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Continuing on with communication the Federal Communications Commission is worried that the digital divide separating those who cash and those who can't.
Is growing too wide so it isn't listing major cable operators in a pilot plant to provide inexpensive broadband to -- income families.
Former FCC chairman Michael Powell was the CEO and president of the national cable and telecommunications association.
He's helping to lead the charge joining us in a Fox Business exclusive to talk about it.
OK let's let's talk about this mission and what are you plan to do what when we say those who -- -- camp that means access up fast broadband connection.
Yeah I think it's a mission because what we understand is that we've built out the network 90% of Americans.
Have access to broadband infrastructure but we find is only about 67%.
Have adopted a -- don't think affordability is the central reason we think.
Deploying a nationwide program to try to close that gap to get more people on any information on -- as a critical thing to be doing so what they're going to get our refurbish computers.
Right yeah our AdSense yes one of the things we've learned is you really have to -- this on multiple fronts not good enough to have infrastructure if you don't have an affordable computer.
It's not good enough to have a -- broadband if you don't have digital literacy skills you don't have access to that.
Services and content unique to this is an effort that's bringing all of those pieces together and -- a unified way and offering has a package so 150 dollar computers as part of that.
Well this is a private business effort isn't it it's the private sector standing up and stepping up along with NCTA.
-- on board.
I think it's a great sign -- partnership -- and I commend the commission for bringing us together at the end of the day.
It takes all of us virtually all cable companies in the NCTA association -- -- covering over 86% of America Cablevision and -- Cablevision Comcast Time Warner is the big ones that you know as well as many of the small companies are equally committed to the objective now this entails them.
Coughing up some services certainly that normally -- -- what are these rural and poor people going to -- So the program is unified across the country -- 995 for one megabit per second minimum service.
Potentially higher in some markets are amongst per month at discussion of the cable provider.
The motive in the infrastructure are also -- provided for free or you can -- -- at low cost.
And the goal is to get people -- that program get them using new computers and getting -- the content to get them into the information.
Well it's competition is getting so big so you want more people to have access to your services.
The competition is also at a different from now that -- really watch the cable space and we see that.
Apple wants to get in on apple TV Google is now launching a pilot program they're doing their own kind of thing had -- have broad band what have you.
Netflix wants in on the party how is traditional cable -- -- always been ahead of the curve when it comes to spotting the hot new thing.
What are you saying to the old style cable guys and content guys about coming out with something -- and knew that I'm going to want to watch vs sitting with -- iPad looking that you two.
-- -- first thing from a decade ago competition is astoundingly vigorous even among traditional distributors were up against.
DirecTV dish as well as telcos today and that's healthy for the country we thank.
I think the news services are fantastic and I think what they really do.
Is to say to our members.
You've got to get on a fast innovation cycle you've got -- delight consumers and give them the interfaces in the experiences.
That they're coming to expect in devices like iPad.
And the like and I can't afford this is still well.
We get -- can't afford it but they're filing lawsuits you've got Viacom battling I mean -- -- what trip lawsuits filed from the content guys saying don't use my stuff unless it's.
On -- TV and you look at that you say hey you guys are trying to stand in the way of a gigantic freight train that's not stopping.
-- in many ways I think the bigger story has been enormous amount content providers who didn't get into litigation.
What they're coming to understand as we all need to move in that direction and the monetary models gotta be worked out that's just business.
But as people get more comfortable doing it and find common ground on how to price that I think there's a lot out there for all.
Parties speaking of litigation AT&T and T-Mobile drive to -- You're the former head of the SEC FCC right now the FC CN and the Department of Justice filing lawsuits and sort standing in the way of this even to the point.
What they're trying to say that AT&T and T-Mobile can't even back a wave from their merger to take a breath and figure out what to do next what happens here.
So this is -- -- we're we're in the -- -- phase of this thing clearly AT TT mobile merger is in significant trouble with the government.
I'm -- she's trying to find a way to find -- a consensus of consent that would satisfy the concerns of the government which they put it a very high bar US commission is playing a game in backing up the Justice Department.
Which is quite typical I think AT&T is Smart to try to poll.
Transaction value FCC vote but we'll see this is got a long way to play out do you have the same concerns that the DOJ house about the -- well I'm glad I'm not in that business anymore I think it's a substantial merger I mean I think.
An argument can be made both ways but I don't think some of the concerns raised by the government real legitimate we'll -- -- you can address.
Actually I'm being told right now breaking news the Wall Street Journal says that the FCC is allowing them to back away from the merger is that correct Charlie to get there -- Yeah it's from a source that apparently they're now saying OK you guys -- back away but -- they eventually bring forth the merger ganymede if.
You're right I'll have to it's important -- look I think -- -- he was gonna have to let it go because look at the company doesn't want a chance to license you can't hold it.
Hold -- changes it really happening so eventually I thought this is the way I would go.
But if they win justice they're gonna have to return to the FCC because the law or require them get that approval as well and that's the real complexity -- that process could drag out a long time we have a.
About twenty seconds -- -- -- dish says hey if they let the AT&T T-Mobile thing go through.
Then why shouldn't -- be able to buy DirecTV dish DirecTV.
Yeah how well the good thing is every mergers considered individually on their merits and the you know -- a great -- but good luck with that a hot.
It's great to see you Michael thank you and good luck with the new effort to get brought -- to -- it certainly helps doesn't it Michael Powell is the head of and CTA and the former head of the FCC.
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