FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn

Remarks of Commissioner Clyburn at Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee

Simply put, if you truly believe in the transformative power of broadband, as a tool of digital and economic empowerment, your focus cannot begin and end, with infrastructure. If you believe in universal access to 911, if you believe in education, or healthcare, or civic  engagement, if you believe that all of those national purposes are advanced by ensuring all Americans are connected, then you cannot ignore the affordability side of the equation.

Remarks of Commissioner Clyburn at "Internet Freedom Now: The Future of Civil Rights Depends on Net Neutrality"

We are weeks away, from broadband providers being given the green light, to freely engage in paid prioritization, blocking, throttling, or unreasonable discrimination at interconnection points. We are weeks away from the probability, of an entirely new and even wider divide – of those that can afford to pay for priority access, and others that cannot.

Remarks of Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, California Women's Conference

The Federal Communications Commission’s most recent report on media ownership, released May 10, revealed that women own just 8.6 percent of the 11,919 broadcast stations in this country. Across the board, deregulation and other actions since the Act was passed, have led to increased media consolidation and fewer opportunities. The result: women and minority media ownership remain at shockingly low levels. Despite the disheartening statistics I have already shared, many are still advocating to eliminate the few rules that remain in place that currently prevent the concentration of station ownership into the hands of a few large media conglomerates...and this effort is on a fast track of becoming a reality...

I believe there are concrete actions that the FCC can take to promote a more diverse media landscape. My office recently released an action plan known as #Solutions2020, where we outlined several steps designed to enhance digital inclusion and encourage more opportunities for women and underrepresented entrepreneurs.

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn’s Remarks at Public Forum on Access and Affordability

Why is it that some of the largest communications providers in this country consistently rank among the lowest in consumer satisfaction? Could it possibly have anything to do with a lack of robust competition? Did you know that when it comes to broadband access at home, just 20 percent of Americans have a choice of two providers or more? Without real competition, are companies really incentivized to improve customer service, service quality, or pricing? And did you know that fewer than 40 percent of families regularly stay in touch with their incarcerated loved ones and one-third of families go bankrupt because of unjust and unreasonable phone rates? And while we are making progress when it comes to providing faster broadband service, including gigabit speeds in some communities, if it costs $80 or more a month for service, is broadband truly within reach?

Much of our focus has been on what is lacking in rural communities, but there are problems right here in LA and over in the Cleveland, Ohio area. I mention Cleveland because a recent study concluded that a major broadband provider had “systematically discriminated against lower-income neighborhoods, in its deployment of home Internet and video technologies, over the past decade.” So what that finding makes increasingly clear, is that the broadband availability and affordability gaps are not just in our rural towns and non-urban communities. Those gaps are wide, wherever there is an absence of rich people.

FCC Commissioner Clyburn and FTC Commsissioner McSweeny Joint Statement on Open Internet

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Pai released a plan that, if implemented, will hand over control of the open internet to the powerful gatekeepers of our connections to the modern world. Despite the Chairman’s description of the proposal as a way to reduce onerous regulation, stimulate investment, and protect consumer privacy, the proposal would do otherwise. If adopted, Chairman Pai’s proposal will harm competition and innovation and will leave consumers without any real protection or oversight by either the Federal Trade Commission or FCC for broadband services.

The FCC’s majority would have you believe they are supporters of a free and open internet. Make no mistake, this proposal is net neutrality in name only...We believe Americans will see the Chairman’s proposal for what it is: a gift to behemoth incumbent broadband providers at the expense of innovators and consumers. This is not putting #ConsumersFirst. As Commissioners of the FCC and FTC, we stand united in our fight to protect consumers and ensure that the 2015 Open Internet rules remain in place for decades to come.

