Posted October 23rd, 2012 by Mignon Clyburn - FCC Commissioner
I have seen a lot during my three-plus years as an FCC Commissioner: executive offices at major cable and television networks, telecom and broadband-related meetings on different continents, NGO exchanges highlighting how simple flip-phone devices are saving lives and improving agri-business outcomes, and more broadcast studio control rooms than I can remember. But because of the pace and other demands of the post, I had been unable get out to that land called Silicon Valley. Two weeks ago, that all changed.
As we travelled up and down Highway 101, I saw a lot of relatively new signs and office complexes that are now household names and others that will undoubtedly soon join them. What is even more striking is that I saw countless numbers of young faces, heard from many eager personalities, and saw way more styles of denim and t-shirts than all of my years in junior and high school.
At Cisco, we discussed internet infrastructure, both wired and wireless. Innovation is alive and well and no matter what the naysayers put forth, America is not lagging behind. Cisco spends billions on research and development, and is increasingly using mobile technology in furtherance of its connectivity goals. The conversation touched on mobile healthcare technology, and how broadband is and will forever be essential for remote care. Additionally, the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education in American schools cannot be overstated, as the speed of innovation must be matched by the ability of our citizens to grasp eve more complex concepts.
On to Google I went, where more bright minds are working on technology to improve and expand voice-activated services to benefit drivers and our sight-impaired friends and families. I saw the prototype for Google Glass, which allows the user to take pictures, get walking directions, and make phone calls via a pair of lightweight spectacles, but I remained moved and blown away by the great strides for those needing assistance, with mapping and directional technology moving in new and exciting dimensions.
I also stopped by NextNav, which is developing enhanced GPS services to better improve location-based assistance during emergencies. Their technology will enable consumers to control their own notification settings, and if switched on, could potentially lead to faster pinpointing by first responders in times of distress. The need for precise indoor location technology was greatly apparent following the attacks of September 11, 2001, as is the reality that 70% of 911 calls are now generated from mobile phones.
At Electronic Arts, I learned not only that gaming is a multi-billion dollar a year industry, but that online and console gaming is greatly increasing among women and girls, and the offerings are not nearly limited to action and sports. Performance games with singing and dancing are becoming more and more popular, and the simulations are getting better each year. It was amazing to see how much goes into the design and navigation of today’s games, and it’s hard to imagine that they’re only going to keep getting better and more lifelike.
Worldwide, Facebook is increasingly becoming the vehicle for a consumer’s online experience, hitting that billion-user mark recently, and the sharp minds at the company assured me that they are taking that awesome responsibility very seriously. User protections continue to be augmented but, they insist, that this will not happen at the expense of preventing their members from continuing to share content, pictures, recommendations, and more.
My eyes were wide open at Apple, where digital learning is being taken to an amazing new level. They are using tablets and laptops to provide students with far more than words on a page (although there is still plenty of text), and users will soon be able to see videos, presentations, and highly-detailed diagrams all while working through a lesson. Learning is transforming, although personally, I pray that textbooks will never go out of style…
My final meeting took place at Hattery, where a team of forward-thinking innovators comprise an all-in-one assistance base for companies looking to do everything from establishing a great new web-based service to offering services that could change the world. They consult on design, branding, development, strategic services, and marketing, and are a bridge between the idea, launch, and success stages of many companies.
I closed out my visit with an exchange coordinated by former FCC Commissioner Rachelle Chong and her former colleague California Public Utility Commissioner Timothy Simon. Ms. Chong assembled a magnificent group of Federal Communications Bar Association members from the Bay Area who peppered me with questions and concerns about the many opportunities and challenges that face us in this increasingly technology reliant world in which we live.
Spending time in that region of California was yet another illustration of the true spirit of American innovation and the drive that propels it. I hope that one day soon I will return and see what more is in store for our nation and the world.Posted in
Posted March 7th, 2012 by Mignon Clyburn - FCC Commissioner
My first real recollection of Representative Donald Payne was during a Congressional Black Caucus gathering in the mid to late 90s, which focused lack of diversity when it comes to creative content and roles for people of color in Hollywood.
I watched intently as this proud New Jersey lawmaker engaged a room filled with stars, writers, producers and just plain old people like me who were personally and professionally vested in this space. And while it is both sad and true that those very same issues are ripe today—some would say even to a more significant degree— I left that session inspired and motivated that somehow and in some way, I was now better equipped to make a difference.
