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FCC Adopts Order Implementing Katrina Panel Recommendations
Washington - Jun 8, 2007 - On May 31, the Federal Communications Commission implemented various recommendations of the FCC's Independent panel reviewing the impact of Hurricane Katrina on communications networks. The FCC intends for the programs and policies stemming from the panel's work to improve emergency response capabilities and assist first responders, the communications industry and all levels of government to communicate effectively with one another during emergencies.
The order mandates certain proactive steps for telephone service providers and commercial mobile service radio providers to ensure preparedness for future events. The requirements include installation of emergency power generators and for them to establish basic interoperability methods.
The FCC order also directs FCC Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau to develop and implement an awareness program to educate public safety agencies about alternative communications technologies, establish a method to ascertain communication systems status during an emergency, and to ensure that first responders have the proper credentials to accomplish their jobs during an emergency.
One item in the order relates to broadcast efforts. The FCC wants to take steps to revitalize and publicize the current Emergency Alert System. The Katrina Panel recommends that the Commission should take several actions:
The report notes that a current proceeding is underway to implement new technologies into EAS. The entire order can be accessed at this link.
EB Docket 06-119 and WC Docket 06-63
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