FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks
Our major companies should have a workforce that looks like America, from entry-level positions to the board of directors. As I have long advocated, diversity is more than just best practices – it is good business. I appreciate how this principle is reflected in the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between T-Mobile and the National Urban League, National Action Network, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC, OCA–Asian Pacific American Advocates, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and UnidosUS.
The expert staff of the Commission and the Justice Department have agreed that the merger between TMobile and Sprint, as originally submitted, would likely harm competition and raise prices. Rather than denying that merger, however, the majority has turned to the parties for paper-thin commitments that they contend will expand broadband access and the deployment of 5G. But these promises cannot mask reality. You don’t need to be an expert to know that going from four wireless carriers to three will hurt competition. This merger takes a bad situation and makes it worse.
The rights enshrined in the First Amendment, including freedom of speech and freedom of the press, guide the Federal Communications Commission’s public interest standard, which must inform everything that we do. But the fact that those celebrated words were written into the Bill of Rights does not, in and of itself, guarantee that it will work as intended. The First Amendment is not self-executing. Preserving its guarantees requires the vigilance of regulators, the media, and the public alike. Ida B.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai: "Today’s decision is a victory for consumers, broadband deployment, and the free and open Internet. The court affirmed the FCC’s decision to repeal 1930s utility-style regulation of the Internet imposed by the prior Administration. The court also upheld our robust transparency rule so that consumers can be fully informed about their online options. Since we adopted the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, consumers have seen 40% faster speeds and millions more Americans have gained access to the Internet.
The misconduct alleged today, if true, amounts to corporate malfeasance. A single company apparently misappropriated funds for nearly 10 percent of the entire Lifeline program. I am outraged. There is no credible way that the merger before us can proceed until this Lifeline investigation is resolved and responsible parties are held accountable.
Remarks of FCC Commissioner Starks to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Annual Legislative Conference
[The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Annual Legislative Conference] is a time to highlight our policy priorities and develop collaborative solutions so that when we return to our communities, whether Brooklyn (NY), Southeast DC, or Jackson (MS) we’re better equipped to “bend the arc of the moral universe” toward a greater measure of justice through our work.
I’m pleased to see the expansion of the Internet Essentials program throughout the Comcast footprint to include low-income households that receive government assistance like SNAP, Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). But a good program doesn’t execute itself. Community problems require community solutions. That’s why I’m also happy to see the list of 10,000 non-profit partners enlisted to help with outreach and training on Internet Essentials throughout the country. Access to the internet impacts almost every social, political, and economic facet of our lives.
Commissioner Geoffrey Starks announced the appointment of Alisa Valentin as his Special Advisor. “I’m excited that Alisa is joining my team. She brings a strong background of leadership on the issue of internet inequality and, as a native of South Georgia, has personal experience with the impact of the digital divide on rural Americans, particularly in communities of color. I look forward to benefiting from her insights and working with her in the days ahead.”
It’s time for the Federal Communications Commission to step into the future by using artificial intelligence tools to address the continuing lack of affordable broadband to many communities—an increasingly entrenched problem of “internet inequality,” which impacts our economy and democracy and threatens the future global competitiveness of our country. By adopting more sophisticated data validation algorithms, the FCC could avoid repeating past mistakes. Such algorithms can not only automate the data validation process but also can ensure consistency and learn from previous provider submiss
Network security is national security. The risks of having insecure equipment in our networks are alarming. Next week I will be convening stakeholders—including carriers, manufacturers, academics, and trade associations, to start crafting and developing a practical path forward. Specifically, I anticipate digging into what it will take to Find the insecure equipment, Fix the problem, and help Fund the process. Find it. Fix it.