Chairman Genachowski Testimony Hearing on The Oversight of The FCC
PREPARED STATEMENT OF FCC CHAIRMAN JULIUS GENACHOWSKI
HEARING ON THE OVERSIGHT OF
THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
JULY 10, 2012Chairman Walden, Ranking Member Eshoo, members of the committee, thank you for the
opportunity to be here today.
I’m pleased to be joined by a full complement of Commissioners, including my newest
colleagues – Commissioners Rosenworcel and Pai. I’m certain that members of this Committee
will find them to be excellent additions to the Commission, as I have.
This is my 7th time testifying before this Committee. And I’ve been fortunate to meet with
many of you individually.
So by now, most of you know that that my primary focus as FCC Chairman has been promoting
innovation, investment, competition, and consumers empowerment in the ICT sector. We’ve
focused the agency on harnessing wired and wireless broadband to grow our economy, create
jobs, enhance U.S. competitiveness, and foster improvements in areas like education, health care,
and public safety.
I’d like to provide a brief overview of some recent developments since I last testified before you
five months ago.
First, we continue to receive good news for the U.S. from across the broadband sector.
The U.S. has regained global leadership, particularly in mobile. The U.S. leads the world in 3G
subscribers by a wide margin, and we are leading the world in deploying 4G mobile broadband
at scale. The apps economy continues to grow, and U.S. firms and developers continue to lead
In the last three years, the percentage of smartphones globally with U.S. operating systems has
grown from 25% to more than 80%. And in the last three years we've gone from less than 20
percent of our population living in areas with broadband infrastructure capable of delivering
100+ megabits per second to approximately 80 percent, putting us at or near the top of the world.
Of course, in this fast-moving sector there are many challenges ahead, and our global
competitors remain focused on broadband opportunities. So at the FCC, we continue to work to
help drive our broadband economy.
We continue our efforts to spur broadband buildout, including by removing barriers to
Just last month, the President issued an Executive Order implementing recommendations of the
FCC’s National Broadband Plan, the agency’s Technological Advisory Council, and members of
this Committee. The Executive Order took steps to ease access to federal roads, lands and
buildings for broadband infrastructure. It also directed the Department of Transportation to
develop “Dig Once” policies so that carriers can deploy broadband when roads are under
As part of our Mobile Action Plan, we’ve taken several recent actions to spur mobile innovation
and investment, and free up spectrum.
In March, we launched a rulemaking on a proposal to remove barriers to flexible spectrum use in
the proposed AWS-4 band. We are close to completing our work to free up 25 MHz of spectrum
in the WCS band.
In May, we removed outdated rules on spectrum use in the 800 MHz band, which will help
accelerate the rollout of LTE. And in August I expect that we will continue our ongoing efforts
to remove unnecessary rules hindering the deployment of wireless backhaul.
We’re making progress on other pieces of our Mobile Action Plan.
The Commission is working with NTIA to facilitate industry tests of LTE sharing in the 1755-
1780 MHz band, which could allow us to make available valuable paired spectrum in the next
Of course, we’re also hard at work designing the world’s first incentive auctions to implement
the important recently enacted law – a complex task affecting major parts of our economy and
involving many challenging questions of economics and engineering. I expect the Commission
will put forward proposals by the fall, and seek broad public comment.
We’re also on track to fulfill our obligations under the recent law that relate to the new national
mobile broadband public safety network.
And we continue our work on a full range of public safety communication issues.
I am concerned about 911 and other communications outages during the recent storm in the D.C.
area. This is something we are investigating, and take seriously.
On other matters, we’re moving forward with implementation of our unanimously approved,
comprehensive reform of the Universal Service Fund (USF). These reforms will finally bring
broadband to millions of unserved people in rural America, while putting the fund on a fiscally
We recently announced the availability of the first rounds of funding under the Connect America
Fund (CAF) and Mobility Fund. Just yesterday, Frontier announced that it will be deploying
broadband to approximately 200,000 unserved Americans as result of the new Connect America
The Commission is also helping to tackle threats to our broadband economy.
As the result of an FCC-led process on cybersecurity, ISPs serving 90% of all U.S. residential
broadband subscribers have committed to adopting voluntary, concrete measures to combat three
major threats: botnets, IP route hijacking and domain name fraud.
Working with the nation’s police chiefs, we reached an agreement with the major mobile carriers
to create a database of stolen phones, which will help crack down on the growing problem of
And I continue to speak both publicly and privately with my international counterparts about the
vital importance of preserving Internet freedom and the multistakeholder model of international
I’d like to commend this Committee for its bipartisan resolution re-affirming the United States’
unequivocal support for the successful multistakeholder model.
On top of all of these efforts, we continue working to make the agency more open, efficient, and
I have previously reported on the many concrete steps we have taken to reduce backlogs and
speed decisions. I am pleased to report today that over the past six months we have made
additional significant reductions in our backlog, including a more than 20 percent reduction in
items pending more than six months in the Wireline Bureau, and an across the board 20 percent
reduction in license applications and renewals pending more than six months.
We have also cut the average number of days required to review routine wireless transactions in
2012 by more than half.
I appreciate the opportunity to be here today. I look forward to continuing to work with this
Committee to identify other opportunities to unleash communications technologies to benefit our
economy and the American people. Thank you.
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