Public Knowledge Files Comments Urging FCC to Improve Disaster Response to Damaged Networks

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Yesterday, Public Knowledge filed comments on the Federal Communications Commission’s recent Public Notice on the agency’s 2017 hurricane season response efforts. The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau sought comments on how to improve the agency’s response to natural disasters with a focus on repairing telecommunications infrastructure damaged by Hurricanes Maria and Irma last year.

Public Knowledge commends the FCC for seeking to improve communications recovery during natural disasters, but also urges the agency to ensure that carriers repair copper networks damaged by these storms and other disaster events.

The following can be attributed to Daiquiri Ryan, Policy Fellow at Public Knowledge:

“Months after Hurricane Irma wrecked the U.S. Virgin Islands and Hurricane Maria desolated Puerto Rico, the FCC has yet to undertake a comprehensive examination of why so many American citizens have been left without even basic communications for far too long. This month, the Government Accountability Office released a report finding that the FCC has failed to produce any kind of framework that holds carriers accountable for repairing their networks after a disaster.

“With unprecedented hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters devastating communications infrastructure across the country, it is critical that the FCC evaluates how to improve disaster recovery efforts. The Commission must undertake a serious inquiry and establish rules and procedures to ensure that consumers in geographically hard-to-reach areas are re-connected with their families and with necessary services after devastating natural disasters.”

You may view our comments here.

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