tv [untitled] CSPAN June 21, 2009 3:30am-4:00am EDT
and let me associate myself with remarks from the senator of nebraska. you have a perfect background to assume the chairmanship and i would be happy to vote for you. let me say, however, it seems to me you will lead a rather unhealthy agency. we've been through a period of substantial secrecy. some of the research studies don't match someone's impression of what should have come out of the studies. a lot of serious questions were raised about the stewardship of the sec. i'm pleased we have an opportunity now for a new direction. mr. copps has done a fine job in an acting capacity. but, you know, we need more transparency, more openness in policy development. you're going to have to develop a national broadband plan, which
is a big, big issue and has so many important considerations. poll soins spectrum, what spectrum lies fallow, sfwhie how much of it. why is it not used? what can we do about that? the forebearance petitions. we have a debate on net neutrality. you can remove that burden by taking a very significant step in solving that issue and restoring net neutrality provisions. and then the interest of public interest obligations and substantial concentration of broadcast properties around the country and the fact that many of us think that concentration has been very unhealthy. so that's a very significant, sizable menu of great importance to the entire country. and again, i'm pleased when we have nominees that come before us who are extraordinarily well qualified.
i'm pleased to support your nomination and senator mcdowell as well. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's great to have you back as others have mentioned. let me also add one more kudo to julius's background. i actually had an opportunity to get to know him many, many years ago where we used to play basketball at the ymca here in town together. and then he start playeding with me and he started playing with this other guy who now lives down the street, right? at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. so it is great the last few years for joyce and i to reconnect. he's got a pretty mean jump shot and someone that i know has a deep friendship with the president. i want to echo a coup of comments that senator dorgan made. as somebody who used to know something about telecom, i do think we have a chance -- and i also will be supporting commissioner mcdowell.
you have to step away and be able to come back and introduce a fellow virginian. i do think there's a chance to kind of re-establish the stature and prominence of the sec. and it's terribly important agency that has critically important scope of work. and i look forward to working with you. i want to echo a coup of quick comments. one on broadband, making sure we get it right is very important. trying to make sure we think smartly about how we deploy the fiber. but it's also important that we think clearly that we have accurate mapping. broadband capabilities, that we really think about the last mile concerns. broadband does not good until you bring it to the town hall. i think we really need to be creative about how we put incentives in place and help smaller communities in particularing a gait demand so they can have a sustainable
broadband network even if the public sector makes the initial investment. how do we keep that system operating over the long haul. senator dor gan mentioned the issues around spectrum. weren't quite successful on the d-block options on the 700 meg space. but trying to make sure that we have that next generation public safety spectrum that's fully inoperable. i think it's still an embarrass nmt this country that this many years after 9/11, we don't have that full functionaling safety across tspectrum. making sure as we do this analysis and how we get it out to the public and perhaps at the same time generate revenue. i look forward to working with you and it's great to have you back in the public sectontosect.
i i know my fellow virginian will be great at getting the sec back on track. >> nart gabich? >> thank you, very much, mr. chairman. i will be very brief. thank you for the time that you came and met with me in your dmimt to consider coming to alaska again and see what we're doing up there. your credentials are incredible and i'm to the sec. i have some questions i'll probably ask you to put on the record. again, thank you for being here. your family i know needs to support you in this endeavor as you'll be drawn across the country at times to present, discuss and have issues brought to your attention that will require you to leave washington, d.c. at times. so again thank you for your willingness to do this. thank you for the time going over a very alaskan type issues. and i'll probably ask you a few on the record. but again, congratulations and i'll leave it at that.
>> senator, kerr sfli. >> thank you very much. it is good to have you back. i was going to slap you on the thigh and welcome you back but i didn't know which leg it was. >> i look forward to supporting you also. and i particularly want to express my support. we had a chance to chat. but i want to support you publicly. i think you're the right person to lead this commission at a time of great economic uncertainty. and the service you bring as well as your own private sector experiences, just the right recipe for the commission during these difficult times. fcc regulate, as you know, an industry that makes up roughly one fifth of the u.s. economy.
and i regret to see the tenure of your predecessor was a bleak peer yoed for all of us at the fcc. i think it was a trail of missed opportunities of acts of commission and omission that wound up squus not taking advantage of the revolution in the communications world and the need to come up with some fundamental policy, not the least of which is just the broadband penetration of our nation, which slipped from something like fourth to 1st. that is not a positive statement about competitiveness or america's prepared ngs to step up. and you're going to have an enormous influence on industries that we rely upon to serve as dynamic drivers for the future
of our economy, and we're going to look to you for that leadership. i'm dprft what you say that you understand that challenge. obviously this comes at a great time of transformation in the way we're communicating. just four days ago, broadband television stations completed the digital transition, hitting off analog signals, delivering transmissions to households for more than 60 years. that transition a lot more than bring a clear tv picture into those room where is people got their box and got ready for it. it cleared the way for a vast amount of beachfront spectrum to be put to use. senator dorgan and others have commented on that use and what we need to do. but thanks to the digital switch, next generation wireless broadband networks are being built across the country.
