SUMMARY OF STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER JESSICA ROSENWORCEL
“OVERSIGHT OF THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION”
MARCH 12, 2013
Confidence for Consumers and Businesses Should Guide the FCC’s Policies. Consumers
must have confidence to realize the full potential that our digital world provides and
businesses must have the confidence to invest in digital age infrastructure.
Implementing Successful Wireless Spectrum Auctions. Congress established incentive
auctions to address demands on our airwaves and raise revenues for the first nationwide,
interoperable wireless broadband public safety network. The FCC must get this right. Four
principles that should guide our development of incentive auctions.
o Simplicity. We need a bias toward simplicity in order to allow the market to work.
o Fairness. We must treat broadcasters fairly, minimizing unnecessary disruption and
maximizing the ability of the public to continue to receive free, over-the-air television.
o Balance. The rules we adopt are interrelated. Rules regarding interference, for instance,
can impact broadcast services, the spectrum available for auction, and revenue raised.
Balance also requires attention to the mix of licensed and unlicensed spectrum.
o Public Safety. The success of these auctions requires funding a nationwide network for
public safety. We must deliver on this promise to America’s first responders.
Developing a New Approach to Federal Spectrum. Even with incentive auctions on course,
demand for our airwaves will continue to grow at a breathtaking pace. Across government,
we need to consider incentives for more efficient use of federal spectrum. We must find
ways for agencies to see gain and not just loss from commercial reallocation.
Fostering the Transition to IP Networks. Communications network infrastructure is in a state
of transition. Our policies should be guided by the basic values of the communications laws:
public safety; universal service; competition; and consumer protection.
Updating Universal Service and E-Rate for the Broadband Age. Recently, the FCC
refocused the fund on the broadband and wireless communications challenges of this century.
With the complexity of the system, however, we should stand ready to simplify our rules in a
manner that is fiscally sound, good for rural consumers, and bound to inspire investment.
o CAF. Commission should distribute incremental support from its first phase of the
Connect America Fund as soon as possible.
o E-Rate. 80 percent of schools and libraries believe their broadband connections do not
meet the current needs. We also need to update the universal service E-Rate program to
meet 21st century education demands.
Recommitting to Consumers. Communications services are becoming a more substantial
part of all of our household budgets. The FCC should do more to protect consumers.
o The consumer complaint process needs an upgrade. Every year the FCC receives roughly
400,000 complaints and inquiries. We must make the system easier to navigate and use.
o Using consumer data. The FCC should use the complaint and inquiry information it
collects to identify meaningful trends and inform policy making.