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tv   The Communicators Michael O Rielly FCC  CSPAN  October 5, 2019 6:30pm-7:04pm EDT

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allows you to recover expenses. the pelosi bill doesn't do that and it's so unnecessary and so destructive of the hope the patients have when they consider the new sciences available to them. >> james greenwood, the president and ceo of biotech technology innovation organization, text about new drug pricing legislation pending in congress. on newsmakers, sunday at 10:00 a.m. and six a clock p.m. eastern on c-span. here on c-span, the communicators is next with fcc commissioner michael o'rielly. that's followed by this week's swearing-in ceremony for joint chiefs of staff's chair general mark millie. and later, a look at the effect social media is having on first amendment rights. ♪ >> the house will be in order. has been years, c-span providing america unfiltered coverage of congress, the white
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house, the supreme court, and public policy events from washington, d.c. and around the country, so you can make up your own mind. crated by cable in 1979, c-span is brought to you by your local or cable satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. peter: and michael o'rielly is one of five commissioners on the federal communications commission, and he is our guest tonight on "the communicators." welcome. i want to get your immediate reaction to the net neutrality case. commissioner o'rielly: i'm still digesting the decision from the court read it is quite lengthy. -- from the court. it is quite lengthy. but i'm generally pleased. they seem to have found the
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right landing spot on a couple of decisions. there are a couple of pieces i would take issue with that will articulate that in coming days. peter: well, one of those issues that has been reported already is that it doesn't preempt states from doing their own thing. commissioner o'rielly: as i read the piece, it's not a proactive preemption structure. it still allows challenges to states where the item would be in conflict with our rules. it will lead to more state-by-state challenges, case-by-case challenges, than the overall, overarching one i was hoping for. because what you are going to see is a number of states have already acted in doing certain things i disagree with. and you're going to see others jump in, and having 50 different states pull us in different directions, some with net neutrality one way, some with net neutrality another way, is not what the structure should be. it's not interstate commerce. it's why we have an interstate commerce clause, and it's not something they have expertise in. and my definition, my structure, my analysis of the architecture,
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there is no basically intrastate traffic on the internet. peter: well, joining us to help drill down into this case and other issues is gopal, our guest from cq roll call who covers technology and telecom. gopal: thank you. interesting you talk about the net neutrality case. what are your concerns? you talk about state-by-state than they would be potentially litigated on a state-by-state basis. what do you see than? what do you mean by case-by-case and what do you see is the top issues you would confront? commissioner o'rielly: well, look, it depends. some states have gone after the determine side.
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some have an entire regime based on rules we struck down, replaced with our recent action, so i don't know what the particular state activity would be, but if it runs counter to our policy we would likely challenge that activity under our authority. so it would be under a state-by-state basis rather than, here is the governance for traffic on the internet and internet access and broadband access, and we are going to have to deal with it at the federal side. now we're going to have to get more litigants, more lawyers, probably more legal challenges. gopal: you already mentioned states are looking at differently. can you lay out how they have already been shaping up? commissioner o'rielly: it depends on the state. they all have a different nuance to them. that's exactly why our founders haven't established a state commerce clause. it's for that situation where traffic is interstate in nature and now you have 50 states pulling us in different ways based on their peculiarities in the state. like i said, some are going after procurement.
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some go after the full enchilada. so we try to provide certainty. we try to answer this question proactively, which is the right activity and defensible. i think the minority opinion was articulate it pretty well. it didn't win at this juncture, but there is many more rounds, i am sure. gopal: how does it play out? we are now on the verge of the 5g era. how do you think this decision and the way the court framed it play into how the 5g architecture comes about? commissioner o'rielly: in fairness, i only had an hour with the decision and haven't digested it yet. it does get to the issue of preemption, the matter i have talked about. we need preemptive activity to have a fulsome 5g rollout. some want to govern the wireless side of the equation and i envisioned that will be challenged.