For many years following that session, Rep. Payne would thank me (thank me!) for attending a session that still influences me to this day. I remember it like it was yesterday, saying, “No, thank YOU, for being so forward-thinking and in-tune with how important it is for us to be represented across all entertainment genres”. But he was just that type. A trailblazer and a kind, unassuming history maker who extended social and professional graces your way. But unlike many who shared his title or stature, Rep. Payne never seemed to care if those types of overtures were reciprocated or initiated by plain old folk like me.
My last vivid recollection of the first African American to represent New Jersey in the U. S. House of Representatives was during World Cocoa Day at the Indonesian Embassy. Meetings delayed his arrival, but as soon as he walked in the room, there was excitement. And yes, I must admit that to me, his proud gait seemed more gingerly. Nevertheless, there was no sign that his passion and commitment to global affairs were affected by any malady.
The speaker at the moment literally stopped in mid-sentence to acknowledge his presence, and immediately time was made for Mr. Payne to speak. Though he would have been fine to wait for his turn at the podium, that is the type of respect that Congressman Donald Payne earned (and was due). He was an international giant, and he meant the world to all who knew him. He was our link to Africa and other continents, and was a superb Ambassador for Goodwill.
When I was told last week to expect the news that came yesterday (March 6th), I didn’t allow the natural profound sense of sadness to overtake me. I immediately shifted to my memories of those two encounters as reminders and affirmations of how if one contributes much, inspires many, and lays a multiplicity of pathways for us to change the world, and if we are willing to accept the challenge and grab hold of the baton passed to us by the Donald Paynes of the world, that truly, there is no greater gift that we as individuals can give and receive.Posted in
Posted February 15th, 2012 by Mignon Clyburn - FCC Commissioner
I am proud to announce that the FCC's International Bureau has launched a new Women’s Initiative which will leverage the experience, resources, and connections of the international ICT community to improve the status of women, their communities, and their countries.
During my trip to East Africa in 2011, I saw first hand the potential power of ICT collaboration and its impact on women and their communities. The same realities were true during my trips to Ghana, Senegal, and Gambia the year before where I saw the exponential increase in the usage of mobile phones in Africa and the doors that connectivity open for users. Our hope is to use the Women’s Initiative as a means of promoting mobile applications, connecting mobile application creators, and encouraging the creation of new mobile applications specifically targeted to women. We want this Women’s Initiative to help the global community make applications more flexible and adaptable to the changing technological needs of women. We hope to connect leaders at various companies, government agencies and NGOs in order to leverage resources to improve the lives of women.
During my travels in Africa, I also had the incredible opportunity to meet with key NGOs like the Southern African NGO Network, which is already promoting the strategic use of ICTs for socio-economic development and poverty eradication in that part of the world. In addition to that, we anticipate facilitating women’s access to useful and practical applications through this effort.
Tell us what you think. Send suggestions about who we should work with. Share your thoughts on who our target audience should be, and once we reach them, what information, support and resources would be most useful. What do you believe is the best way to design or use WISENET? Should it be used as a clearinghouse for information and resources, a forum for discussion, or something else? How can we incorporate social media tools to reach more people and advance the initiative?
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,” stated former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. And it is in this spirit of hope and commitment that I invite you to participate in what will be an incredible initiative. Its success will only be actualized through collaborative engagement. Join us.Posted in
Posted January 24th, 2012 by Mignon Clyburn - FCC Commissioner
I kicked off another New Year by once again being the envy of my high tech gadget friends back home. For the third time in a row, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) from January 10-12. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), which is responsible for organizing the event, needs to bottle and sell their secret for hosting a successful event year after year.
My visit began on Tuesday afternoon accompanied by Peter Slen, host of the CSPAN program, The Communicators. During a tour of a few exhibits, what intrigued me most was how energy efficiency initiatives, though not much discussed in marketing CES, were becoming more prominent on the floor. This is particularly appropriate and significant because as these CES shows forecast the increase in demand for advanced electronics, naturally this would also lead to an increase in the demand for electrical and other energy sources. Peter and I also spoke about how these incredible innovations are opening up a host of options and opportunities for those with physical and cognitive challenges.
Afterwards, Julie Kearney, Brian Markwalter, and other members of the CEA staff were gracious enough to take me on a tour of some of the exhibitors that had developed mobile health services and applications. It seemed as if CEA devoted an entire floor in the South Hall to these new technologies. These exciting applications ranged from monitors that help those who are suffering from difficult chronic diseases to high tech treadmills and other gym apparatus for those who want to meet and exceed the work out challenges they set for themselves. It is clear that the communications, information management, and health care industries are collaborating and leveraging mobile technological advances to improve the lives of so many people.