when confirmed you'll begin to craft the fcc's national broadband plan. and that, i think, is perhaps the most important task given the way we've gone backwards and the level of the challenge. we hope you're going to take a look at managing and allocating the spectrum both publicly and privately and see that we use it more efficiently. i've introduced legislation to require this commission to work with ntia on a kompl hencive spectrum inventory. and i think that such an effort would play an integral role in any plan for achieving universal broadband service. there's obviously no shortage of challenges watsing for you as you enter the chairman's office. the quarterly contribution rate to the universal services fund is higher than it's ever been, yet the fund does not cover
broadband service. and nearly age years after 9/11, shockingly, we still have not made good on the 9/11 commission's recommendation to build an interoperable public safety communications network. so from addressing these challenges and others to maintaining the openness of the internet, which many of us i think you know care about passionately, as well as maintaining a laboratory for invasion, i think you're going to see some of the biggest challenges we face in this field. but i'm confident that this commission is up to the task of implementing the president's technology agenda, so we look forward to a swift confirmation and we particularly look forward to working closely with you. and we hope that you will commit here in the hearings to a strong, candid and, you know,
really cooperative relationship with the committee. >> for those of you who may be trying to figure out how to pronounce his name, we've had researchers at work for three days on that. and it's pronounced chow. >> well. we changed our name. it's janikowski. >> all those people are going to be laid off. i hope that you would introduce your family. >> thank you to you for your
generous -- i should proceed to introduce my family before we lose my kids. i couldn't be happier that my wife is here and all three of my children starting youngest to oldest, aaron janikowski, lila, my oldest son jake. i'm so pleased that my parents were able to come from new york and my brothers, joey and alan. and i believe that a couple of cousins are here, too. rabbi and alexis brooks. thank you for coming. distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. i'm grateful for this chance. i look forward to answering your questions and seeking your support for my nomination.
mr. chairman, over the years, i've had a chance to see your commitment to american consumer, your dedication to protecting the safety of our nation's communities. i look forward to working with you on these and other sthiet vooitle issues. senator hutchinson, i have great respect for the leadership you bring to the committee and i look forward to working with you on the vital issues in the communications area. i would like to thank senator schumer for taking the time to introducing me and for his decision 24 years ago to give a young college graduate his first job. thank you for the chance to introduce my family. mr. chairman, it's a tremendous honor to have been nominated by president obama to serve as the chairman of the federal communications commission. and while this hearing is an honor for me it's even more so for my family. it's a celebration of the hopes and dreams that brought my parents to the united states about 50 years ago.
but the core lesson has remained with me. communications technology has the power to transform lives for the better. we've all seen and lived and many of the members spoke about it in their heap oeping statements. the i wemplications of the communications revolution. we saw the world reshaped by communications technology. the telephone, radio, television, satellite, computers and the birth of the internet. now in 91st century, communications has a potential to unwave newlea new waves s nh innovati innovation. the federal communications commission has important roles to play in pursuing these goals and doing so on behalf of all americans. if confirmed i look toward to learning from and working
closely with the committee on these essential topics. in this time of pro-found economic challenge, our sector can make a significant contribution to the near-term economic recovery and long-term economic success. congress has entrusted the fcc with the important it issing of developing a national broadband plan a world leading broadband infrastructure in america can be an ongoing engine for creation and job invasion throughout our country, from our rural towns to our inner city while addressing vital challenges such as public safety and education, health care and energy. ultimately helping give all of our country's children the future we dream for them. and as communications devices and networks become ever more essential to the daily lives of americans and as the media landscape changes dramatically, the need has never been greater for the sec that sees the world from the perspective of consumers and families. mr. chairman, i'm honored by the possibility of returning to
government and serving our country. my two derk kads of professional experience have been divided between public service and the private sector. i began as a congressional staffer in the 1980s. i remember talk wauking these mallways knocking on doors, looking for a job. after law school, i served in the law courts as a clerk and served on the staff is the the fcc in the 1990s, connecting classrooms and libraries to the internet. i wanted to work in government because this great country had given so much to my family and i wanted to give back, and because i believe that government can be a force for good and help improve the lives of all americans. these are still my ideals today. i worked in the private sector with large media and technology company along with small
businesses and start-ups. the experience reinforced my dependent respect for private enterprise, the indispensable engine for economic growth. my time also taught me what it means in a dynamic and ever changing marketplace. i learned the power of pragmatism and danger of dogma and i would drive to bring that spirit of common sense to my role in government. my career inside and outside government has convinced me that the fcc can be a model for excellence in government. fighting for consumers and families, fostering investment and invasion through open, fair and data driven processes. a 21st century agency for the information age. the fcc should consult closely with congress and work effectively and efficiently for the american people. there there are so many devoted and talented public servants at the fcc, many of whom i was fortunate to work with earlier
in my career at the agency, i hope the committee will give me the opportunity to work with them again. before closing, i would like to salute the work of acting chairman michael copps and the commissioner jonathan adelstein and robert mcdowell. i would like to congratulate commissioner mcdowell on his renomination. i would like to salute the commission for the hard work they've done in connection with the digital television transition. our country has benefited greatly for their service. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you. i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you, mr. janikowski. i was governor back in 1981 and i appointed the first person to head the advocate division. i did not know what that was going to turn out to be. the person is still a force, and he has literally changed the
face of west virginia, a single person. on a sometimes weak, sometimes strong commission. and in comparison, critics have argued that the fcc has become captured by industry. critics do say that. by statute, however, the purpose of the commission is to make available as much as possible to all the people of the united states of america efficient communications services within -- with adequate facilities at reasonable prices. so question -- i believe that the fcc should work to make sure that consumers are offered the best quality service at reasonable prices. and i assume you agree. >> yes.
