Washington, DC – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Rep. Walden is among the many Americans following recommendations from public health officials and working from home. He joined Cheddar News from his wife’s office turned “Studio B” to discuss the importance of keeping our networks secure as people work, learn, and receive telehealth care using technologies.
You can watch the full interview here or by clicking on the image.
“First of all, if you compare the United States’ capabilities during this period to those of Europe, where they’re calling on major providers to slow down content or diminish its quality, if you will, to free up broadband. We’re not having to that here in the U.S. We have a different, light-touch regulatory scheme here, and so I think it’s proving to work effectively. I commend the carriers who have lifted the data caps, who have gotten rid of the penalties and fees during this period. They’re stretching these networks as broadly as they can to help people get connected at home. The FCC has led this effort under Chairman Pai through their connect America program, so there’s a lot of good things happening here.”
“But look, we have to maintain better vigilance of our networks. We know they’re ripe and open to attack by bad state actors. We need to harden these networks, strengthen these networks, get unreliable equipment out of these networks. As former chairman of the Communications Subcommittee in the House and chairman of the full Energy and Commerce Committee for a couple of years, I know this stuff. It has to happen.”
“I thank our platforms who are doing such a good job of being so innovative. They have to realize they have new users on – think of some of the conferencing platforms that are in the news – they never expected this surge. But they have to be very transparent about how a user’s data is being used, what the privacy settings are, make those just really easily available, understandable, and usable. That would be my suggestion to these platforms: be very transparent. You have a whole bunch of users trying to fire things up from home, you have kids crawling around, and everything else, trying to do conference calls. It’s the gig economy all at once, and it’s in my case in my wife’s office, her corner office area she cleared out for me to make it Studio B. So we’re all trying to adjust, but I think what we’re doing is working. I think we’re really leading the world in this effort.”
“I think it makes sense for people, especially in more congested areas, to start wearing masks. There are a lot of sewing circles – literally, in my hometown, in towns all across my district, and across the country – making these masks, my wife made some for us. I’m probably going to start wearing one just because I should. And so I think you do that, the handwashing, distancing. If you don’t have to go out, don’t go out. If you go out, maintain the distancing. Take this really seriously. This is the best thing we can do right now to try to flatten this curve and stop the spread. And if you’re young and healthy, and think nothing’s going to happen to you, that’s not the point. You might spread it to someone who’s not, and that might be a friend of yours who you don’t even know has an underlying health condition that can put them in peril, or a parent or grandparent. Be smart, be safe, be healthy, and let’s get through this together.”