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it's already been challenged once. we take further action, that will be challenged in the courts. so it's a long litigation i had a lot of activity for lawyers. peter: in these early hours after the decision, the california -- california can move forward at this point, correct? commissioner o'rielly: i think what you could say their reading of the decision has been proactively preempted, but we're still going to have a challenge to that decision, as well as others that those affected. peter: do you think that the fcc, the majority on the fcc, will challenge that? commissioner o'rielly: it has to. it absolutely has to. otherwise you get the lowest common denominator, whatever state wants to be the most active, aggressive, backwards looking from a net neutrality perspective will become whatever he has to follow. it's not something you just offer in one particular area, it is a network of networks.
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providers are trying to offer service nationwide, not every instance, but most instances you are offering service nationwide or in many states. a boundary of a state which may have been decided hundreds of years ago, based on geography or some military conflict, i think that's where one decision goes this way and one goes that way and it's just artificial. gopal: i want to talk a little bit more about the 5g aspect of your work and the commission. there's been a lot of criticism in the last several months of how the commission has gone about auctioning the spectrum, and some of your colleagues on the commission have also said it has been focused too much on the so-called high end of the spectrum, and not enough of the mid-band spectrum. is that a valid criticism? how do you respond to that? commissioner o'rielly: look, i disagree with the criticism because what i have tried to do is address the issue. i spent the last three years working to make mid-band a priority of the commission.
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i spent a ton of time in the previous commission in my early years working on high-bandwidth tom wheeler and getting the right portfolios out there. i had a number of conversation about mid bands. i was one of the early people to recognize we have to spend time on mid-band. i was out there screaming mid bands early and helped change the process from within, working with colleagues, working with the chairman to get mid-band. that's what we start to see. we just announced the auction for pbrs last week. gopal: in terms of working with other agencies, talk a little bit about that process. is that process working as it should and it has in the past? or is it breaking down and there is an coordination between different agencies? commissioner o'rielly: each administration is different. this has been more contentious than in the past. all spectrum issues are more complex. they aren't easy decisions anymore. every band we look at today for new wireless service is
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something that's going to potentially alter somebody else, whether they are nearby or in the band today. we have to deal with that reality. that makes some agencies jittery about things that they use the service for. we are an independent regulatory agency that has a statute that governs our activity and we are also governed by the record. we respect agencies and their views, but their licenses are governed, in some instances, by nka, and work through nka. that's how we treat others in the space. gopal: so, speaking of those differences and how they get worked out, there has been a lot of reporting i and others have
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done on nasa and noaa, both saying a decision by the commission to allocate one of the bands of 5g could interfere with weather forecasting. people from the fcc have said that's not necessarily the case. can you help us understand where the differences could have emerged? was there a different set of models used by the commission that the agencies didn't understand? how could those differences have emerged? commissioner o'rielly: look, we're looking at a protection standard and what is the right landing spot on a protection standard? we had agreement among federal agencies for a number of years and just before our federal auction this year on the 24 gigahertz, they raise their hand and said we have differences and we're going to take them internationally, wrc 19 in egypt. we disagree with that analysis. we're talking about passive bands that are adjacent and this is something our technical folks have gone through, what the needs are.