Later that evening, I attended a One Economy hosted event to celebrate Connect to Compete and other broadband adoption initiatives that the Commission has led over the past year. Broadband adoption has been one of my key policy objectives since I arrived in Washington, and as Chairman Genachowski stated, this appeared to be the first event at CES to celebrate these types of efforts. One Economy is one of the preeminent organizations whose mission is to help economically challenged communities improve their outcomes by leveraging advanced communications services such as broadband. It began in 2000 with a few social entrepreneurs who understood that having access to technology and online information could remove obstacles to opportunity and serve as the conduits for individuals who seek to realize their fullest potential. The following year, One Economy launched its Digital Communities initiative in Washington, DC, and Portland, Oregon. Today, One Economy has a global mission and is now improving lives on four continents. It was great to reconnect with Rey Ramsey, the Chairman of One Economy’s Board, who is such an inspiring speaker.
One Economy has also shown us how public-private partnerships can effectively solve some of the most difficult problems facing low income communities. Therefore, it was fitting for them to further celebrate the FCC’s launch of Connect to Compete. Through Connect to Compete, the FCC is partnering with well known industry leaders such as Microsoft, Best Buy, and Discovery Channel, to deliver hardware, software and digital literacy training to communities and persons regardless of their income or academic proficiency.
The next day, I participated in a panel discussion with my friend and colleague, Commissioner Robert McDowell. Cecilia Kang of the Washington Post moderated the discussion and as usual, she kept the conversation lively. Cecilia asked a number of intriguing questions about the hot topics of the day: the FCC’s need for congressional authority to conduct voluntary incentive auctions of broadcast spectrum, the level of competition in the mobile wireless services industry, and one of my favorites – the necessity for Open Internet rules. Posted in
Posted August 4th, 2011 by Mignon Clyburn - FCC Commissioner
A quick trip, last week, to Massachusetts gave me another opportunity to learn about activities outside of the Beltway that promote three important initiatives: greater diversity in traditional and new media outlets, open Internet, and wider broadband adoption.
My first stop was to the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, located on the Harvard Law School campus, in Cambridge. The Center considers itself an entrepreneurial non-profit whose mission “is to explore and understand cyberspace; to study its development, dynamics, norms, and standards; and to assess the need or lack thereof for laws and sanctions.” It enjoys a world wide reputation for ground breaking scholarship. During the development of the National Broadband Plan, the Commission asked the Berkman Center to conduct an independent expert review of the broadband deployment plans pursued by other market oriented democratic countries in the transition to the next generation of connectivity. One of the Berkman Center’s founders, Professor Jonathan Zittrain, is currently the FCC’s Distinguished Scholar.
This was my first visit to the Center, and Managing Director Colin Maclay organized a terrific roundtable discussion to introduce me to some of the fellows, faculty, and staff that contribute to the incredible work they do. These folks quickly impressed me not only with their dedication and intellect, but also with their charm and humor. I was particularly excited to learn that the Center and I share mutual interests in: creating more opportunities for diverse programming of high quality; promoting an open and free Internet; and, educating our Nation’s youth on how best to harness and protect the creative possibilities of their interactions in cyber space.
The next day began with a stimulating, yet troubling panel discussion on the challenges that African Americans, who aspire to work in the entertainment industry, face in trying to find jobs, both in front of and behind the cameras. The legendary Suzanne De Passe, who first established herself by working at Motown with Berry Gordy and renowned acts like the Jackson Five, and later produced the critically acclaimed western, “Lonesome Dove,” moderated the panel. She began with disturbing statistics showing, that despite the number of African Americans who watch media programming and contribute to the advertising revenue these media outlets attract, very few African Americans are hired as writers or producers. Also on the panel were two African American actors who reported how efforts to promote diversity fall on the deaf ears of media executives. I openly expressed wonder and worry, that those who are open and bold enough to seek greater diversity in the creative space are left vulnerable and potentially subject to retaliation by those who cast and “green light” projects. Rounding out the panel were two African American executives at successful media companies, MSNBC and Scripps Networks Interactive.
