Emergency Communications

The Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Huricane Katrina and other man-made and natural disasters often reveal flaws in emergency communications systems. Here we attempt to chart the effects of disasters on our telecommunications and media communications systems -- and efforts by policymakers to stregthen these systems.

The FCC Wants to Hear More About Net Neutrality

In early October 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its ruling in Mozilla Corporation vs Federal Communications Commission, the case that challenged the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of network neutrality rules (the Restoring Internet F

US Court of Appeals Issues Net Neutrality Decision

We uphold the 2018 Order, with two exceptions. First, the Court concludes that the Federal Communications Commission has not shown legal authority to issue its Preemption Directive, which would have barred states from imposing any rule or requirement that the FCC “repealed or decided to refrain from imposing” in the Order or that is “more stringent” than the Order. 2018 Order ¶ 195. The Court accordingly vacates that portion of the Order.

House Commerce Democrats Propose $40 Billion for Broadband Buildout In Newest Version of Infrastructure Bill

The week was jam-packed with broadband news [Seriously, see the Quick Bits and Weekend Readsbelow]. There was an oversight hearing of the Federal Communications Commission, Rep.

A Time to Give Thanks

Rounding out our December meeting will be two matters that were previewed yesterday.

First, the Federal Communications Commission will consider an order that would restore Internet freedom and return to the bipartisan, light-touch framework that helped America's Internet economy become the envy of the world. And unlike the previous Administration, which pushed through its Internet regulations without letting the public see what was being proposed, anyone can read my plan. It's on the Commission's website —more than three weeks before our scheduled vote.

FCC Updates Rules To Improve 911 Reliability

The Federal Communications Commission adopted rules to promote public safety by ensuring that 911 call centers receive timely and useful notifications of network disruptions that affect 911 service. These notifications will help 911 call centers maintain emergency services and inform the public when to use alternatives to call 911. The updated rules will standardize the type of information conveyed in the notifications and ensure that it is clear and actionable, regardless of where in the call processing network an outage occurs.

FCC to Further Strengthen Storm-Hardened Puerto Rico & USVI Networks

The Federal Communications Commission proposed a plan to extend certain Universal Service Fund support to eligible mobile and fixed carriers in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands to ensure consumers have access to advanced telecommunications services in the face of hurricanes and other natural disasters.

FCC Proposes to Strengthen Security of Emergency Alert Systems

The Federal Communications Commission proposed rules to bolster the operational readiness and security of the nation’s public alert and warning systems, the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts. These systems warn the public about emergencies through alerts on their televisions, radios, and wireless phones. In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopted, the FCC proposes to:

Global internet gaps prompt calls for a US plan

Pressure is growing for the US to develop a plan to quickly build internet lifelines for people living in conflict zones or under repressive regimes. The absence of a broadband strategy has led to a reliance on the ad hoc goodwill of private companies, such as Elon Musk's donation of Starlink satellite to provide internet service in Ukraine. Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr said that the US needs both the ability to quickly deploy internet networks and surge the production of censorship-circumvention online tools in authoritarian countries. Rep.

No Internet, Now What? A New York Village Plans for the Worst

The Village of Lynbrook (NY) is planning for the possibility of a major Internet outage — the kind that could last six months. The village's Internet Outage Continuity Plan has distributed copies to all of its municipal departments. The document is intended to supplement other disaster recovery and business continuity plans. It maps out every function conducted by local government, identifies those involving the Internet, and lists alternative, offline methods of getting the job done.

How cellular carriers prepared for and responded to Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian took out its fair share of towers in Florida; according to the Federal Communications Commission, nearly a fifth of the cellular sites in its path was put out of service at one point. Many citizens were unable to call for help or to reassure their loved ones that they’d survived the storm. While the need for wired and cellular infrastructure won’t be going away anytime soon, we’re heading toward a future where it’ll be possible to communicate with loved ones and rescue personnel in other ways.