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Testimony of Commissioner Rosenworcel, FCC Oversight Hearing

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Released: May 16, 2012

STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER JESSICA ROSENWORCEL

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

BEFORE THE

UNITED STATES SENATE

COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

“OVERSIGHT OF THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION”

MAY 16, 2012

Good afternoon, Chairman Rockefeller, Ranking Member Hutchison, and the
distinguished Members of the Committee.
It is a great privilege to appear before you today. I was ceremonially sworn into
office on Monday. My tenure at the agency has been limited. So it is in that spirit that I
offer my remarks today. They will be brief.
There may be no sector of the economy more dynamic than communications.
These are the technologies that support our commerce, connect our communities, and
enhance our security. They are an essential part of how we educate, create, entertain,
inform, and govern ourselves.
Yet technology changes at a blistering pace. So it is essential that the
Commission approach its tasks with humility. It must have a healthy respect for the
power of innovation to invert what we think we know.
Still, I believe that there are enduring values in the Communications Act that must
always inform the Commission’s work. Public safety is paramount. Universal service
means that everyone in this country, no matter who they are or where they live, should
have access to first-rate communications services. Competition inspires private sector
investment and drives the development of more innovative services at lower cost. And
consumer protection is always in the public interest.
In the weeks and months ahead, the Commission will have no shortage of
challenging issues to address. The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act tasked
the agency with a series of spectrum auctions designed to ease the growing demand for
this scarce resource. These include incentive auctions, which are undeniably complex.
In years past, Commission auctions have raised $50 billion for the United States
Treasury. Its path-breaking auctions have led the world. I am confident that with the
right mix of engineering and economics, with these new auctions the Commission can
once again serve as a pioneer. Furthermore, if it follows the law, it can do so in a way
that is fair to all stakeholders and will provide our first responders with the resources and
nationwide interoperability that will help keep us safe.
For more than five years, I had the tremendous privilege of serving on the staff of
this Committee. It is an honor to return to this room and sit at this table in my new role.
From my time working for this body, I deeply understand that it is the duty of this agency
to listen to the Congress and be responsible to the American people.

Thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you today. I would be
happy to answer any questions you may have.
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