, doctor kadri, the legislation tasks the federal communications commission with determining which program the lifeline program audio for double connectivity program, is best suited to provide emergency communications support to survivors. which of these programs if, i could ask, do you recommend for this purpose? >> congressman, i can say that i have a firm view either way on that one. and i was sort of defer to the expertise, somewhat, of those, you know, within the fcc who really engage with those programs. and i think that leaves some of the legislation that is before his subcommittee today to try and get a better understanding of how these programs are used, or unfortunately more often are not used by people, could be imported in trying to figure out which of the plans but the
most sense. but i do think that providing that kind of support through one plan or the other would-be of great importance to survivors. >> thank you. one of my questions have been asked about hr 773, i do want to applaud that legislation, when are extending americans extending sparked from leadership act. this extension would ensure that we have an uninterrupted and well coordinated spectrum pipeline. and it's key to the united states remain leader in 5g deployment and beyond. and for that reason, they continued efforts in this legislation needs to be done, need to be carried out, and i certainly stand a strong support with that. i yield back my remaining 38 seconds. >> thank you. the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes mr. schroeder for five minutes to ask questions. >> thank you very much, madam chair. appreciate the hearing work we
are having here today. mr. gibson, interference is a potentially huge hazard to the aviation industry, but the military and civilian. i want to know, if you could speak to the issues about wellness information interference and what's the state of testing going on to make sure with the spectrum available of the options that are going on, that that would be minimized. or if at all possible, potentially eliminated. you've had discussions in this committee about interference for quite some time, as part of the standards and how are they being allocated at that this point in time? >> that's an excellent question. there's a lot of -- thinking about the interference situation for -- altimeters. on out in the middle of that probably i'm not qualified to govern on that other than knowing the issues as a -- and why they do know is there's a lot of work being done with key leadership and keep you engineered in the faa from, the
ftc and proudest carriers, and they're doing their level best to mitigate. that the new ban being considered with aviation interest is 400 and founded 50 makers bans. independent iraq operations. at least from we know about this information is some of this information is classified and some of it's coming to us piecemeal. the interference issue there are with respect to the on board radar. so there's no safety of light in different issues there. in that band. and then there's just generally potential interference issues with aviation in general, for example, like the potential for interference with efficacious commission like for example, we're familiar with the issue that -- interference with ideas. -- dealt with now in the context of studies that are being taken care of, both in the end and ntia the ftc. and for the most part, the only major issue that we are still
facing right now with that is the one that's going on in the sea and, and as far as i can tell, that's on the path of being resolved in time. is there a timeframe in which -- it seems like we're doing all the spectrum options -- that would be extremely important to have that issue resolved, at least for the near term, until we learn differently based on the best knowledge at hand about what interference potential there is. you know, federal and non federal agencies as well as civilian aviation. it seems like we ought to have this figured out before we go too far down the line, going forward. you know, and realizing that our best efforts and knowledge at this point might change, but at least have a standard protocol that everyone should count on. >> that's an excellent point, congressman. and with respect to they see band, that is ongoing. when i can tell you is going on
in the -- as you will know by the legislation, that band will be options before november of 2024. there's a study going on as we speak. in fact, i was in a meeting yesterday trying to better understand how the inequities that are -- can better share with commercial operations. and our goal in that work is to establish better understanding of these cases, both from federal and commercial use. and then try to effectuate solutions for sharing. and we all understand the primary goal is to not have interference, especially with some of the systems that we have dealt with, but also with the commercial ones. >> it seems important to have a hearing on this. bringing the fcc and ntia and. and working with civilian and other federal agencies. to come up with a game plan.
otherwise, we may end up still studying things as these auctions transpire. last question. regarding the -- it was ended up before, which is, why extend the authority for only a short period of time? understood the answer was that we don't have any options coming up at this time. but it seems to me, why are we not just extending the authority for the fcc to do these auctions indefinitely? it will take time. a great deal of work goes into studying the effects, who's interested, who's not. what the problems might be -- so, why are we not at this point in time just giving this authority to the fcc so we don't have to repeat this every few months and put it in danger? >> i think mess gomez made a good point. mostly, it's about the fact that we don't have -- certainly beyond the horizon for the 18 months.
