FCC Circulates Derecho Outage Report

Commssion Also Slates First Sandy Field Hearing for Feb. 5 in New York

According to multiple FCC sources, the chairman's office has circulated to the other commissionsers a draft of the commission's investigation into communications failures during the Derecho storm last summer that hammered the East Coast.

Those sources say the report focuses on 911 outages, while giving broadcasters credit for being an information lifeline during those troubles. The inquiry after complaints about the 911 outages.

Among its suggested improvements, according to sources, are for wired and wireless phone companies to better meet their own best practices benchmarks.

On a related topic, the FCC Tuesday announced that it has slated Feb. 5 in Manhattan for the first of what will be series of field hearings on communications failures in the subsequent SuperStorm Sandy last October.

That storm also caused outages and failures of communications systems--again broadcasters were generally saluted for staying on the air during that storm, fulfilling the "first informer" role broadcasters have been emphasizing as one reason why the government should not be too quick to try and reclaim broadcast spectrum.