Commissioner Clyburn Remarks at the Media Solutions Summit

In addition to the work needed on independent programming, we continue to fail miserably as a nation when it comes to the state of minority and women ownership in the broadcast space. The good news is that there is quantifiable data showing that a tax certificate program, can be a successful tool to combating the problem. During its 17 years of existence, the Federal Communications Commission’s Tax Certificate Program, successfully helped to bring numerous diverse entrepreneurs into the broadcast industry. Earlier in April, Rep GK Butterfield (D-NC) introduced the Expanding Broadcast Ownership Opportunities Act, legislation which would reinstate a tax certificate program and establish a pilot incubator program. I strongly support the goals of this bill and look forward to working with Rep Butterfield and other interested Members of Congress on legislation to improve the state of broadcast ownership diversity.

Finally, I am pleased to share that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has announced his intent to charter the Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment.

Remarks of FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee Kickoff

Whether you are discussing how to address the thorny issues of access to poles, ducts, or conduit, I ask that you think about the impact your decisions will have on consumers. And when you are debating franchising model codes, I ask you to think about the impact the contours of that code will have on consumers in the franchise area. In particular, I ask that you keep the following three points in mind:
First, never overlook the effects of your policy recommendations on ensuring low-income communities are not relegated to a second-class broadband future.
Second, make sure that the broadband services you recommend for deployment, are affordable.
Third, remember that one person’s regulatory barrier, is another’s vital consumer protection, and that one person’s intransigent municipality, is another’s carefullyconsidered protector of local interests.

Commissioner Clyburn Statement on Transparency in the Business Data Services Proceeding

In less than two weeks, the Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote on an item that will have serious ramifications for the $45 billion market for business data services. An integral piece of this proposed Order is a test to determine which counties will be deemed competitive, and thus deregulated.

Chairman Pai has been a champion of transparency. It is puzzling, then, why he will release the text of the item, but omit a key appendix listing which counties are deemed competitive, until the Order is released. We have the information. It will become public when the Order is released. So why is it that the FCC has taken the position that it will vote on an Order before the public gets to see exactly what the Order does? Just what are we trying to hide? The FCC should release this list immediately. This is the only way the public can truly evaluate the practical effects of the FCC’s proposed actions. If for some reason, that is unknown to me at this time, we cannot release this list expeditiously, we should delay our vote on the proposed Order until the public can see it ‘well in advance’ of a FCC vote.

Statement of Commissioner Mignon Clyburn on Introduction of Legislation to Enhance Broadcast Ownership Diversity

Rep GK Butterfield (D-NC) has hit the nail on the head when it comes to proposing solutions for a more inclusive media landscape. I heartily support and applaud his introduction of the Expanding Broadcast Ownership Opportunities Act (HR 1883). Reinstating a tax certificate program and establishing a pilot incubator program are two of the proposals our office outlined in the recently released #Solutions2020 Call to Action Plan. Transforming the dismal reality of the present ownership landscape, into a future that offers abundant opportunities for women and minorities will not be an easy task. Rep Butterfield’s legislation is an important step towards greater broadcast ownership diversity and I look forward to working with him and all interested Members of Congress in pursuit of this shared goal.

The commissioners of the FTC and FCC are worried about your online privacy

[Commentary] With so much going on in Washington, the American people may not be up to date with the Congressional Review Act — an obscure tool Congress has been using to rescind policies that were put in place by the previous administration. Most recently, the House and Senate voted to undo rules designed to protect the privacy of American consumers when they sign up for and use broadband Internet service. This would leave Internet users worse off, but there’s still time for President Trump to veto the legislation.

What people may not realize, moreover, is that if the legislation approved by Congress becomes law, there will be no privacy rules governing broadband providers. The FCC no longer will be able to protect consumer privacy and, because of arcane restraints on its jurisdiction, the FTC will be unable to pick up the slack. Last year’s election was fought over many issues; removing privacy protections from American consumers was not one of them. We have yet to hear from a single consumer who wants less control over their sensitive personal data. Unfortunately, that is exactly what this legislation would do. It is our hope that President Trump, who was elected by arguing that he would stand up for the average American, does what most Americans would expect and vetoes this legislation.