i also would note that the commission is -- some of the books and some of the key bureaus there are acting. and so, 18 months seems to be a perfect timeframe, all those things considered. >> very good. i yield back. thank you, madam chair. >> thank you. the gentleman has yielded back. the chair now recognizes mr. carter for five minutes to ask his questions. >> thank, you madam chair. and thank you everyone for being here. very important. as you know, and i will start with you miss gomez. i have introduced house resolution 49 90, which is simply to codify the institute for telecommunications services. it also directs the assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information to establish an initiative that will support the development of emergency communications and track technologies.
the main impetus of it is really for the institute for telecommunications sciences, or i.t.s.. as you know -- the lab is important for tests and research to solve the challenges that we have, the technical issues. can you just please speak to the importance of i.t.s. and how this bill will strengthen the laps important work. >> thank you for that very good question. ntia has a good mission between management. supporting spectrum being transitioned for commercial uses. i.t.s. comes up with studies to enable sharing, for example. what we are doing day-to-day is supporting these efforts to make decisions about how to support this more efficiently
and how to avoid interference. this includes conducting interference studies for fcc options that affect federal users. they work is very important in both supporting existing spectrum use -- but also for finding new and innovative ways to use spectrum and enabling decision-making that allows that. >> great. well, i asked secretary davidson earlier this year, and i ask you the same today, what role do you think ntia -- >> thank you for that question. it place of important role. because why i.t.s. gives us if the engineering basis for these discussions and decisions. they are the ones that provide the proof of how things are going to work. so, it's very important for these discussions so we don't
just rely on generalized discussions. we actually have what we would call a science based conversation about how to utilize spectrum. >> let me ask you this. it is obviously critical to ensure that the fcc continues to have the ability to option spectrum. we all agree on that. but you noted in your testimony that there is a need for better spectrum coordination. based on your experience at ntia, what do you think we need to be doing too allow the spectrum process to work? >> thank you for that question. i think the most important thing that we need to be doing is recognizing ntia's statutory role as the manager -- what we are seeing is federal agencies, who are also private parties, are unhappy with decisions that have been made. and then they utilize outside
of the ntia -- in order to continue to litigate some of these issues. and that is just not helping to have a strong spectrum management behind us. so ntia's position is important -- the white house needs to strongly support ntia to reinforce its role at the federal spectrum manager. -- if congress sees fit to elevate the assistant secretary to an undersecretary at the department of commerce, it would greatly help his or her position with negotiations with higher level agencies. >> how do you think it would help? why would help to be elevated? >> it is amazing how protocols
can help. if you have an assistant secretary, you will learn that the deputy secretary -- there are times when perhaps the staff may be unwilling to allow that kind of negotiation to happen. that has happened in the past. ntia has sat down with a deputy secretary of defense in order to talk about repurposing a spectrum and management of spectrum generally. it is just a protocol issue. but it definitely helps. >> it's just like having an ambassador status helps. -- this helps in domestic negotiation processes. >> okay. thank you and i yield back, madam chair. >> thank you very much. now, the chair recognizes mr. cardenas for five minutes to ask questions. >> thank you very much. and thank you to all the
witnesses for your expertise and your testimony. we know more than ever that broadband must be more accessible for all of americans to succeed. about 38 million people and united states benefited from the malnutrition assistance program, also known as s.n.a.p. and 2000 on team. this is about 12% of our total u.s. population. we also know that too many eligible people don't know that this exists. -- which offers discounted phone and internet service. more than 33 million households are eligible to receive lightly fly in support, yet only one and four of those households in the united states actually takes advantage of it. this question is to doctor valentin. -- help close the additional divide and work in the federal government do to improve helping each other --
that proposed access -- and help increase participation rates and public awareness in all communities, including underserved communities and rural america? >> affordability is often cited as the biggest barrier that is preventing communities from adopting broadband. and both a lifeline program, as well as the affordable connectivity program, of the strongest rules that we have to help bridge that affordability gap by lowering the cost of monthly broadband services for millions of households. as you stated. both of these programs are very undersubscribed. i think the public private partnerships are really important, as we saw a few weeks ago at the white house. the recent event, they announced industry commitments -- and also, we need to make sure that we are prioritizing the funding of organizations that are working on the ground to reach communities where they are.