The MSNBC executive explained why any media company that plans to improve diversity in employment, whether in front of or behind the scenes, must first develop a strategy. The actors on the panel were happy to hear her announce that MSNBC hired an executive to further diversity initiatives. The Scripps executive explained how Scripps tries to promote greater diversity among the on air talent, writers, and in programming, because that diversity is very successful for both the national and international audience. The panel discussion strengthened my resolve to encourage the Commission to adopt appropriate policies to promote programming that meets the needs of the diverse communities throughout our Nation.
My final visits were to four broadband adoption programs that the City of Boston endorses. Our guides for these visits were Bill Oakes, the Chief Information Officer for Boston, and Donna Sorgi, Senior Assistant Corporation Counsel. Both Bill and Donna have shown extraordinary dedication to broadband adoption in their community. After retiring from their respective jobs at private sector companies, Bill and Donna joined Mayor Thomas Menino’s administration because they see that greater broadband adoption and deployment have such potential to help all citizens, particularly low income citizens.
I visited the On Line Learning Readiness Class at the Dimock Center in Roxbury; a Connected Living class offered at the Amory Public Housing Center; a basic computer learning skills course for Spanish speakers at the Jamaica Plain branch of Boston Public Library; and students of the Tech Goes Home initiative. Tech Goes Home is a 10-year broadband adoption program that has received numerous awards.
What struck me most about Susan O’Connor, executive director of Timothy Smith Network, was her no-nonsense approach to delivering service to those under and un-employed participants at the Dimock Center. Translation: Everyone is impacted if even one student fails, so if someone drops out or if their attendance drops below 90% and, or if their grade is not at least an 85, then the course instructor does not get fully compensated. That motivates the teacher to provide additional support, and it encourages the students to maintain a “buddy system” so that the class dynamic remains positive.
Seniors and participants with varied abilities at Amory Public Housing were beaming with pride over of how far they’ve come and how much their lives have been improved with on-line engagement. They shared stories about how their vocational skills have enhanced, how they are able to affordably keep in touch with family and friends across the globe, and how educational opportunities once out of reach were now literally at the click of mouse.
At the Spanish speaking program in Jamaica Plain, participants expressed gratitude that someone from the federal government visited their session and thought enough of them to ask what they feel and how we can continue to help. The recurring theme from the presentations of these four programs is that adoption of advanced communications services helps people connect with each other. That affirmation came from students and supporters of the Tech Goes Home classes that include Somali parents of high school students. They explained how, prior to the class, they each felt isolated because they did not know many people in their communities with similar cultures and religious beliefs. Enrolling in these classes enabled them to oversee their children’s experience on the Internet, connect with other Somalis, and improve their lifestyles.
I commend Bill, Donna, all the other Boston officials and non-profit organizations that play such a vital role in developing and sustaining these vital adoption programs.
Posted June 22nd, 2011 by Mignon Clyburn - FCC Commissioner
Having just spent two days at the Cable Show in Chicago, IL, I can safely say that the content and programming industries continue to amaze me. As I walked through the many acres of floor displays and demonstrations, I noticed that the tastes and preferences of viewers continues to expand, and that content providers stand ready to cater to virtually every facet of human interest.
Content wasn’t the only attraction, as innovation is flourishing as well. High-speed delivery is only getting faster, and the ability to watch recorded and stored programming from different household TVs and platforms is finally here. DVRs are evolving to fit every time-shifting whim, and on-screen displays are becoming more user-friendly, more attractive, and come with far more options. I watched a number of demonstrations, and can affirm that the at-home consumer experience has been wonderfully enhanced. Individuals can customize their content.
As was said numerous times in Chicago, broadband is a platform for everything, and is the number one growth path for small businesses. I applaud all of the innovators and content providers underneath the colorful cable umbrella, and can’t wait to see even more mind-blowing offerings next year.Posted in
Posted May 24th, 2011 by Mignon Clyburn - FCC Commissioner
Last week I was in
For broadband to be truly available to consumers, we have to consider more than their physical access to it. We also must take into account their ability to adopt it. We know that of the 1/3 of Americans who haven’t adopted broadband, most haven’t done so because of the costs involved. For these consumers, they must rely on Internet access at their jobs, local libraries, schools, and family and friends’ homes. On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of visiting the Charles B. Washington Branch of the Omaha Public Library to see how this neighborhood anchor is meeting the high-speed Internet needs of the local community. There are terminals all throughout the library. The children’s section has computers. There are two computer areas for adults and another area just for teens. A recipient of BTOP funds, the library will be expanding its access to more computers for citizens, as the demand is very high. This isn’t surprising, of course, because we know that high-speed Internet is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Without it, citizens are disadvantaged in finding a job and communicating. I saw first-hand the benefits of Internet access—the Internet research, commerce, and communicating that the citizens of
In addition to providing access to computers and high-speed Internet, the library also offers computer classes to help teach citizens the basics of computer use. This is important because many who have not adopted broadband say they haven’t done so because they don’t know how to use computers. Librarians have responded to the need for education, and they have become the digital literacy navigators in our local communities. The librarians I visited with described the citizens who are thrilled to learn the skills they need to send an e-mail, research a health issue, and use Facebook to keep up with their grandchildren.
