The following statement can be downloaded here.
Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel
Net neutrality is internet freedom. I support that freedom. I dissent from this rash decision to roll back net neutrality rules. I dissent from the corrupt process that has brought us to this point. And I dissent from the contempt this agency has shown our citizens in pursuing this path today. This decision puts the Federal Communications Commission on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American public.
The future of the internet is the future of everything. That is because there is nothing in our commercial, social, and civic lives that has been untouched by its influence or unmoved byits power. And here in the United States our internet economy is the envy of the world. This is because it rests on a foundation of openness.
That openness is revolutionary. It means you can go where you want and do what you want online without your broadband provider getting in the way or making choices for you. It means every one of us can create without permission, build community beyond geography, organize without physical constraints, consume content we want when and where we want it, and share ideas not just around the corner but across the globe. I believe it is essential that we sustain this foundation of openness—and that is why I support net neutrality.
Net neutrality has deep origins in communications law and history. In the era when communications meant telephony, every call went through, and your phone company could not cut off your call or edit the content of your conversations. This guiding principle of nondiscrimination meant you were in control of the connections you made.
This principle continued as time advanced, technology changed, and Internet access became the dial tone of the digital age. So it was twelve years ago—when President George W. Bush was in the White House—that this agency put its first net neutrality policies on paper. In the decade that followed, the FCC revamped and revised its net neutrality rules, seeking to keep them current and find them a stable home in the law. In its 2015 order the FCC succeeded—because in the following year, in a 184-page opinion the agency’s net neutrality rules were fully and completely upheld.
So our existing net neutrality policies have passed court muster. They are wildly popular. But today we wipe away this work, destroy this progress, and burn down time-tested values that have made our Internet economy the envy of the world.
As a result of today’s misguided action, our broadband providers will get extraordinary new power from this agency. They will have the power to block websites, throttle services, and censor online content. They will have the right to discriminate and favor the internet traffic of those companies with whom they have pay-for- play arrangements and the right to consign all others to a slow and bumpy road.
Now our broadband providers will tell you they will never do these things. They say just trust us. But know this: they have the technical ability and business incentive to discriminate and manipulate your internet traffic. And now this agency gives them the legal green light to go ahead and do so.
This is not good. Not good for consumers. Not good for businesses. Not good for anyone who connects and creates online. Not good for the democratizing force that depends on openness to thrive. Moreover, it is not good for American leadership on the global stage of our new and complex digital world.
I’m not alone with these concerns. Everyone from the creator of the world wide web to religious leaders to governors and mayors of big cities and small towns to musicians to actors and actresses to entrepreneurs and academics and activists has registered their upset and anger. They are reeling at how this agency could make this kind of mistake. They are wondering how it could be so tone deaf. And they are justifiably concerned that just a few unelected officials could make such vast and far-reaching decisions about the future of the internet.
So after erasing our net neutrality rules what is left? What recourse do consumers have?
We’re told don’t worry, competition will save us. But the FCC’s own data show that our broadband markets are not competitive. Half of the households in this country have no choice of broadband provider. So if your broadband provider is blocking websites, you have no recourse. You have nowhere to go.
We’re told don’t worry, the Federal Trade Commission will save us. But the FTC is not the expert agency for communications. It has authority over unfair and deceptive practices. But to evade FTC review, all any broadband provider will need to do is add new provisions to the fine print in its terms of service. In addition, it is both costly and impractical to report difficulties to the FTC. By the time the FTC gets around to addressing them in court proceedings or enforcement actions, it’s fair to assume that the start-ups and small entities wrestling with discriminatory treatment could be long done. Moreover, what little authority the FTC has is now under question in the courts.
We’re told don’t worry, the state authorities will save us. But at the same time, the FCC all but clears the field with sweeping preemption of anything that resembles state or local consumer protection.
If the substance that got us to this point is bad, the process is even worse.
Let’s talk about the public record.
The public has been making noise, speaking up, and raising a ruckus. We see it in the protests across the country and outside here today. We see it in how they lit up our phone lines, clogged our e-mail in-boxes, and jammed our online comment system. It might be messy, but whatever our disagreements are on this dais I hope we can agree this is democracy in action—and something we can all support.
To date, nearly 24 million comments have been filed in this proceeding. There is no record in the history of this agency that has attracted so many filings. But there’s something foul in this record:
Two million comments feature stolen identities.
Half a million comments are from Russian addresses.
Fifty thousand consumer complaints are inexplicably missing from the record.
I think that’s a problem. I think our record has been corrupted and our process for public participation lacks integrity. Nineteen state attorneys general agree. They have written us demanding we halt our vote until we investigate and get to the bottom of this mess. Identity theft is a crime under state and federal law—and while it is taking place this agency has turned a blind eye to its victims and callously told our fellow law enforcement officials it will not help.
