FCC Gears Up to Monitor/Aid Communications in Blizzard

Will Issue Public Notice Reminding Stakeholders of Available Help 2/08/2013 6:39 PM Eastern


Only days after a two-part hearing in New York and New Jersey on communications failures during Superstorm Sandy, the FCC was revving up to monitor and provide assistance to communications providers as a new storm bore down on New England.

According to an FCC official, the FCC's action plan includes the following:

Chairman Julius Genachowski and the Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau are reaching out to other government entities and communications carriers to lay the groundwork for a response.

The FCC's network operations center is staffed 24/7 and the FCC will issue a public notice later today providing contact information to stakeholders.

The FCC will team with FEMA and others to monitor the impact on communications networks and be ready to respond. That could include special temporary authority to provide or restore service, which will enable broadcasters to stay on the air with info or first responders to use spectrum for recovery and relief.

If necessary, the FCC can activate its Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) to help assess outages and support restoration.

Consumers who want tips on how to communicate during an emergency can prepare now and check out the FCC's tip sheet here.

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