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i found that her studies were lacking or troubled. in one instance, they were counting on a sensor on a satellite that didn't even exist. i have difficulty with what they raised and certainly they've used the political process to further their cause and it is more difficult to get possible resolution in the matter. peter: so, what is the agenda for the next set of auctions? commissioner o'rielly: well, look, we're moving forward to auction off mid-band spectrum. we're working hard to complete the broad deck -- to complete the process on cbrs, the auction starts june 2020. we're working hard to include a resolution on c band. we hope to have a resolution by fall. the chairman is optimistic for
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this fall. i think at least 300 megahertz are going to be available for new 5g wireless services in the united states to complete globally with other countries that are trying to outrace us to positionin the premier in wireless technologies. we'll have a 2.5 gigahertz auction at some point. that will keep us going for a while. we will operate in auction as it relates to universal service to mixer subsidies we put out to make sure broadband gets to the hardest reach parts of america are done in an efficient way and we're just waiting to schedule that auction. peter: is that to address the urban-rural divide? commissioner o'rielly: it is. it's not just urban-rural. different pockets in the u.s. don't have service today. most of those are in rural america. anyone who doesn't have service should and we're trying to make
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that available. gopal: we talked about 3.5, which was just announced recently. some colleagues on your commission have said that needs to be advanced, and we shouldn't wait until next year. and in fact, some of the mid-band should be auctioned ahead of the more high-end spectrum in the pipeline. do you agree with that, that we should sort of speed up? do you agree that the mid-band auction should be advanced ahead of the other ones? commissioner o'rielly: i don't think at this point we would change the timing. we have announced a date, therefore we have time for people to raise capital, make business model decisions, work with partners, figure out offerings, things of that nature. but have i articulated internally that we should have sped up the mid-band auction? absolutely. i've made that point publicly and privately. but once a decision is made, and we have an option scheduled for december of this year for bands
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39, and 47, once those are in place, we have to move forward. gopal: you talked about mid-band and the need, but is the criticism valid that if most of the united states' 5g network is going to build on these high band waves, it ends up being more expensive and then it could potentially exacerbate the rural-urban divide because telecom providers are not going to go into sparsely half and populated rural areas with the millimeter wave. is that a valid criticism? commissioner o'rielly: i don't think the heart of the 5g network is going to be all high band. i think the heart is going to be mid-band. we are trying to move forward as fast as possible with mid-band. a number of providers already have mid-band spectrum available and have low band that they are dragging into mid-band capabilities as best they can. mid-band has some limitations on distance and the technology is improving on a day-to-day basis. i'm not sure -- i think in certain urban studies, high bands will be wonderful with what they will offer.
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they might not be the best thing in rural america, certainly in the short term. that's the reason for my push on mid-band, to make the situation better, try to work with what we have, work to progress the situation and not just throw bombs. peter: commissioner o'rielly, there has been some experimentation and 5g by different companies. what do you see and when will it be readily available nationwide? commissioner o'rielly: we've had .ome it's more than just testing. we've had some deployments. it's a small scale at the current time, but it's exciting what it's going to be. we're aware of where it may take
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us in wireless, but it's going to be a slow progression. because in the past, a new g will replace the old g. in this case, 4g will remain in -- and 5g will be built on top of it and 4g will continue to advance in terms of speed and capabilities. they'll work simultaneously and in partnership. you'll see it develop and does things mature, all of a sudden you will realize, i'm getting 5g speed. but it's not going to be something like a eureka moment that everybody gets turned on at the same time. peter: what is the fcc approach when it comes to new antennas for 5g? commissioner o'rielly: we're working hard with localities and states that want to be helpful in deploying the networks of the future on the wireless side. and there are many. i would say most localities and states recognize the benefits and that their consumers want these technologies. but there are definitely some that are not of the mind and are trying to use the opportunity to either control power or money. they want to extract money out of the situation and charge thousands of dollars for different connections.
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that's not acceptable, in my opinion. i have testified in front of congress that we need to preempt those situations under the authority given. a number of likely challenges, it has already been challenged, and we'll see where we land. but at some point, i imagine congress will answer the question, what's our authority in the space, and if they want us to have a preeminent position in the world in terms of wireless technology, we may have to continue to push localities that are not doing the right thing out of the way. gopal: you talked about this decision on equity polls that the fcc made, that has been challenged, one of the challenges is new york. there were also members of congress who have said the commission's decision was taking away state's rights. how do you expect those differences to be resolved? commissioner o'rielly: look, i worked in regional provisions in my past life on capitol hill and
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have regard for the statute and what it intended at the time. i have difficulty when people fight on the issue of aesthetics. that was something that was left to the congress to have decided on a federal level and is not something every localities going to say, is that pole pretty enough? that's not acceptable. same with our frequency in -- frequency emission. that is dedicated by statute to the fcc, in addition to our medical entities. it's not something that we're having a state by state or locality by locality deciding what is the rf emission acceptable level. in terms of placement towers, we are trying to build networking services to americans who really want them. that causes, you know, some strife with some localities, either trying to control the power or want the money. we have to deal with that. that's why i'm here at my job.
