FCC Reaches Out to Japanese Officials

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The FCC has contacted Japanese officials to offer any help on the telecommunications front in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami there.

"We have reached out to our regulatory contacts in Japan," said FCC International Bureau spokesman Tom Sullivan. "We are working with the State Department and the National Telecommunications & Information Administration to consider what assistance we might be able to provide."

What can the U.S. government do? In the Haiti earthquake, the FCC took a proactive role, said Sullivan, including providing technical assistance on emergency communications as well as passing along offers of help from private industry. He pointed out that Japan is a different situation, with a robust communications system. "They are very well prepared for a situations like this. But, nevertheless we would be able to offer expertise should they need help."

Sullivan said that the international bureau could serve as a contact point for anyone in industry seeking information on whether and how they might be able to help. "We're not asking industry for help," he said, but said that given the FCC's international contacts with Japan, "should anyone have a desire to help, we can be a point of contact at the FCC that they can reach out to."

The President said Friday morning that the government remains in close contact with officials in the Pacific region of this country for possible impact from the tsunami, and advised everyone in potentially affected regions (which includes on the California and Oregon coasts) to listen to "NOAA Weather Radio and their local news to monitor for updates and directions provided by their local officials."

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