>> do you believe that the fcc as adequately fulfilled its mission in making sure the consumers have access to the latest technology at reasonable rates? if not, is the industry capable of so doing. >> let me speak briefly about consumers and about broadband. in this time of great change in our communications area, it's never been more important for the fcc to wake up every day and understand that at the core of its mission is working on behalf of american consumers. there are enormous opportunities for all americans, but there's also confusion among consumers which the sec is help tackle. the fcc should be looking at
maximizing choice to deal with complaints for waking up every day and asking -- and looking at the world from the perspective of american consumers. with respect to your other point, chairman rockefeller, the growing consensus that we need a national broadband strategy in this country, in fact, the requirement that the fcc develop and issue a national broadband plan is a recognition that we as a country are not where we need to be with respect to our communications infrastructure. we should have, i believe, a communications infrastructure that's world leading, 21st century infrastructure that generates economic growth opportunity prosperity. and critically, we should have in this country, 21st century communications infrastructure that extends to all americans and that does so to your point
meanfully in a way that they can afford to sign up and use and take advantage that the communications of technology offers. >> thank you. >> the fcc has been criticized for a lack of transparency by the gao. i won't go into the language, but the language is quite startling. consumer groups joined them, even industry joined them. some industry. much of the data filed with the commission is not even accessible online. in the past, the fcc has been accused of disclosing information to some, and you know that to be the truth, while leaving the general public in the dark.
consumers should not have to spend $500 an hour on lawyers to participate in the process. question, do you think the fcc should be more open to the public? >> yes. >> and now? >> first thing, it requires a commitment throughout the agency to principles of openness, transparency, fairness, fact-based decision making, and if confirmed, i would want lead the fcc in that direction. i don't see how it could be other wise. the issues are too complex. we need an fcc smart about technology, smart at economics, smart about businesses and smart about what consumers go through every day in navigating a complex communications world. i think this is quite important. i had the same experience that you did in trying to navigate the fcc website. the fcc should be a model for transparency, openness and fairness, there's a lot of work
to do, but i would like to see the fcc be a mod well respect to using communications technologies to commune kats openly with the american people and with all the constituencies that are interested in what the commission dud. >> i'm over my time, but i'll just end by saying this. you have plans to make it more transparent. some of the things that the gao has said are quite staggering. and they're talking about the sec should take to ensure equal access to rule-making information. that's the title of a booklet. which trit criticized the agency for providing more information to certain stakeholders to the detriment of others. according to the gao in some
instances the sec staff would go so far to call individuals to inform them of the upcoming items scheduled for a vote. new mexico contrast, stakeholders representing consumers and public interest groups do not hear from them. i hope you're not satisfied with that. >> no. no. >> i call on the ranking member. >> thank you, mr. chairman. on the broadband issue, how do you view the issue of no service versus underserved areas as priorities. >> senator, the first thing i would say is that in working on the national broadband plan that congress entrusted the sec, i would start where congress started. congress asked the sec to look
at deployment, national purrs and the fcc i expect would do that. with respect to unserved and underserved areas, i think wi with -- the first principle the agency should photo to the extent of its own work and it follows other agencies on grants is the taxpayer should get the biggest bank for its buck for taxpayer dollars. and the first priority is to do what can be done to extend broadband to unserved area. there's a divide in taurts of country that have broadband. people who don't have broadband at all, and i think congress was leer that working on providing broadband to unserved areas is critical. there are other concerns and goals as well.
in some taste kaiss it can mean unserved in a particular area. it westbound a market that's served but a pocket that doesn't receive any service. there may be markets that are underserved because the speed is too slow and there may be way to help providers increase their speed. there may be marks that are underserved because the adoption is very low and there may be ways to think about strategies to increase adoption in that area to make it a sustainable commission possibility of ongoing broadband service in that area. >> that's correct. i just hope the priority is to