Pallone Remarks at Subcommittee Markup of Broadband Mapping, Spectrum, Supply Chain, & STELAR Bills


Today this Subcommittee is focused on advancing
legislation that will directly benefit consumers, small businesses, and our national security. We will take action to help ensure the security
of our domestic communications networks and those of our allies. Take steps to map our broadband internet
networks and to free up more of our nation’s airwaves. We will provide consumers greater transparency
and consistency when it comes to their internet, phone, cable TV, or satellite TV bills. And we will consider the reauthorization of
the laws that govern our media markets. I am especially pleased to Chairman Doyle that we will be taking
up my Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act. This was introduced with Ranking Member
Walden, Subcommittee Vice Chair Matsui, and Representative Guthrie. Our legislation will help protect Americans’
privacy from the prying eyes of foreign governments and will help ensure that our communications
networks won’t be shut down by our adversaries. Our bill will prohibit the FCC’s broadband subsidies from being used to support suspect communications equipment
and services. And for suspect equipment that small carriers
have already installed, we will authorize a billion-dollar program to replace it. It’s hard to overstate the importance of
this measure, particularly as reports of foreign surveillance and meddling continue to grow. We will also consider the Network Security
Information Sharing Act introduced by Representative Kinzinger and Chairman Doyle. This bill helps smaller carriers
identify potentially suspect equipment or services before they buy and install it in
their networks. We will also discuss two important bills introduced
by Representatives Loebsack, Latta, McEachin and Long, that will finally help us produce
accurate maps of our broadband internet networks. For the better part of a decade, this subcommittee
has tried to tackle the mapping problem, and we are finally gonna do something about it. Their legislation, the Broadband DATA Act
and the MAPS Act, will be a critical step forward in finally connecting unserved and
underserved Americans in rural, suburban, and urban areas. Additionally, Chairman Doyle and Ranking Member
Latta have introduced the SHARE Act to help our federal agencies share their allocated
spectrum with other agencies. This bipartisan bill would also require the
National Telecommunications and Information Administration to study our nation’s recent
spectrum sharing successes to bring more innovative services to Americans. Unlike spectrum provisions that were included
in that other body’s National Defense Authorization bill for 2020 this bipartisan
legislation has undergone a robust process of stakeholder engagement in this subcommittee
before coming up for today’s markup. Finally, I wanted to mention Chairman Doyle’s
Television Viewer Protection Act. His bill would extend the “good faith”
negotiation provisions for retransmission consent for five years, while allowing smaller
cable companies to negotiate with large broadcasters collectively. Most importantly, this bill includes
central provisions championed by Representative Eshoo to require more consistency and transparency
in consumers’ bills for communications services. I know my colleagues will have different views
regarding this reauthorization, but these provisions are expiring and if we are going
to address them, we must do it now. In that spirit, I look forward to working
together with my colleagues as we prepare to move to the full committee to discuss any
concerns in the hopes of building bipartisan consensus on this bill. In closing, we have nine good bills before
Mr. Chairman before us today that are gonna help consumers. I hope they will receive the bipartisan support
they deserve. And thank you Chairman Doyle again for having hearings on these and bringing up these important bills today in a timely fashion. Our Committee is really doing a lot these days. Three Subcommittee markups in two days. That’s pretty good. Thank you. I yield back.

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