FCC Derecho Report Praises Broadcasters as First Informers

Points to Role in Helping Powerless Stay Connected to Key Info 1/10/2013 8:30 AM Eastern


The FCC's report on Derecho storm-related communications problems takes aim at wireless and wired phone companies for avoidable disruptions, but it has nothing but good things to say about broadcasters' role in continuing to be first informers, according to a source familiar with the report.

Echoing many of the points made by broadcasters themselves in comments on the storm, it says: "The key role broadcasters played during and following the Derecho should also be recognized...As in many times of crisis, broadcasters served as first informers, providing the information on the storm's path, the damage it caused." It points out that people without power could still receive radio and TV broadcasters with battery-powered devices.

It also points out that 911 call centers took advantage of that fact by working with broadcasters to update the status of 911 service and ways to obtain emergency assistance.

The FCC is expected to release the report Thursday morning, along with a proposal to boost 911 reliability.

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