FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn

Remarks of Commissioner Clyburn, National Tribal Radio Summit

With this inaugural Tribal Radio Summit, we are leveraging the expertise of the Federal Communications Commission and those among you who have been through the process. We are providing a forum to share insights about what it takes to start and run a radio station. The ultimate goal, is that each of you will be empowered by taking the information and tools you receive during this Summit, utilize them and join the ranks of local broadcasters in augmenting the diversity of voices accessible to your communities.

We also should be both cognizant and mindful that broadcast and broadband are intersecting in today’s communications marketplace - and each can and sometimes does drive the other. Vertical real-estate for a broadcast facility can be leveraged to deploy other wireless services including broadband. Existing fiber loops can be harnessed to provide broadcast relays between studios and towers. And existing tower assets for wireless services can do double duty to house a broadcast transmitter. Each Tribe is different and therefore each has to determine the path that is best, based on its particular circumstances and community needs. I encourage you to enlist the FCC, through the Office of Native Affairs and Policy, as a resource in doing so. The Tribal Priority is just one example of an FCC platform aimed at implementing our Tribal Policy Statement. Not just today and tomorrow, but going forward, our experts, our tools, and our resources are designed to collaborate with you on new radio services and to facilitate increased use of the Priority

Telecom companies should disclose the true cost of service

[Commentary] In 2014, Rep Mike Doyle (D-PA) and three other Members of Congress sent a bipartisan letter to the Federal Communications Commission, urging the Commission to take a closer look at billing practices of telecommunications companies. In the letter, the Members stated that an inquiry sent to some of the nation’s largest communications providers led them to conclude that below the line fees can add substantially to a consumer’s monthly bill and should be made known to consumers before they sign up for service. FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn shares this view.

In April, the FCC released its consumer broadband label, a new tool that will give consumers more information about the fees and terms of service associated with their fixed and mobile broadband service. Such disclosure and transparency inspires confidence, increases the public’s trust, and demonstrates good faith. The American people not only want these things, they demand them. We are calling for the nation’s communications providers to lead the way and voluntarily improve transparency and disclosure of these “below the line” fees so that when consumers sign up for service, either online or in-store, they won’t have to wait for their first bill to learn what their total monthly costs will be. We hope the nation’s communications providers will heed our call to action and take this simple step to improve the customer experience. Not only would this be a huge win for consumers; it would be an opportunity for the nation’s phone, Internet, and Pay-TV providers to show they are committed to putting their customers first.

Commissioner Clyburn Remarks at FCC Library Open House

Very soon you will access library research content via cloud computing, which promises to increase the ease with which we are able to conduct research activities, both on-site and off.

Through the new cloud feature, teleworking staff will access the e-library homepage on the Intranet enabling them to use vetted research content directly from the library’s databases. Web-based content and features are routinely evolving, and our Library continuously reviews its database offerings to provide us with the capability to perform research from our desktops.

But their work does not stop there. If the library staff finds that the resources you need are not available onsite or online, they will not hesitate to contact regional libraries, including the Library of Congress, to obtain materials for you to conduct the level of research needed to complete your task.

That Connection to Information stretches far beyond our professional needs, and is widely used by all types of libraries. Thus, it is fitting that there are representatives here from area public libraries, showcasing just how technology can be used by all of our citizens. Today’s learning centers -- because libraries are learning centers -- are more than repositories for books and are light years away from that single room filled with periodicals.

Broadcasting Anew

[Commentary] It is always special to be in attendance at the annual National Association of Broadcasters Show, and 2014 was no exception.

What I took away from our discussion was the realization that today's media universe can no longer be viewed through myopic lenses and historic silos, and that the demarcation between over-the-air, cable, Internet and satellite broadcasting makes erstwhile legacy distinctions much harder to maintain.

Secondly, I always appreciate the chance to walk the show floor to see, firsthand, the innovative developments in broadcast technology.

Finally, the NAB provides a unique opportunity for regulators to talk to the industry professionals and operators who do not typically make it to Washington to lobby on policy issues. These real-world workers provide us with a perspective that is both realistic and refreshing, and I always learn more than I leave behind.

FCC Commissioner Clyburn at the Free State Foundation Sixth Annual Telecom Policy Conference

No one really disputes that the Communications Act no longer accurately reflects current realities. But the statute’s core values remain as relevant today as they were decades ago: 1) competition, 2) consumer protection, 3) universal service, and 4) public safety.

The Technology Transitions Order the FCC adopted in January is a prime example of an agency looking for solutions to provide robust broadband in unserved or underserved areas. I hope you join in my excitement about these experiments because these trials could unleash opportunities for solutions from rural areas for rural areas. To date, nearly 1000 proposals from mostly local, community-based entities have been filed at the FCC showing a significant demand for robust broadband. They include innovative ideas and proposals from electric coops leveraging their existing network to provide fiber-to-the-home; to community- based initiatives wishing to construct broadband sometimes in partnership with other entities; to cable providers, research and development networks, wireless Internet service providers, wireless providers -- and we even got proposals involving TV whitespaces.

While I understand the instinct for many is to push for a deregulatory framework, there are potential dangers and consequences, in a regulatory free zone.

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment

There comes a time in every woman’s life, when she is faced with a series of choices and challenges.

Though the years and the passage of key legislation have made our nation a better place to live, it often seems like we have even more choices to make and additional challenges to overcome. For those of you who run households, your decisions may actually be more complicated by the convenience of technology.

If you have children, you face an entire galaxy of decisions. When do you give your child a mobile phone? Do you allow them to join Facebook? And if you find yourself giving in to their constant demands, for the latest technology and gadgets, do you monitor their uses and practices? Do you snoop on their Twitter account, like one of my friends? Or do you trust them to be “responsible” on their own? These are tough choices, indeed.

FCC Commissioner Clyburn On A Proposal To Improve Multilingual Emergency Information

I commend [Federal Communications Commission] Chairman Tom Wheeler for issuing a Public Notice that includes a proposal to ensure non-English-speaking persons have access to important information in an emergency.

This proposal asks broadcasters, as well as state and local governments, to work on a plan to address the needs of such persons if a non-English station is knocked off the air during an emergency. During our field hearings to study service outages during Super Storm Sandy, we learned how important broadcaster cooperation was to keeping TV and radio stations operational so communities could receive information.

This Public Notice asks several questions about the details necessary to implement this proposal. Responses to these questions will help the Commission craft specific rules, if necessary, to promote this goal.

[March 11]