This is not acceptable. It is a stain on the FCC and this proceeding. This issue is not going away. It needs to be addressed.
Finally, I worry that this decision and the process that brought us to this point is ugly. It’s ugly in the cavalier disregard this agency has demonstrated to the public, the contempt it has shown for citizens who speak up, and the disdain it has for popular opinion. Unlike its predecessors this FCC has not held a single public hearing on net neutrality. There is no shortage of people who believe Washington is not listening to their concerns, their fears, and their desires. Add this agency to the list.
I, too, am frustrated. But here’s a twist: I hear you. I listen to what callers are saying. I read the countless, individually written e-mails in my in-box, the posts online, and the very short and sometimes very long letters. And I’m not going to give up—and neither should you. If the arc of history is long, we are going to bend this toward a more just outcome. In the courts. In Congress. Wherever we need to go to ensure that net neutrality stays the law of the land. Because if you are conservative or progressive, you benefit from internet openness. If you come from a small town or big city, you benefit from internet openness. If you are a company or non-profit, you benefit from internet openness. If you are a start-up or an established business, you benefit from internet openness. If you are a consumer or a creator, you benefit from internet openness. If you believe in democracy, you benefit from internet openness.
So let’s persist. Let’s fight. Let’s not stop here or now. It’s too important. The future depends on it.
The following was copied/pasted and then formatted on 9/14/17 from the real-time transcript at https://www.fcc.gov/general/live.
NET NEUTRALITY IS INTERNET FREEDOM. I SUPPORT THAT FREEDOM. I DISSSENT FROM THIS RASH DECISION TO ROLL BACK NET NEUTRALITY RULES.
I DISSENT FROM THE CORRUPT PROCESS THAT HAS BROUGHT US TO THIS POINT AND I DISSENT FROM THE CONTEMPT THIS AGENCY HAS SHOWN OUR CITIZENS IN PURSUING THIS PATH TODAY.
THIS DECISION PUTS THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION ON THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY, THE WRONG SIDE OF THE LAW, AND THE WRONG SIDE OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNET IS THE FUTURE OF EVERYTHING. THAT IS BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING IN OUR COMMERCIAL, SOCIAL OR CIVIC LIVES THAT HAVE BEEN UNTOUCHED BY AN INFLUENCE OR UNMOVED BY ITS POWER.
HERE IN THE UNITED STATES, OUR INTERNET ECONOMY IS THE ENVY OF THE WORLD. THIS IS BECAUSE IT RESTS ON A FOUNDATION OF OPENNESS. THAT OPENNESS IS REVOLUTIONARY. OPENNESS MEANS YOU CAN GO WHERE YOU WANT AND DO WHAT YOU WANT ONLINE WITHOUT YOUR BROADBAND PROVIDER GETTING IN THE WAY OR MAKING CHOICES FOR YOU. OPENNESS MEANS EVERY ONE OF US CAN CREATE WITHOUT PERMISSION, BUILD COMMUNITIES BEYOND GEOGRAPHY, ORGANIZED WITHOUT PHYSICAL CONSTRAINTS, CONSUME CONTENT WE WANT, WHEN AND WHERE WE WANT IT, AND SHARE IDEAS NOT JUST AROUND THE CORNER BUT ACROSS THE GLOBE. I BELIEVE IT IS ESSENTIAL WE SUSTAIN THIS FOUNDATION OF OPENNESS AND THAT IS WHY I SUPPORT NET NEUTRALITY.
NET NEUTRALITY HAS DEEP ORIGINS AND COMMUNICATIONS LAW AND HISTORY. IN THE ERA WHEN COMMUNICATIONS MEANT TELEPHONY EVERY CALL WENT THROUGH AND YOUR PHONE COMPANY COULD NOT CUT OFF YOUR CALL OR EDIT THE CONTENT OF YOUR CONVERSATION. THIS GUIDING PRINCIPLE OF NONDISCRIMINATION MEANT YOU WERE IN CONTROL OF THE CONNECTIONS YOU MAKE. THIS PRINCIPLE CONTINUED AS TIME ADVANCED, TECHNOLOGY CHANGED AND INTERNET ACCESS BECAME THE DIAL TONE OF THE DIGITAL AGE. SO IT WAS 12 YEARS AGO WHEN PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH WAS IN THE WHITE HOUSE THAT THIS AGENCY FIRST PUT ITS NET NEUTRALITY POLICIES ON PAPER.