>> thank you. and also, thank you for earlier reminding us -- how we can reach out and support our veterans. veterans are often not connected to internet. and also many veterans are homeless. -- connected vital tools and stay connected. the bill introduced by my colleague, hr 40 to 75, and during phone and internet access for s.n.a.p. recipients -- families that benefit from day s.n.a.p. program. i commend my colleagues who are working on this issue and i look forward to working with them to ensure that all american families have the resources they deserve to have access and afford phone and internet services and stay connected. when it comes to wi-fi, i am glad that today's legislative
hearing also includes a discussion of hr 77 83, the extending america spectrum -- introduced by my fellow colleague -- congress must act now to ensure continuing supply of the spectrum they need to keep the united states at the forefront of global 5g investment and innovation. never has the value of wi-fi been more apparent than during the covid-19 pandemic. -- how can congress better account for the vast economic and societal benefit of unlicensed veterans -- >> hi, congressman. thank you so much for that question. it's a very good question. i would refer you to a letter that chairwoman -- wrote to the leaders of the
committee. she talks about how to value unlicensed spectrum, which is used for wi-fi. in order to demonstrate or to continue to account for the tremendous economic value that unlicensed has given to our economy. as a canucks it's analyses of spectrum bells. it only does so far option to spectrum, but the fact is, the downstream effects are tremendous for our economy. so, looking at ways to do that would be very helpful. >> yes, thank you very much and once again, we have some incredibly talented commissioners and chairwoman -- he has been working very hard on this issue and trying to be as innovative as possible. it's incredibly accessible --
with that, madam chairwoman, i would like to yield back. thank you so much. >> the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes miss kelly for five minutes to ask questions. >> -- corporate programs meant to help abused victims -- are highly unlikely to even know they exist. other times, the process of leaving a family plan can be complex, burdensome, and risky. beyond what is required in the state connection act, are there other things wireless service providers can do to help make it easier for victims to leave a family plan? >> thank you, for the question. certainly there are. one thing that springs to mind is the phone providers could allow survivors to leave family plans based solely on a survivor's own sworn the
statement of abuse. the safe communication -- sorry, the safe connections act requires -- there's no reason why companies could not allow people to leave family plans based on their own affidavit. i think that is one thing that they could do. they could also certainly do more to warn -- account for the potential -- i think an earlier version of this bill had a provision in their. -- on a family plan, such as the location information that could be shared -- whether that is no longer in the bill, i see no reason why phone companies couldn't do that and shouldn't do that. i firmly believe that they should. there are just a couple of ideas of what they could do. w omen and minorities is >> thank you so much. as many of my colleagues were, representation in big tech for
women and minorities is abysmal. there's only one woman history 0.76 men employed at the big debt tech companies, amazon, facebook, apple, google and microsoft. michelle diversity is also a major concern, with an estimated 70 -- venture start-up to found is being lighter, and only 1.8% [inaudible] black. those numbers do not bode well for -- to empathize with victims of digital beuse or, overwhelming the, women, racial minorities, sexual minorities. doctor kadri, could you discuss that like of representation in the tech industry can conform to how testify this is why the companies could do more to protect women, racial minorities, and sexual minorities? >> certainly, congresswoman. that's an excellent question and a really important issue. i think, you know, not only must those companies engage activity with questions of diversity in hiring, as some of the are experts earlier
mentioned, [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] his and stopping treating them as kind of albert or rare or unusual is crucial. even the language that gets used in the tech industry of, kind of, the situation is being treated as inch cases, it's really problematic if, i think. they are ditch cases. they should be seen as stressed cage cases, and iran drawing and work by sarah -- who's talked about this in her work. and so i think even that kind of terminology is important. >> thank you.