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peter: commissioner, it sounds like it's been a frustrating part of the deployment for you. commissioner o'rielly: very much so, something i've worked on for almost 25 years and forth. gopal: you brought up earlier this big conference coming up in egypt at the end of october. i'm told it is like the united nations of the world radio spectrum, all of the countries of the world getting together every four years. commissioner o'rielly: kind of like the spectrum olympics. gopal: spectrum olympics, even better. what do you expect to come out of this? i'm hearing this will be a pivotal gathering where all the countries will decide how they will deploy 5g, and what spectrum goes to respective countries. how do you expect to come out of this? commissioner o'rielly: look, i
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was at wrc 15 and have a good basis of what i expect out of this round in egypt. i'm hopeful the world community will recognize the need for additional bands for mobile services globally. there are benefits in terms of harmonization, cost to manufacture, consumer benefits and ease, all the things that come with having a harmonized band globally. but if the international community doesn't come to a resolution in egypt, and we aren't able to make more bands, the united states will look at other countries and has in other instances, two countries that are of a like mind, to move forward separate. we have a real opportunity to get very proactive and very aggressive and have new bands available for wireless growth in the world. if the process doesn't work, the united states will likely look elsewhere in a different structure. people consider the difference between the u.n. and other structures that we use today.
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gopal: so you're saying there's a possibility that in this conference, there may not be unanimously and the united states might have to seek other countries? commissioner o'rielly: the united states is in a good position to work with colleagues and come up with resolution on a number of bands that are important. you mentioned 24 gigahertz. we will make resolution on that in our region. and i think we can defend those decisions globally. but absent that, if it doesn't go that route, the u.s. will look forward because we're not going to stop wireless progress in the united states for countries that, in my estimation it was based on competitive reasons, they weren't ready come they didn't have the capital to move forward in the united states did because they weren't ready at the time. peter: commissioner o'rielly, what about working with our geographical neighbors, canada, mexico, the caribbean? is there pretty much a unanimous
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position on u.s. policy? commissioner o'rielly: we work really hard with regional partners. i was in ottawa for this purpose. we talked to regional partners, canadian friends, and found landing spots on all the different issues. i've also worked aggressively with our friends in mexico. the caribbean has been active in spectrum issues. so we do try to find commonality in our region and take that position to wrc in october and november. peter: before we run out of time here, i want to ask you about a court decision that came down on media ownership, and i want to quote from the decision. this was against the fcc. "that the fcc did not adequately consider the effect of its sweeping media ownership changes that that will have on ownership on broadcast media with women and racial minorities." commissioner o'rielly: i
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disagree with it. this is something the third circuit sent back to the fcc four times. there is no amount of evidence or data we can give them. multiple administrations, republican and democrat, all administrations haven't and able -- been able to get past the threshold the third circuit has set. we should challenge it in another forum, or go to the supreme court, which i ultimately think we will have to do. i disagree with their premise and i disagree with their activity because it is locking in the status quo, which is not reflective of the media marketplace today. the marketplace today is not the same one when we wrote the original provision in 1995, which became the 1996 act. the marketplace is much more dynamic and we need to reflect that. there was a charge we were given that's exactly
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what we're trying to do. they've put up roadblocks for this purpose, the status quo was winning and our rules look exactly as they did in 1975 and 1976. but the world has changed and they have not. commissioner o'rielly: we haven't mentioned china. there is a lot of concern from people in congress and the administration and elsewhere that china has made significant gains in terms of 5g technology and china seems to be setting the global standard when it comes to the spectrum that poorer countries in asia and africa will end up leaning on. what's your take on china setting the global standard in terms of spectrum used for 5g? commissioner o'rielly: look, i don't think they're setting the standards. the u.s. is helping a number of countries trying to be in the