IN THE DECADE THAT FOLLOWED, THE FCC REVAMPED AND REVISED ITS NET NEUTRALITY RULES SEEKING TO KEEP THEM CURRENT AND FIND THEM A STABLE HOME IN THE LAW. IN ITS 2015 ORDER, THE FCC SUCCEEDED BECAUSE IN THE FOLLOWING YEAR IN A 184 PAGE OPINION THE AGENCIES NET NEUTRALITY RULES WERE FULLY AND COMPLETELY UPHELD IN COURT. SO OUR EXISTING NET NEUTRALITY POLICIES HAVE PASSED COURT MUSTER. THEY ARE WILDLY POPULAR. BUT TODAY WE WIPE AWAY THIS WORK, DESTROY THIS PROGRESS AND BURN DOWN TIME TESTED VALUES THAT HAVE MADE OUR INTERNET ECONOMY THE ENVY OF THE WORLD. AS A RESULT OF TODAY’S MISGUIDED ACTION, OUR BROADBAND PROVIDERS WILL GET EXTRAORDINARY NEW POWERS. THEY WILL HAVE THE POWER TO BLOCK WEBSITES, THE POWER TO THROTTLE SERVICES AND THE POWER TO CENSOR ONLINE CONTENT. THEY WILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO DISCRIMINATE AND FAVORED THE INTERNET TRAFFIC OF THOSE COMPANIES WITH WHOM THEY HAVE A PAY FOR PAY ARRANGEMENT AND THE RIGHT TO CONSIGN ALL OTHERS TO A SLOW AND BUMPY ROAD.
OUR BROADBAND PROVIDERS WILL TELL YOU THEY WILL NEVER DO THESE THINGS, THEY SAY JUST TRUST US. BUT KNOW THIS, THEY HAVE THE TECHNICAL ABILITY AND BUSINESS INCENTIVE TO DISCRIMINATE AND MANIPULATE YOUR INTERNET TRAFFIC AND NOW THIS AGENCY GIVES THEM THE LEGAL GREEN LIGHT TO GO AHEAD AND DO SO. THIS IS NOT GOOD. NOT GOOD FOR CONSUMERS, NOT GOOD FOR BUSINESSES, NOT GOOD FOR ANYONE WHO CONNECTS AND CREATES ON LINE. NOT GOOD FOR THE DEMOCRATIZING FORCE THAT DEPENDS ON OPENNESS TO THRIVE. MOREOVER IT IS NOT GOOD FOR AMERICAN LEADERSHIP ON THE GLOBAL STAGE OF OUR NEW AND COMPLEX DIGITAL WORLD.
I AM NOT ALONE WITH THESE CONCERNS. EVERYONE FROM THE CREATOR OF THE WORLD WIDE WEB TO RELIGIOUS LEADERS TO GOVERNORS AND MAYORS OF BIG CITIES AND SMALL TOWNS, TO MUSICIANS, ACTORS, ACTRESSES, ENTREPRENEURS, ACADEMICS AND OTHERS HAVE REGISTERED THEIR UPSET AND ANGER. THEY ARE REELING AT HOW THIS AGENCY COULD MAKE THIS KIND OF MISTAKE. THEY ARE WONDERING HOW IT COULD BE SO TONE DEAF AND THEY ARE JUSTIFIABLY CONCERNED THAT JUST A FEW UNELECTED OFFICIALS COULD MAKE SUCH A VAST AND FAR-REACHING DECISION ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNET.
SO AFTER ERASING OUR NET NEUTRALITY RULES, WHAT IS LEFT? WHAT RECOURSE DO CONSUMERS HAVE? WE ARE TOLD DON’T WORRY, COMPETITION WILL SAVE US. BUT THE FCC’S OWN DATA SHOW THAT OUR BROADBAND MARKETS ARE NOT COMPETITIVE. HALF OF THE HOUSEHOLDS IN THIS COUNTRY HAVE NO CHOICE OF BROADBAND PROVIDER. SO IF YOUR BROADBAND PROVIDERS BLOCKING WEBSITES, YOU HAVE NO RECOURSE. YOU HAVE NOWHERE TO GO. WE ARE TOLD DON’T WORRY, THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION WILL SAVE US. BUT THE FTC IS NOT THE EXPERT AGENCY FOR COMMUNICATIONS. IT HAS AUTHORITY OVER UNFAIR AND DECEPTIVE PRACTICES, BUT TO EVADE FTC REVIEW ALL ANY BROADBAND PROVIDER WILL NEED TO DO IS ADD NEW PROVISIONS TO THE FINE PRINT IN ITS TERMS OF SERVICE.