the life line program is very underutilized in the participation rate that officer about 19% or 6.5 million households, despite estimates that more than 34 million households are eligible. doctor can, you discuss the disproportional effect this has on low income individuals, women and coca-cola, and how we can work to reach those that most benefit from the program. >> thank you so much for the question. so yeah, when we're talking about those who aren't connected, we're talking about our most vulnerable populations, which includes venice domestic violence services, to the people who i experienced homelessness, people of color, who are in disproportionately lower wage jobs. so the lack of conductivity impacts once ability to have access to health care, it impacts ability to have access to government services that are on line, and even impacts ability to connect with family friends. but it can't be underscored enough that this is also about
the economic opportunity up. we're living this group behind when attack ecosystem, and we're not connecting them to broaden and all the opportunities associated with biden. so we have to be able to lean on groups that have connections in the communities, on the script so they can for their reach efforts, and also these more outreach efforts going on on the federal level as well. >> thank you so very much. i'm out of time, so i yield back. thank you. >> the gentlelady's time is expired. thank you. yields back. the chair now recognizes mr. veasey for five minutes to ask questions. >> thank you, madam chair. i think it's great that we are holding this hearing and for the witnesses being here today. i think today's hearing reflect the deliberate and bipartisan work that the committee has been able to come accomplished to help connect millions in urban and rural america to ensure we remain a robust telecommunications infrastructure. and especially in areas like,
that i represent, like here in dallas -- and every part of the country. it's just good that we're having this discussion. doctor, first of all, i want to say congratulations on your recent transition to the national urban league. and my first question deals with the fcc's lifetime program, and each of 4275, the ensuring phone and internet access for snap s.n.a.p. recipients that was supported by my colleague korean like oh. as you know -- the ftc to submit enrollment in the dauphin program for those participating in s.n.a.p.. according to the u.s. ac, in texas, there are approximately 2.7 million lifeline eligible households, you'd only about 280,000 subscribed, 10% participation rate in the program. that is also much lower than
the national average participation rate, which is around at 20%, 19% or so. in your written questions you suggested that requirements of hr 4275 should also be extended beyond a lifeline to include the acp which is the long term version of the emergency abroad back -- program which was introduced at the beginning of the pandemic. can you explain the benefits of extending the requirements of this deal to go beyond the lifeline program to also include a report on a enrollment in the affordable connectivity program by s.n.a.p. recipients? >> yes, thank you so much for the question and thank you for your leadership on the affordable connectivity program. as well. so i would kind of answer this question by saying that we need both the lifeline program as well as the affordable collectivity program and as you know when you are applying for
these benefits you can only apply to either mobile services or your wireline services. and there are households across the country that need both. there for, we need to understand the data from both of those programs and hopefully it will also help us understand if for example the communication the lifeline sample needs to increase and so how we could better coordinate the programs as well. >> dr. valentine -- in europe and say the statement about -- the spectrum auctions to hire under represented communities but beyond entry level positions and increase supply diversity. and as you know, you many of these auction winners have also made commitments to support racial equity initiatives into their businesses. do you think these winners are delivering on their promises? >> i think that we can always do better, honestly, and i think that it's, this is
something that nixon national urban league has been working on for years. but the boy that we can integrate equity and inclusion and company's, the better. and it goes across the board from workers who are entering the bill to the -- two out of the community investment are these companies. >> and know that sometimes, you know, people will say, well it's better for congress to stay on the sidelines unless, the province that the private sector work all of this out or be some help to congress. do you think there's anything that congress can do to incentivize auction winners to hire, retain and promote underrepresented groups? >> yeah. no, i think, you, know any legislation that you all introduced in this space would definitely be welcomed. because again, we need to make sure that all communities are benefiting from this booming ecosystem. >> yeah, yeah. no, absolutely. and madam chairman, i yield
