Genachowski Says FCC Will Follow Up Boston Cell Service Issues

Praises First Responders, Ordinary Citizens for Representing Best of America 4/18/2013 12:11 PM Eastern
FCC chairman Julius Genachowski kicked off what will likely be his final meeting atop the agency with praise for all the heroes of the Boston Marathon bombing, and said the FCC would follow up on cell service issues, while emphasizing that the services had not shut down after the bombings.
"It was amazing," he said, citing the "first responders and ordinary citizens who immediately ran toward the explosions, the marathon runners who went straight from the finish line to the line to donate blood, and the doctors and nurses who dropped everything to treat the injured.
"These amazing people together minimized the casualties and demonstrated the character of the American people. It reminded us once again that the best of America will always overcome even the worst of attacks."
The chairman conceded that the event again raised issues of communications and public safety, ones the FCC has been working on.
For example, the FCC has held field hearings on storm-related cell phone outages in recent months.
"Wireless networks were so overwhelmed by the temporary surge in traffic, that there were reports, incorrect ones, that mobile services had actually shut down," he said.
He said it was vital to "be able to communicate in times of crisis, particularly to reach 911 and family."
The FCC will certainly pursue this issue along with other agencies," he said, calling it an "institutional imperative" for the agency.
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