IN ADDITION, IT IS BOTH COSTLY AND IMPRACTICAL TO REPORT DIFFICULTIES TO THE FTC. BY THE TIME THE FTC GETS AROUND TO ADDRESSING THEM IN COURT PROCEEDINGS OR ACTIONS, FAIR TO ASSUME THE STARTUPS AND SMALL BUSINESSES WRESTLING WITH DISCRIMINATORY TREATMENT COULD BE LONG GONE. MOREOVER WHAT LITTLE AUTHORITY THE FCC HAS IS NOW UNDER QUESTION IN THE COURTS. WE ARE TOLD DON’T WORRY, DATA AUTHORITY WILL SAVE US BUT AT THE SAME TIME, THE FCC ALL BUT CLEARS THE FIELD WITH PREEMPTION OF ANYTHING THAT RESEMBLES STATE OR LOCAL CONSUMER PROTECTIONS.
IT’S THE SUBSTANCE THAT GOT US TO THIS POINT AND THE PROCESS IS EVEN WORSE. LET’S TALK ABOUT THE PUBLIC RECORD. THE PUBLIC HAS BEEN MAKING NOISE SPEAKING UP, RAISING A RUCKUS. WE SEE IT IN THE PROTESTS ACROSS THIS COUNTRY, THOSE THAT ARE OUTSIDE HERE TODAY AND WE SEE HOW THEY HAVE LIT UP OUR PHONE LINES, CLOGGED OUR E-MAIL INBOXES AND JAMMED ARE ONLINE COMMENTING SYSTEM. THAT MIGHT BE MESSY, BUT WHATEVER OUR DISAGREEMENTS ARE ON THIS DAIS I HOPE WE CAN AGREE THAT IS DEMOCRACY IN ACTION AND SOMETHING WE CAN ALL SUPPORT. TO DATE NEARLY 24 MILLION COMMENTS HAVE BEEN FILED IN THIS PROCEEDING. THERE IS NO RECORD IN THE HISTORY OF THE AGENCY THAT HAS ATTRACTED SO MANY FILINGS. BUT THERE IS SOMETHING FOUL IN THIS RECORD. 2 MILLION COMMENTS FEATURE STOLEN IDENTITIES. HALF A MILLION COMMENTS ARE FROM RUSSIAN E-MAIL ADDRESSES. 50,000 CONSUMER COMPLAINTS ARE INEXPLICABLY MISSING FROM THE RECORD. I THINK THAT IS A PROBLEM.
I THINK OUR RECORD HAS BEEN CORRUPTED AND OUR PROCESS FOR PUBLIC PARTICIPATION LACKS INTEGRITY. 19 STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL AGREE. THEY HAVE WRITTEN US DEMANDING WE HALT OUR VAULT VOTE UNTIL WE INVESTIGATE AND GET TO THE BOTTOM UP THIS MESS. IDENTITY THEFT IS A CRIME UNDER STATE AND FEDERAL LAW AND WHILE IT IS TAKING PLACE THIS AGENCY HAS TURNED A BLIND EYE TO ITS VICTIMS AND CALLOUSLY TOLD OUR FELLOW LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS IT WILL NOT HELP. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. IT’S A STAIN ON THE FCC AND THIS PROCEEDING. THIS ISSUE IS NOT GOING AWAY. IT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED.
FINALLY, I WORRY THAT THIS DECISION AND THE PROCESS THAT BROUGHT US TO THIS POINT IS UGLY. IT IS UGLY IN THE CAVALIER DISREGARD THIS AGENCY HAS DEMONSTRATED TO THE PUBLIC, THE CONTEMPT IT HAS SHOWN FOR CITIZENS TO SPEAK UP AND THE SHEER DISDAIN IT HAS FOR PUBLIC OPINION. UNLIKE ITS PREDECESSORS THIS FCC HAS NOT HELD A SINGLE PUBLIC HEARING ON NET NEUTRALITY. THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE WASHINGTON IS NOT LISTENING TO THEIR CONCERNS, THEIR FEARS, AND THEIR DESIRES. ADD THIS AGENCY TO THAT LIST. I TO AM FRUSTRATED, BUT HERE’S THE TWIST, I HEAR YOU. I LISTENED WITH THE CALLERS TO WHAT MY OFFICE ARE SAYING. I READ THE COUNTLESS INDIVIDUALLY WRITTEN E-MAILS IN MY INBOX, THEY POST ONLINE AND THE VERY SHORT SOMETIMES VERY LONG LETTERS. I’M NOT GOING TO GIVE UP. AND NEITHER SHOULD YOU.