back but. thank you to the panelists. i hope this was a very useful topic today. thank you madam chair, i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes miss clark for five minutes to ask questions. >> thank you very much, madam chair for, convening this very important hearing. and thank you to our panelists of witnesses for your expert testimony. increased and targeted outreach efforts are necessary for all eligible families to take advantage of programs like the lifeline program. each of 4275 the, ensuring equality internet access was never surveillance act of 2021 requires the fcc to submit reports on the effectiveness of various left-wing programs advertising efforts. dr., could you elaborate on how these reports could assist in increasing the utilization of the lifeline program among snap
s.n.a.p. recipients? >> yes. you know, we really need to know where the gaps persist and. i would say that something as it relates to outreach efforts that we can sort of lean on is that something the national are gonna be talked about in recent comes to the fcc. the cdc had a program, the partnering for vaccine equity equity grant program, and that is a model that the fcc could use. as the cdc grantee, national again colin conduction with our amazing from, it's about 35 for our affiliates, we're able to train 76,000 trusted messengers. we were able to establish 400 partnerships, opened 270 nontraditional vaccination sites, and do about 1000 events. and we were able to then reach a 32 million people with our efforts. and we are able to, kind of, like caputo's efforts for the affordable connectivity program. that would be amazing. but again, in order to do these things, we have to have funding
to do so. >> got it, got it. miss gomez, the ftc spectrum auction authority is set to expire in september of this year. proceeds from the spectrum auctions have been used to fund key initiatives like the first responder network authority. by extending the fcc spectrum auction authority to march 31st, 2024, as stipulated in hr 7783, the expanding american spectrum auction -- act of 2022, would you appoint a bit on the essential programs that could be funded through auction proceeds? >> thank you, congresswoman. so i don't advocate for any particular problems, but i will list the ones that i have heard advocated that all some terrific. so you know order of priority, you know, chairwoman, chairwoman rosenworcel has
supported utilizing spectrum auction proceeds to find next generation 9-1-1, which is largely -- i think would be a great yourself the program. i've also heard that support for funding digital outreach programs, such as what doctor valentin was talking about, to continue our desire to get this as much uptake as possible in broadband so that everyone can benefit from the information economy. of also heard that perhaps it could be utilized to continue the rip and replace efforts to replace chinese manufactured equipment with non chinese, something more secure. those are the three that i've heard. and so, let's just call those illustrative. >> well, thank you, i appreciate it. each of 7132, the safe connections act of 2022 require
service providers to provide information for survivors seeking to separate from a shared mobile service contract on their website in physical locations, and other forms of community communication. dr., your testimony, you indicated that some providers are -- similar programs to help similar victims of digital abuse. so most programs are not well advertised are survivors are not aware of these resources. would it be unlikely for a survivor to find these information via providers and site or -- the primary account holder? especially if the information isn't a prominently displayed. and if so, in that, case what more additional out the outreach efforts look like to reaches many survivors as possible through this legislation? >> thank you congresswoman, it's an excellent point. and the certain part of the concern, with all noted usually possible, even for secretary account holders, to engage with foreign companies, whether
that's in question or online. and so i think the main concern driving the legislation is the sort of type of monitoring that these plants enable. but that, said having conspicuous information available is, no, it's only going to be one part of it. not a panacea. and so i agree that many people will be in conditions where they frankly would be able to even make use of some of the protections this bill, unless it's supplemented with other efforts. and so, in terms of additional outreach, i think it's important to educate folks on the front lines, kind of of intimate partner violence, about the dangers posed by technology. that's an important start. and we do some of that work at ceta and, there are other great groups during this, but i think of people don't know about the league goal protections that exist that are designed to help them, and they simply won't use them. >> thank you. and madam chair, i yield back. thank you. >> madam chair, unmute yourself.
thank you. the gentlelady yields back. the chair now recognizes mr. maceachin for five minutes to ask questions. >> thank you, madam chair. doctor valentin, one of the accomplishments that we have made doing this time, i was proud to be part of, it was to establish the affordable connectivity program as part of the bipartisan infrastructure plan. and as you know, that helps qualified household pace -- and by devices that can access the internet. how can we as members of congress help our constituents know more about programs and -- like this one. >> thank you so much for the question. you know, the first piece of advice i guess i would give members of congress is to partner with the national urban league and our local affiliates to get the word out about acp.