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preeminent position on 5g, and 6g as well. they have unlimited capital and no limitations in terms of deployment. they don't worry about a locality or state stepping in the way. they just run over until the people to move. their totalitarian structure is awful, and my opinion. people are celebrating it, it is the 70th anniversary, it is beyond comprehension to me. but in terms of policy-setting, they are throwing -- they have an industrial policy structure and they are intending to use all resources to succeed in that process. i'm not willing to let that happen against u.s. interests. peter: i apologize, gopal. but chuck schumer and tom cotton, who don't agree a lot, the senators have sent a letter to the fcc to re-examine licenses because "involving national security and chinese government's increased role in economics and other forms of espionage requires a
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re-examination." and that's a quote from "the new york times." commissioner o'rielly: i'm very aware of the letter and the request and have had a number of proceedings on the matter. it's potentially troubling. we have to be mindful of that for foreign national security. gopal: this is also a criticism of the fcc. the previous administration, the obama administration, had an initiative that included cybersecurity risk assessment as part of 5g deployment. and this administration has gone back from that. does that make sense? should fcc be looking at cybersecurity on the entire network as a predicate when it looks at development? commissioner o'rielly: i would love to answer your question but i don't get to answer that. congress does. i can't make up authority. when this commission came into
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power, we reviewed what decisions were made in the past. i previously argued we didn't have authority on cybersecurity. if congress says we'd like to have the fcc take the lead on cybersecurity, i would do what they ask. they have enacted statutes and given authorities to other federal agencies. i can't override that. i have to respect the decisions they make. if they want to change that, i will be a full partner in whatever they would like to do. we do look at 5g as part of our process. i'm sorry, we do look at security as part of that process in some capacity, but we don't take an active cybersecurity rules. we don't have them as they pertain today, given our lack of authority. it would be challenged in any respect. i respect former chairman tom wheeler's viewpoint on this, but he and i have a disagreement.
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he has created pieces in the statute that don't exist. peter: are you frightened of huawei? commissioner o'rielly: i am frightened of no provider in the world today. i have concerns about a situation, they come from a chinese company and their with theirp government, so we're mindful of that and looking through what that means for our national security. peter: what's the status of the lifeline program? it's active today. -- commissioner o'rielly: well, it's active today. consumers that are eligible can still receive lifeline service and lifeline phones. we are installing a national verifier process state by state, turning it up to make sure we help out waste, fraud and abuse. there have been a number of problems in the past. we are trying to address those, both in multiple differeny layers, and we're trying to make it as most efficient as we possibly can. that process is sometimes messy, but the program does exist
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today. there are some changes people have looked at the make and i would be open to considering those at the right time. peter: you've been looking at some of those cases of fraud and abuse, too, haven't you? commissioner o'rielly: absolutely. people have taken advantage of the program in the past. it's not acceptable to waste taxpayer dollars, particularly the poorest in america who pay at a higher percentage than anybody else. peter: commissioner o'rielly, i want to ask you about one more question about net neutrality at the d.c. court of appeals, to read from the decision. agency did note adequately address petitioner concerns about the effects of broadband reclassification on the lifeline program. commissioner o'rielly: right, there were three pieces they asked us to look at again and i imagine the chairman will do so again in the proceeding and articulate why those situations are acceptable under the rules
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that we have framed. >> one thing, the commission is considering a band of driverless car's that have been set aside and now, i think there's some discussion about the wi-fi industry wanting it to be repurposed. -- morbid needs to be made available for wi-fi users. next it was set aside for automobile safety technology. the truth is, it has advanced technologies, i have been progressives in saying that we need to look at this and i believe we can take a portion and make it available.
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we can have a situation where 30 megahertz is dedicated for automobile safety only and still have 45 megahertz that everyone can use. we think that is a formula that i have talked about for a while. some people are committed to maintaining it. >> have you ridden in a driverless car yet? >> i don't think i have. some tests in a parking lot. beenchael o'rielly has part of the sec for a few years. thank you for being on part of the show.
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