IN THE ARC OF HISTORY AS LONG, WE ARE GOING TO BEND THIS TOWARD A MORE JUST OUTCOME IN THE COURTS, IN CONGRESS, WHEREVER WE NEED TO GO TO ENSURE THAT NET NEUTRALITY STAYS THE LAW OF THE LAND BECAUSE IF YOU ARE CONSERVATIVE OR PROGRESSIVE YOU BENEFIT FROM INTERNET OPENNESS. IF YOU COME FROM A SMALL TOWN OR A BIG CITY, YOU BENEFIT FROM INTERNET OPENNESS. IF YOU ARE A COMPANY OR A NONPROFIT YOU BENEFIT FROM INTERNET OPENNESS. IF YOU ARE A STARTUP OR AN ESTABLISHED YOU BENEFIT FROM INTERNET OPENNESS. IF YOU ARE A CONSUMER OR A CREATOR, YOU BENEFIT FROM INTERNET OPENNESS. AND IF YOU BELIEVE IN DEMOCRACY YOU BENEFIT FROM INTERNET OPENNESS. SO LET’S PERSIST, LET’S FIGHT, LET’S NOT STOP HERE OR NOW. IT IS TOO IMPORTANT. THE FUTURE DEPENDS ON IT.
THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER ROSENWORCEL.
12/14/17 FCC Minority Press Conference
GOOD AFTERNOON. COMMISSIONER ROSENWORCEL AND I WOULD ENTERTAIN ANY QUESTIONS YOU WILL HAVE.
I DID GET ONE QUESTION FROM SOMEONE WHO COULD NOT JOIN US IF YOU WOULD ALLOW ME TO FEEL THAT. I DON’T NORMALLY DO THIS BUT THEY WENT OUT OF THEIR WAY. SO THIS IS LEVI FROM BAY AREA NEWS GROUP. HIS QUESTION, ASSUMING LEVI IS A MALE, CHAIRMAN PAI HAS REFUSED TO LISTEN TO THE OPPOSITION. HIS QUESTION, NOT MINE. DOES MS. CLYBURN, ME, FEEL THE VOICES OF THE PUBLIC HAVE BEEN HEARD?
MY ANSWER IS ABSOLUTELY NOT. I SAID VERY CLEARLY IN MY STATEMENT THAT IT IS TELLING THAT THIS ITEM THAT THE MAJORITY JUST PAST DID NOT CITE A SINGLE CONSUMER COMMENT LETTER, VOICEMAIL, OR CARRIER PIGEON MESSAGE. THAT TO ME SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT HOW THE MAJORITY VALUES THE MILLIONS OF CONSUMERS WHO TOOK THE TIME TO WEIGH IN ABOUT KEEPING THE INTERNET NET NEUTRALITY RULES IN PLACE. SO I WANTED TO TEE THAT UP AND I DON’T KNOW IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS. I KNOW THE OTHER COMMISSIONERS MENTIONED LUNCH BUT IT’S WAY PAST THE LUNCH HOUR.
I WILL DIVE RIGHT IN. BLOOMBERG LAW. I GUESS THIS IS FOR EITHER OF YOU ON MEDIA OWNERSHIP AND ALTERING THE CAP. I WANT TO KNOW IF YOU HAD ANY THOUGHTS ABOUT COMMISSIONER O’RIELLY JOINING YOU IN THE VIEW THAT YOU LACK THE AUTHORITY BUT STILL SAYING HE WILL HAPPILY VOTE TO ALTER THE CAP.
I DON’T WANT TO COMMENT ON WHAT COMMISSIONER O’RIELLY IS THINKING BECAUSE I’VE NO SPECIAL KNOWLEDGE ABOUT WHAT HE’S THINKING BUT I FUNDAMENTALLY AGREE THIS AGENCY LACKS THE AUTHORITY TO ADJUST THE 39 PERCENT CAP PUT INTO LAW BY CONGRESS IN 2004.
I WILL ADD THAT I THINK THERE WAS A MENTION TO AN ANSWER TO A QUESTION THAT MIGHT BE ON YOUR MIND THAT THE CHAIRMAN DID MAKE MENTION OF SOMETHING THAT HE CLASSIFIED THAT I TAKE ISSUE WITH. BACK IN 2004, THE WORLD LOOKED VERY DIFFERENT AS I AFFIRMED IN MY STATEMENT, THAT WAS FIVE YEARS BEFORE THE DIGITAL TRANSITION. I DID NOT SEE ANY MENTION OF UHF WHEN IT COMES TO THAT — THAT PARTICULAR ISSUE.