also partnering with small businesses, especially those owned by people of color. we also can't underestimate the power of paid media, especially by many organizations owned by people of color. when i will also add to members of congress it's to make sure that your allocating funds to outreach organizations that are known and trusted in the communities. and also, lean on the resources that the federal communications commissions -- they're doing a great job with outreach and they've had hundreds of offense at this point in time. i know that they are always accepting speaker requests. >> i thank you for that answer. you mentioned in your testimony, the proceeds for special options could be used to fund digital equity efforts. what kind of digital equity efforts could be funded in your judgment? >> yeah, i think that we were thinking about digital equity, it must be thought of probably
and it must include affordability. we have to find a way to sustain a meaningful affordability program for low income consumers and one idea that has been out there it is the use of spectrum funds. we will also need funds for devices, through the affordability program. you got a onetime discount on a device. but what happens when your device breaks? what happens when it is outdated and you can no longer run new software on it? and also, i would say, we use these funds to help unskilled workers get re-skilled -- so that they can reap the benefits of the digital economy. >> thank you very much. doctor kadri, i would like to turn to you. and your testimony, you left us with some very interesting thought about the family phone plans. that they can pose challenges to victims of abuse.
we don't have a lot of time left. let me just ask you this question. once the victim is able to leave a family phone plan, and that victim doesn't really have control of their own financial resources, how will affordability programs like lifeline help them? >> thank, you congressman. it's a very important issue as well. as i said in my testimony, victims really rely on communications technologies as a lifeline. that is why the lifeline program is called what it is. inter personal abuse doesn't have this fixed expiration date. there is no need line in the sand for a victim leaving violence. and it just suddenly ends. just thinking about ways that these programs can help support in a more enduring way is just crucially important. you know, especially now, given our increasing reliance on technology in the wake of the
pandemic. this is something that will only become more important, i think. >> thank you for that. in the very long minute and six seconds that we have next, can you summarize some of the ways that family plans are challenging and can be dangerous to victims of abuse? >> absolutely. if i may, maybe i will just use that time to share a very quick story from our work at ceta. we had one client who became concerned a partner was able to routinely find out where they were and know who they were communicating with. they were on a family phone plan together. she eventually tried to leave the phone planned by calling the phone company. and the company told her that there is another account they needed to contact. and then suddenly, without informing the clients, dial the abuser into a three-way conference line. and not only did the abuser refused permission to allow her to leave the plan, this was
obviously a deeply tornadic incident. even later, when the client was informed about a state law that could've allowed them to leave the family plan, even without his permission, she just declined to move forward because she was so scarred by that experience. and so, experiences like that are what we should be trying to avoid through this law. >> i thank you. i think the witnesses, and madam chair, i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes miss fletcher. >> thank you so much, chairwoman matsui. this hearing today has been very important and interesting. i want to thank all of our witnesses for testifying before us today. many of our colleagues and our witnesses today -- our essential parts of our
daily lives. at the same time, because these technologies are so connected to our lives, they can also be used as methods of surveillance and control for those in unsafe situations. like many of my colleagues, i'm deeply concerned about what we have seen especially recently about the use of technology to track individuals. and even the ability for others to buy that data. that issue, some of the app tracking issues that we're talking about so much lately, are not really before us in this hearing. but i do think that they are connected to the larger issues of privacy and safety in the legislation that we are discussing today, especially in the states protections act. and i see kuster has joined us, who is the sponsor of that bill. as well as -- this is a really important bill for supporting survivors of domestic abuse. -- as so many of my colleagues
have mentioned our witnesses have mentioned, doctor kadri that story really illustrated it. in my home state, 40% of women and 45% of men experience intimate partner violence, rape, or stalking in our lifetimes. as we have heard, this bill will help them disentangle their lives from abusers by allowing them to separate their phone lands without penalties when they try to get off of a's family plans. i want to follow up on some of these questions. in particular, doc kadri, you mentioned that the national domestic hotline saw a 150 increase in digital abuse and a three-year period. even as other forms of abuse remained fairly constant. i want to ask a couple of things. based on your research, are there any explanations or theories that are available as to why that may be the case? and connected to that, do you anticipate that the rise in digital abuse will continue as
digital commanding -- technologies become more interwoven and our lives? >> thank you. absolutely. part of it is a story about how we are relying on technology more. but it really does go beyond that and i think this really gets to your point earlier, but it's the type of technology that we are using that matters. and so many of the digital technologies that are so prevalent these days fundamentally prioritize extracting as much data as possible from us. and this alone can create all sorts of risk, as we see with family phone plans and many other forms of technology that are used to perpetrate abuse nowadays. and so, i think that is certainly one part of the story. another, is that technology often allows technology -- often with anonymity and secrecy. proving who was behind it can be very difficult. the other thing i would say is, the trivialization of digital abuse is really an important part of the story.
