FCC Chairman Juilus Genachowski used the recovery of Chilean miners as an opportunity to give a shout-out to communications in general and one of the broadband plan’s national purposes in particular.Genachowski said Thursday that the Chilean miner rescue was “not just a story about the triumph of the human spirit,” but of “the power of technlogy and, in particular, communications technology.”During his opening statement for the October monthly meeting, he pointed out that for the first 17 days after the mine collapse, nobody knew whether or not the miners were alive. But after they were discovered, he said, rescuers ran a fiber line to them, providing a direct link to the government and their families, including carrying videos to those familes to show the miners were OK and allowing doctors to assess and treat them remotely.
One of the drivers of the FCC’s goal of universal deployment is such remote telemedicine capability.
“Communications technology certainly played a role in the daily well-being of the miners” as well, he said, helping them keep up their sprits and endure the 70 days of the ordeal, the longest anyone has survived buried undergound, he pointed out.
“Journalists and radio and TV stations meanwhile kept tabs on what became known as “Camp Hope,” he added.
Genachowski called it another reminder of “the extraordinary potential and benefits of communications technology” as well as “an ongoing motivation for all of us at the FCC and the work that we do every day.”