SO THERE WERE NOT THE DISTINCTIONS THEN THAT WE HAVE TODAY THAT OCCURRED AS THE RESULT OF A DIGITAL TRANSITION SO TO BRING UP SOMETHING THAT WE KNOW HAS CHANGED, BY THEIR OWN ADMISSION, IS TECHNOLOGICALLY OUT OF DATE, THAT WE RULED THAT IT WAS TECHNOLOGICALLY OUT OF DATE AND SO I TAKE ISSUE WITH THIS DECISION. WE REVERSED COURSE ON THAT. AND NOW THERE IS AN ABILITY FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO FURTHER CONSOLIDATE TO DO SO IN A MANNER THAT BASICALLY TRICKS THE PUBLIC INTO BELIEVING THEY ARE STILL COMPLIANT WITH THE 39 PERCENT CAP. THEN WE SAY, WELL, MAYBE WE WILL GRANDFATHER THEM. THOSE ARE THE QUESTIONS WE ARE ANSWERING. WE ARE GIVING A GREEN LIGHT FOR FURTHER CONSOLIDATION WITHOUT SHINING LIGHT ON THE FACT THAT COMPANIES HAVE THE POTENTIAL RIGHT NOW TO HAVE A 70 PLUS PERCENT SHARE OF THE US MARKET AND IT LOOKS LIKE IT’S 39 PERCENT AND IN COMPLIANCE WITH WHAT THE CURRENT OWNERSHIP CAP IS. I FIND THAT PUZZLING.
HI, COMMISSIONERS TARA JEFFRIES WITH BLOOMBERG LAW I WAS WONDERING IF EITHER OF YOU HAVE THOUGHTS ON THE NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN OVER THE NET NEUTRALITY RULES.
LAST WEEK I HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF JOINING NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN IN NEW YORK TO CALL ATTENTION TO WHAT HIS OFFICE HAD UNEARTHED WHICH IS THAT WE HAVE MILLIONS OF STOLEN IDENTITIES IN THE FCC RECORD FOR NET NEUTRALITY. THAT’S IDENTITY THEFT. PEOPLE’S NAMES AND ADDRESSES WERE TAKEN AND COMMENTS WERE FILED UNDER THEIR NAMES AND IDENTITY THEFT IS A CRIME UNDER NEW YORK STATE LAW AND ALSO UNDER FEDERAL LAW. THE FACT THAT THIS AGENCY HAS REFUSED TO INVESTIGATE AND GET TO THE BOTTOM OF IT IS OFFENSIVE. PUBLIC INTEGRITY SHOULD MATTER. THE VIABILITY OF OUR COMMENT PROCESS IN THE DIGITAL AGE IS AT STAKE. AND I RESPECT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL WANTS TO TAKE THIS AND HAD TO COURT AND I SUSPECT THERE WILL BE OTHER STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL THAT WILL JOIN HIM. .
ONE THING THAT’S LOST IN THE TRANSLATION BECAUSE WE ARE HEARING A LOT OF VERY VALUABLE TALKING POINTS, BUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THE FCC TOLD THE STATES TO STAY OUT. THE STATES ARE ON THE FRONT LINE — THEY SEE THEIR CONSTITUENTS AND CONSUMERS AND FELLOW STATE CITIZENS EVERY DAY. IF THE STATES WANT TO PROVIDE LEVELS OF PROTECTION, TO ADD PROTECTIONS THAT ARE UNIQUELY SITUATED OR REFLECTIVE OF THEIR STATE CONSUMERS OR CONSTITUENT EXPERIENCE, THE FCC BASICALLY SAID ‘TOO BAD YOU CAN’T DO SO’.
SO I DON’T BLAME THE STATES FOR NOT CHALLENGING THE BASIS OF THE COMMISSIONER SAYING THAT THEY CAN’T SERVE AND PROTECT THEIR CITIZENS. THE FCC IS SAYING STAY OUT OF THE WAY WHEN IT COMES TO THESE LEVELS OF PROTECTIONS. I FIND IT PROBLEMATIC ON ALL FRONTS. WE ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE A PARTNERSHIP WITH OUR STATES, BUT WE ARE TELLING THEM TO STAY OUT IF THEY CAN’T ADEQUATELY SERVE THEIR CITIZENS TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY. THAT’S A PROBLEM. BY THE WAY, THIS WAS DONE WITHOUT NOTICE SO THAT MAKES US MORE VULNERABLE IN COURT.
MONTE TAYLOR: A BUNCH OF THE OTHER COMMISSIONERS BROUGHT UP U-BOAT FOR THE ORDER TO ELIMINATE THE UHF DISCOUNT AND THEN SAYING THE FCC HAS THE AUTHORITY TO MESS WITH THE CAP. SO DO YOU HAVE A RESPONSE TO THAT BECAUSE THEY ALL BROUGHT IT UP.
WE VOTED ON THE UNDERLYING DECISION, WHICH WAS TO UPDATE THE UHF DISCOUNT WHICH WE CAN ALL AGREE IS TECHNOLOGICALLY OBSOLETE. MOREOVER AT THE 2004 APPROPRIATIONS ACT MAKES NO MENTION OF THE UHF DISCOUNT. IT ONLY REFERENCES THE 39 PERCENT CAP. WE CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THAT IS A PROBLEM THAT THIS AGENCY SOMEHOW THINKS IT HAS THE AUTHORITY TO REVISIT — TO REWRITE THOSE WORDS FROM CONGRESS.
