FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on 5G and net neutrality

well I want to talk about 5g of course

it's a huge force but before that want

to talk about China last week you

tweeted if this is how China is willing

to use its leverage over basketball

referring to this Hong Kong NBA

controversy eSports and flag emojis

imagine what could happen if we let

Chinese companies equipment into

America's 5g networks is this really

either shifting or underscoring your

position on China and 5g this whole NBA

controversy and how well I do think that

the security of our telecom networks is

paramount especially as we emerge into a

5g environment and the point I was

making is that to the extent that the

Chinese government is willing to use its

leverage over things like basketball in

eSports and flag emojis it does raise

concerns when Chinese manufacturers

equipment goes into our networks and

those manufacturers are subject to

Chinese law which requires any

manufacturer to comply with a request

from the intelligence services and so I

was simply raising the point that we

need to be careful about what equipment

and services go into our networks we

need to use trusted vendors and

especially as these networks are

interconnected with other countries

around the world we need our allies to

understand our concerns as well yeah

speaking of u.s. 5g you've got auction

103 coming up in just a bit it's going

to make more spectrum available than any

auction in American history 30 400

megahertz of spectrum this is high band

fixed wireless broadband is the expected

use of a lot of this AT&T Sprint

t-mobile US Cellular Verizon Dish all

participating what does success look

like for this is it the winner is really

launching wireless broadband services

that competes with cable and how long do

you expect that should take well it's

part of our strategy this upcoming

auction which as he pointed out will be

the largest in American history we also

have auctions slated in the mid band

spectrum coming up next year and our

overall goal is to put the building

blocks or 5g innovation in place and let

entrepreneurs and innovators figure out

how best to use it it could be high

bandwidth applications like residential

broadband it could be low bandwidth

applications like in

IOT we don't know exactly where the

industry is going to go but to borrow

from a line that vince vaughn gave to

your previous guests

5g is going to be money we just don't

know it exactly yet and so that's what

we're trying to do is to allow that

innovation to take place here and on our

shores so much beautiful spectrum in

here so chairman Sprint t-mobile still

going through the process here state of

Colorado just dropped out of the

multi-state lawsuit Mississippi had

dropped out already does the market need

Sprint t-mobile to go through in order

to be successful in 5g or is that just

extra why do you think the consummation

of this deal will be a major boost for

the public interest one commitment of

that merger as you probably know is that

the new company will deploy 5g 50

megabit per second service or greater to

99 percent of the American population

within six years that is a tremendous

benefit to make sure that that digital

divide closes on the wireless side that

no Americans are going to be left behind

when it comes to the digital revolution

and also Sprint's mid band spectrum

assets combined with t-mobile's low band

and high band assets I think will

present a very formidable competitor and

so I actually think it's going to boost

competition in many ways in addition to

the entrance of dish so I think the

consummation that deals a good deal for

the American consumer I want to ask you

about net neutrality because I can never

talk to you without without talking

about net neutrality you're still

dealing with the blowback on Twitter

over that BuzzFeed has done an

investigation into the comments over net

neutrality pointing the finger at

consulting operations that that sent a

flood of fake comments to the FCC

opposing net neutrality some of this can

be traced back to some money from the

cable Lobby apparently including Comcast

our parent did the FCC make a mistake

not taking these fake comments seriously

enough when New York was raising

concerns about it and what you see as

being the future of public comment in

this era of so much fake communication

well first the overwhelming story coming

out of the net neutrality discussion in

2017 is that we made the right decision

when we made that decision there were a

lot of hysterical predictions the end of

the Internet as we know it the Internet

will work one word at a time speeds will

slow down as a matter of fact

infrastructure investment was up three

billion dollars in 2018 speeds in the

United States are up over fifty percent

since we made our decision and judging

from all the commentary on Twitter no

one is being held back from expressing

their views with respect to the record

the US Court of Appeals for the DC

Circuit recently reaffirmed that the FCC

abided by the Administrative Procedure

Act including by having substantial

evidence for its decisions and if you

look at our decision we didn't rely on

all the extraneous commentary the forum

commentary that came for example this

400,000 or so make comments coming from

purportedly coming from Russia we relied

on substantial evidence that was in our

record I'm glad to the court in

Washington saw our way you bring up a

good point one that's definitely in the

news the Chairman about say for instance

Facebook and its responsibilities we

have with that cut the responsibility

that comes with carrying political ads

how dangerous is it if we were to say

that a platform like that could be the

could be the voice as to whether or not

an ad took place or not that is one of

the issues that is beyond our

jurisdiction we don't directly regulate

companies like Facebook when it comes to

election ads but there's clearly a lot

of commentary on Capitol Hill on the

campaign trail and amongst the American

public about what to do with that kind

of situation it's something that we

monitor but we don't directly regulate

it so I can't express an opinion about

what should be done in terms of changing

the law or applying the law if you could

quickly address though my question about

public comment was more about is there

any value to it anymore when there's so

much fraud going on does the FCC do you

have a view and how to actually give

real people in the public an actual

voice on these issues

oh absolutely on one hand we want to err

on the side of openness we want as many

Americans as possible to participate in

our proceedings and on the other hand

one of the things we're looking at is

how to upgrade our system for example by

including a CAPTCHA to verify that it is

in fact

legitimate individual filing that

comments that's unbalanced that we're

trying to strike here promoting public

participation while preserving the

integrity of the overall comment system

and that's something that regulators

across the country you're going to be

struggling with in the time to come