it is less likely to be taken seriously. it's less likely to -- people identified as abuse. it's less likely they will speak up. backing up of ways. they might mean that the statistics are misleading lay low because -- maybe also part of the rise is being fueled by people feeling like they can get away with this and it is not so serious. i don't have faith to pessimistic a sure -- it's inevitability that it will keep rising because of how interwoven tech is with our lives. with the important caveat that that doesn't mean that i think that kind of pragmatism or real-ism means that we should just give up. to the contrary, i think we need to be thinking creatively and empathetic lee to try to come up with ways to mitigate and address this kind of abuse. >> thank you so much. that's incredibly helpful. i have limited time left. i would love to ask you a follow-up. and --
we'll kind of other issues of privacy and safety that you have identified in your work that our committee and the congress should be looking after to ensure the safety and protection for users? obviously, we have some great bills in front of us today. but this is one of many steps, as you mentioned, there are a lot of things that we can and should be looking at. i would love it if you and any of our other witnesses who have joined us today, want to share those thoughts for the record and put that testimony in writing. only a few seconds left. i just wanna thank you all for your time in your work and thank you, chairwoman matsui for convening a hearing. >> thank you. the gentlewoman years -- yield back. the chair recognizes mr. joyce to ask questions for five minutes. >> thank you.
and thank you to all the witnesses for testifying. the spectrum is vital for bridging the digital divide in my district, as well as across the entirety of the united states. last week, i helped introduce with my colleagues, hr 7783. extending americas spectrum option leadership act of 2022. to extend the fcc's general spectrum option authority by 18 months. by extending the fcc's authority, it allows for more opportunities to help grow -- rural americans seek to connectivity that right now they so desperately need. as we have seen during this pandemic, more and more people are working, learning, and healing from home. and that requires additional broadband support. congress must continue to show leadership on spectrum policy. and i implore my colleagues for the swift package of age are 77
h three. my first question is for you, miss gomez. assuming auction authority is extended, what a definite policy reforms can be made to promote international competitiveness, maximize spectrum use efficiency and foster the rapid deployment of next generation technologies? >> thank you very much for that question and i certainly agree with you that the spectrum auctions are important to have the rapid deployment of all areas, including rural areas. in terms of other changes, that could be changed to advanced separate -- there are a few things that i would recommend. one is practical. right now, the fcc and ntia how fantastic engineers. it's a very difficult field to
hire in. because the private sector -- you can give them much better benefits. much better salaries also. we need to give ntia and the fcc to actually hire -- back in the 2000s. it is just practical, like i said, but it would help a lot to be able to have those engineering resources on staff to be able to quickly act to conduct the engineering studies, continuing to support i.t.s. it's important as well. and continuing to support research and development to continue both the fcc -- i'm sorry, the u.s. government participation -- as well as to support industry representation in the engineering -- >> thank you for that insight.