MET DENMAN COMMUNICATIONS DAILY. THE SAME QUESTION I POSED TO THE REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES. DISNEY, FOX, THOUGHTS ON WHETHER THE AGENCY WILL HAVE A ROLE AND WHAT DO YOU THINK BROADLY ABOUT THE NOTION OF CONSOLIDATION.
WE USUALLY DON’T COMMENT ON THAT. I LEARNED THIS MORNING I HAPPEN TO BE WATCHING — I WAS WAITING FOR ONE STORY AND CAUGHT ANOTHER AND THAT TELLS YOU WHICH NETWORK I WAS WATCHING THIS MORNING SO I CAUGHT THE ANNOUNCEMENT BUT THAT IS ALL I CAN SAY THAT THERE IS NOTHING AS I AM AWARE OF THAT IS BEFORE US. WE WILL SEE IF THERE IS SOMETHING THAT WILL BE BEFORE US AND THEN AND ONLY THEN ARE WE ABLE TO HAVE A BETTER EXCHANGE AS IT RELATES TO THAT PARTICULAR ITEM.
THE REVISED ORDER ALSO BARS STATES FROM PROPOSING THEIR OWN TRANSPARENCY REQUIREMENTS IN ADDITION TO TRYING TO MANDATE THE PROTECTIONS. ARE THERE ANY OTHER SUBSTANTIVE CHANGES IN THE ORDER FROM WHEN WE SAW 13 WEEKS AGO?
I THINK IT’S SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME, BUT THE FCC MAJORITY NEGOTIATED OUT OUR PARTICIPATION.
ONE THING YOU ASKING THAT QUESTION MADE ME THINK IS WHAT HAPPENS GOING FORWARD?. WE HAVE A NUMBER OF OBJECTIVES WHEN IT COMES TO OUR UNIVERSAL SERVICE PROGRAMS. WE HAVE SOME FUNCTIONS THAT PROBABLY WILL BE ON THE HORIZON. WHAT IF SOMEONE OR A PARTY THAT IS A PARTICIPANT ARE DISPLEASED ABOUT WHAT THE OUTCOME IS?
I KNOW WHAT WE HAVE DONE TODAY IS WEAKEN OUR ABILITY TO STAND ON OUR UNIVERSAL SERVICE PRINCIPALS. WE HAVE PUT OURSELVES IN A MORE PRECARIOUS SITUATION WHEN IT COMES TO ENSURING THAT BROADBAND ENABLED SERVICES ARE ABLE TO BE DEPLOYED. WE HAVE WEAKENED OURSELVES WHEN IT COMES TO THE RIGHTS OF WAYS AND ALL OF THE OTHER TYPES OF INFRASTRUCTURE FOR US TO CONNECT THESE COMMUNITIES.
WE HAVE PUT OURSELVES AT A DISADVANTAGE BY WEAKENING THE FCC’S AUTHORITY THAT HAS BEEN UPHELD BY THE THIRD CIRCUIT COURT. SO, AGAIN, THE HEADLINES OF THE DAY AND WHAT THE TALKING POINTS HAVE BEEN ARE IMPORTANT, BUT WHAT COMMUNITIES WILL ULTIMATELY FIND IS THEY WILL NOT HAVE AN FCC WITH THE TEETH NEEDED TO ENSURE THAT OUR UNIVERSAL SERVICE PRINCIPLES ARE REALIZED AND, LIKE I’VE HAD SAID, IT MIGHT NOT BE TOMORROW, IT MIGHT NOT BE THE NEXT WEEK, BUT SOON WE ARE GOING TO FIND OURSELVES CHALLENGED. I BELIEVE WE WILL BE CHALLENGED TO THE POINT OF BEING VULNERABLE AND WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A SERIOUS ISSUES WHEN IT COMES TO CONNECTING, PARTICULARLY ON THESE RULES.
FOR EITHER OR BOTH WILL THE AGENCY PREVAIL IN COURT?
I HAVE NO CRYSTAL BALL, BUT I CAN’T TELL YOU THAT OUTCOME NOR CAN I TELL YOU EVEN WHICH COURT OR APPELLATE WILL ACTUALLY WIND UP IN COURT AT THIS POINT, BUT I DO KNOW THIS:
THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IS ANGRY. I HAVE NOT DURING MY TENURE HERE AND NOW OR AT MY PREVIOUS TENURE SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THE ANGST AND IRRITATION THAT IS POURING INTO MY E-MAIL INBOX AND TUMBLING INTO OUR VOICEMAIL EVERY DAY. THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN OUTSIDE FOR THE LAST 24 HOURS CLAMORING TO GET THIS AGENCY TO PAY ATTENTION TO THEM.