After touring the library, I had the pleasure of joining Congressman Terry and Commissioner Copps to talk with the local citizens and other Nebraskans about the barriers to adoption and the various efforts underway to address the ability of citizens to purchase and use broadband. We heard a lot about the need for broadband for distance learning in
The other top reason consumers cite for not adopting broadband is that the Internet isn’t relevant to them, but I believe that we will witness fewer people concluding that as we see more and richer content made available on-line. For example, while in
Hats off to the City of Omaha, the Suttle administration, and MindMixer on the launch of this incredible website, and for providing a user friendly platform for innovative, civic engagement.
Posted May 11th, 2011 by Mignon Clyburn - FCC Commissioner
I recently visited Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, Virginia where President Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and other government officials visited this past March. There they lauded the extraordinary progress the middle school has made by leveraging advanced technology. The President discussed his initiative to reform the current “No Child Left Behind” system, by noting how important it is for our Nation to invest in innovative ways to keep those students fully engaged in the classroom. After reviewing the President’s remarks, I wanted to see the school for myself.
Kenmore is an Arts and Communications Technology Focus school. The Principal, Dr. John Word, believes that his 720 students perform better when they are excited about school. Children are already enthusiastic about the arts and advanced technology, so the faculty and staff encourage their existing interests by finding innovative ways to integrate the technology into the core curriculum. Each year, Kenmore picks an artist to be the center of study, and the students learn about the different facets of that artist’s life. This year, they are learning about jazz musician Duke Ellington and they are using their on campus media production studios to create a photo story tribute to his life and his work.
The teachers have also found ways to integrate advanced communications technology into more traditional classes. This has brought excitement back to teaching and learning, says Dr. Word. Students are more engaged and focused, he hears from the educators, and teacher retention is up because of the enhanced engagement. For example, one teacher blends broadband with his technology education class and social studies. The students use a computer assisted design programs to create, develop, and mass produce a game as if they worked in a factory as discussed in class with their social studies teacher. In another classroom, I was able to witness an autistic student using an iPad to better communicate with his teacher. Instead of using the blackboards I got to know all too well when I attended middle school, Kenmore equips each class with interactive SMART Boards. These whiteboards use touch detection for user input - e.g., scrolling, right mouse-click - in the same way normal PC input devices detect input. And in another setting, students from Kenmore interact with two other schools to learn a foreign language from an instructor in other nation.
Another key player in
Mr. Goodman also talked to me about how Dr. Word and he overcame funding challenges by finding resources outside of their school district. Most
I was unable to spend as much time as I would have liked at Kenmore Middle School, but my short visit left me with great excitement. This school is an excellent example how effective use of broadband, and other advanced technologies, can improve educational outcomes for all of our children, regardless of their abilities and unique needs. I look forward to returning to Kenmore to see how the school evolves as technologies continue to develop.
Posted April 21st, 2011 by Mignon Clyburn - FCC Commissioner
Last week, following my trip to Boston, I had the honor of traveling to Orlando to speak at the Women in Public Safety Communications Leadership Conference, hosted by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials International. This event is of course near and dear to my heart, as it combines two of my passions: promoting public safety and empowering women. Women face unique challenges in the workplace, so I always jump at the opportunity to share my experiences in arriving at where I am today.
The most important lesson I attempted to impart at the Conference was to understand and embrace the fact that there are many paths to becoming a leader in this industry. Over the years, I have spoken with a number of women who have conveyed their discouragement in the fact that they are unable to advance into leadership positions in their respective fields. I always stress, however, that there is a big difference between being a leader and having the title of leader – the ability to take charge and to be a model for others to follow is what defines a leader, not necessarily the position one holds.