mr. gibson, assuming that the option authority is extended, what specific policy reforms would you recommend to promote the competitiveness, maximizing spectrum use efficiency and to foster rapid employment? >> thank you for the question. that's excellent. in addition to white myth gomez, i would say to promote collaboration between federal and commercial users. right now, we are on that path a little bit even now. i mentioned meetings i've been to deal with sharing issues and the -- what's seems to be happening is, we move more towards allowing some collaboration. but i think officializing it -- why mess gomez that is absolutely true. obviously, better compensation for federal experts. but also taking advantage of experts in commercial and
collaborating -- that allows collaboration without -- that might be throttle the needle a little -- but we think that that can be done. it is being done now. it just needs to be more official eyes. on long-term spectrum pipeline bill? >> thank you for the question. if i may add to my prior answer, reforming the spectrum relocation funds for additional two years to speculative us for official -- second, yes. i do think it's important for congress to work on the federal respect from -- bill. >> thank you, madam chair. i see my time is expired and i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes miss kuster for her five minutes to ask questions. >> thank you, madam chair, and
thank you for allowing me to waive onto your subcommittee. ungrateful for the opportunity. many americans have benefited from technological advances, including high speed broadband, internet, mobile phones, which many of us take advantage daily. however, we also know, by some accounts 95% of domestic abuse cases involve technology and countless others have suffered from perpetrated abuse online. doctor, i think grateful for your expertise and your experience. in your testimony, you define digital use as people exploiting technology to harm others. specifically, involving use of technology to control, harass, stop or survey, or threaten somebody that invades their privacy or autonomy or hands there emotionally, physically, reputation really, or financially. can you describe for us how family parents, which you referred to as the snake in the
grass, it'll be a tool of such abuse? >> absolutely. thank you, congresswoman, and thank you for your leadership on this bill,. you know one, source of common information is just a phone bill or other account records, right, which revealed details about a victims communications and can also provide crews about their location you, know, such as the area codes attack they're calling or call patterns that they're making. some family plants also allow an abuser to kind of listen to her victims voicemails and. sometimes even see their text messages. and so you know these kinds of surveillance this, level of surveillance of the type of surveillance just creates this justified, i think, anxiety as much as anything else. and i think that's what's at stake here. >> well, thank you for your good work. and i'm proud to have introduced the safe connection act. it's a bipartisan bill with the house subcommittee chair representative and an echo and
republican representative mr. walberg, which provides a clear template for survivors to work with the phone carriers directly from a family or shared account that they share with their abusers. again, doctor, can you explain how the safe connection act will help the survivors? >> certainly. so i think, you know, although it victim could simply abandon their phone, you know, theoretically, and maybe avoid some of the risks that i've talked about during my testimony today, of course there are many reasons why that might actually do them more harm than good. because funds are so often a lifeline emitter beuse. and so, even if, you know, then there are the high fees that are associated currently with, kind of, leaving a family farm plan. and so even if they have the funds to be able to leave, they can still encounter resistance from a foreign company that has no legal obligation to honor line separation requests. and so, a bill like this if
connections act that would, you know, give them the right to leave safely and quickly, would be hugely important. >> thank you for that. and i think you may have addressed this question, but i'll just ask it quickly. survivors of digital abuse with limited resources and income are often unaware that they may qualify for participation in federal programs that provide a discount -- broadband services such the lifeline and recordable affordable connectivity program. but the self connection act requires the fcc to adopt rules to allow survivors facing financial hardship to enroll in one of these programs as quickly as possible, whether or not they otherwise meet the qualifications of the programs. so they could receive a discount of service for a short time while they're getting back up on their feet. why, again, doctor, is it important to ensure that these are views survivors are able to maintain communication services after they are allowed to
separate from the shared account with their abuser? >> absolutely. i'm happy to reiterate on this point, we got it is so important, i think. it's just that people remain in deeply precarious positions long after they attempt to leave a relationship, in one form or another. and so being connected through their phones is just crucial in regaining their independence, and encouraging against future abuse. and this, again, was always true. but it feels important to stress that these last two years, of course, our reliance on technology, increasingly, and the way that our, you know, many of our re-air interactions have been filtered through technology more and more has increased this risk of digital abuse. but it also means it's more important than for therefore for us to be able to use our devices safely, whether that's for social connections, work, ordering food, testifying before congress you know, all of these different ways, it just shows how important it is, and so survivors should be entitled to do that safely. >> well, thank you. and thank you, doctor valentin as well for your work.
and half of the many members of the bipartisan task force to end sexual violence i'm pleased to see the safe connections act comforted at this hearing. thank you, madam chair. and i yield back. >> again the gentlelady, yields back. at this time a request unanimous consent to enter the following documents into the record. letter from the competitive carriers association's support of congressional efforts to extend the federal communication commission's general spectrum of authority. and a letter from public knowledge and open technology institute, without objection, so ordered. i'd like to think today's witnesses and the committee members for participating in this hearing today. it has been informative and educational in the sense that everyone here, where it was agreed on, the importance of these details and a bipartisan manner. so i want to thank you all very much for participating.
now i remember embers that pursuing to committee rules they have ten business days to submit additional questions for the record to the -- witness who are prepared. asked the witnesses to respond promptly to any such questions that you may receive. so at this time, the committee is adjourned. and thank you so much for your participation.