THERE IS SOMETHING STUNNING ABOUT THAT BECAUSE OUR ACTIONS HERE HAVE AWOKEN A SLEEPING GIANT: THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE VERY ANGRY THAT AN AGENCY IN WASHINGTON IS MUCKING AROUND THE OPEN INTERNET THEY KNOW. SO I THINK GOING FORWARD DON’T ONLY THINK ABOUT LITIGATION, RECOGNIZE THERE IS A LEVEL OF PUBLIC AWARENESS ON THIS ISSUE THAT IS LIKELY TO SHAPE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.
COMMISSIONER CLYBURN: IF THE COURT AGREES THAT THERE SHOULD BE APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF REGULATORY BALANCE, THAT EVERYONE SHOULD WIN IN THIS ECOSYSTEM, THAT THERE SHOULD BE MORE BENEFITS AND LESS HARMS, THAT THE CONSUMERS SHOULD BE IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT NOT JUST A HANDFUL OF INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS. IF THEY LOOK AT IT FROM THAT PERSPECTIVE, THEN I THINK WE WILL PREVAIL.
I WANT TO ASK A QUESTION FROM THE CHAIRMAN SO THERE IS A LOT OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS IN THE ORDER, BUT SOME OF THE ECONOMIST I TALKED TO SAID BASICALLY THEY FELT THAT IT WAS NOT SOPHISTICATED, THAT THEY LOOKED FOR CERTAIN RESULTS AND THAT’S WHAT THEY FOUND THAT THERE WAS NOT AN OBJECTIVE ANALYSIS OR DETERMINATION OF WHAT WAS TRYING TO BE ENCOURAGED. DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT AND THEN I WANT TO ASK A FOLLOW-UP ON THAT?
I THINK THE ECONOMIC ANALYSIS IN THIS DECISION WAS WOEFULLY DEFICIENT. IT WAS ILLOGICAL AND DESIGNED TO ACHIEVE AN END. JUST AS AN EXAMPLE, OUR OWN FCC DATA DEMONSTRATE THAT HALF THE HOUSEHOLDS IN THIS COUNTRY DO NOT HAVE A COMPETITIVE CHOICE OF BROADBAND PROVIDER. I AM ONE OF THEM. I LIVE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THERE IS ONE PROVIDER THAT WILL SERVE MY HOUSE. IF I HAVE ANY DIFFICULTY WITH THAT PROVIDER AND THE WAY IT TREATS MY TRAFFIC, FAILS TO PROVIDE ME OPEN ACCESS TO ALL WEBSITE OR SENSORS CONTENT, I HAVE NO RECOURSE. AND I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT KIND OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS SUGGESTS THAT COMPETITION WILL FOLLOW — SOLVE THAT PROBLEM ME WHEN HALF THE HOUSEHOLDS IN THIS COUNTRY DO NOT BENEFIT FROM ANY COMPETITION, AT ALL.
MY FOLLOW-UP QUESTION WAS WE’VE HEARD A LOT ABOUT THE CHAIRMAN WANTS TO FORM — WANTS A NEW OFFICE OF THE ECONOMIST. SO I’M JUST WONDERING — I DON’T WANT TO ASK THIS IN A WAY THAT’S TOO POINTED, BUT DOES THAT — ARE THERE BAD IMPLICATIONS IF YOU FELT THE ANALYSIS WAS LACKING AND SO NONOBJECTIVE IN THIS REPORT, WHAT’S REALLY GOING TO COME OUT OF THAT IF YOU PUT ALL THE ECONOMIST IN ONE OFFICE?
I HAVE TO SAY I DON’T EITHER. I THINK IF WE APPROACH THINGS WITHOUT A THESIS SENTENCE OR A POINT OF VIEW THAT SKEWS SOMETHING IN ONE DIRECTION THEN ANY TYPE OF ECONOMETRIC ANALYSIS THAT COULD BE MORE ENHANCED IS BENEFICIAL. BUT WHAT HAS BEEN SHOWN PARTICULARLY THROUGH THIS ITEM IS THAT YOU CAN BUILD ANY CASE IF YOU HAVE A CERTAIN PREMISE THAT TILTS IN A CERTAIN ONE DIRECTION OR ANOTHER. I THINK WE WOULD BE BEST SERVED BY LOOKING THROUGH A BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC LENS WITH NON-PREJUDICIAL APPROACH TO POLICY MAKING. SO IT WILL BE AS GOOD AS THE PARAMETERS AND THE DIRECTIVES THAT THE LEADERSHIP WILL GIVE.
IT IS 3:30 P.M. AND I NEED LUNCH.
ANY OTHER QUICK QUESTIONS? SEEING NONE, THANK YOU.