When I am invited to share my experiences with women, I am often asked, as I was at this Conference, about who my mentors were and what they taught me. At these times, I will usually mention my close friend and mentor, Marjorie Amos-Frazier. Miss Marjorie was a trailblazer in my home state of South Carolina. While she was the first woman to serve on the Charleston City Council and the first African American woman to serve on the South Carolina Public Service Commission, it was her courage and fortitude before she held these titles that made her a leader and pioneer in my eyes. A staunch advocate of civil rights, she encouraged Charleston African Americans to register to vote and worked to desegregate restaurants, theaters and other public places in the city. She also focused on providing better opportunities for the less fortunate, including expanding access to health care for the elderly and programs to rehabilitate drug users. As the first anniversary of her passing approaches, I am grateful to her now more than ever for breaking down a number of barriers that made my service possible and for being a constant inspiration in my life and career.
We can all learn from Miss Marjorie’s dedication to public service. I believe that, regardless of the positions they hold, it is vital that women play an active role in the public safety community. The diverse styles, interests, backgrounds, experiences, approaches, and skill-sets that females bring to the table must not be lost in this largely male-dominated environment. Not only is there a place for diversity in this industry, there is a need. The more a local public safety agency reflects the diversity of its local community, the more well prepared that agency is to serve its citizens in a time of emergency. I encourage all women, notably those in public safety, to bring and be proud of their unique experiences that ultimately come into play while assisting those in crisis. These experiences should be viewed not as impediments to leadership, but as enhancements.
Posted April 13th, 2011 by Mignon Clyburn - FCC Commissioner
Last week, I spent a few days in Boston, aka Bean Town, aka Cradle of Modern America. Since the purpose of the trip was to participate in Free Press’s National Conference on Media Reform (NCMR) and visit Verizon’s LTE Innovation Lab in nearby Waltham, I anticipated being impressed by the level of creativity and excitement at both venues. The trip exceeded my expectations. The majority of the attendees at NCMR are folks who have dedicated their lives to “building the movement for better media” on both traditional and new media platforms. Thursday evening, my legal advisor, Louis, and I had dinner with Jay April and Sean McLaughlin. I knew that both are accomplished and acclaimed veterans of community radio and television. They are also very charming and intelligent.
The next day turned out to be inspirational to me on several fronts. It began with a morning trip to the soon to open Verizon’s LTE Innovation Lab. Brian Higgins and his immensely talented team provided me with a glimpse into what is possible when one combines the ingenuity of application developers, the advanced capabilities of LTE, and the excellent propagation characteristics of 700 MHz spectrum. In just a few years from now, we can expect to see a smart phone control all appliances in a home and become an essential weapon in the fight to reduce energy inefficiency. We should also expect to see interactive digital signs that will provide live, two-way video sessions, in multiple languages, to remote video attendants all over the country. This will enable video concierge services in many industries and also provide public safety information during large scale disasters. I was excited to see these and other innovations. I was also pleased to hear Brian say that all the applications and handset devices that are being developed in the lab will be compatible with the rural service providers who are part of Verizon’s Rural LTE Initiative. I also appreciate the assistance that Nneka Ezenwa and David Young gave us in arranging this terrific visit.
That afternoon, I had the pleasure to participate in a “National Town Hall” exchange with Commissioner Michael Copps at NCMR. Bob McChesney introduced Commissioner Copps with well deserved praise, highlighting all that he has done to fight for diversity and localism in media markets. My venerable colleague rocked the house with a patented “Professor” Copps speech on the potential that media has to impact the world. Then a woman I truly admire, Amalia Deloney, introduced me with her gracious words and inspired the audience to greet me with a standing ovation. I focused my remarks on how important it is that we ensure the wireless market is robustly competitive. Competition is the key to keeping the prices of wireless devices and services low, so that all Americans are able to enjoy the innovations being created, and the convenience and other benefits that the wireless market can offer. Following our remarks, Commissioner Copps and I participated in a question and answer session moderated by David Shuster, the Emmy Award winning journalist formerly of Fox, CNN and MSNBC. Afterward, as the result of an unscheduled cancellation due to the possible government shutdown, Free Press invited me to introduce the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Although this introduction would take place pretty soon after my panel, I, of course, accepted the invitation. Leader Pelosi is a true heroine for the advancement of women in all professions and a champion for so many policy initiatives. Even if it was a bit daunting to put an introduction together so quickly, presenting Leader Pelosi is an honor I could not refuse.