February 26, 2013 By Rachelle Chong
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced its second National Field Hearing on Thursday, Feb. 28th, to examine challenges to the nation’s communications systems during natural disasters and other times of crisis. An agenda has not yet been released. This FCC public hearing is one of the first times in recent years a national hearing on reliability and resilience of communications systems is being held on the West Coast.
FCC National Field Hearing Details
When: Thursday, Feb. 28th
The FCC sets policy in the public safety emergency communications areas, particularly for 9-1-1 and E9-1-1, emergency alerting, operability and interoperability of public safety communications, communications infrastructure protection and disaster response, and network security and reliability. In a major natural disaster or other crisis rising to the level of a national emergency, the FCC’s mission is to ensure continuous operations and restore critical communications systems and services. Examples of the FCC’s work include:
In the last few years, the FCC has increased its activity in this area, particularly after the Japanese 9.0 earthquake and the 23-foot tsunami that followed on March 11, 2011. Best practices were sought to be learned from Japanese officials after that major disaster.
The FCC says it is looking at ways to strengthen the reliability and resiliency of the nation’s communications system, especially during this time of rapid transition from legacy networks (landline telephone or cable networks) to new broadband technology.
Reliability of communication systems is of great importance to public safety, health-care providers and the financial sector, not to mention educational institutions, business and consumers. In the last few years, the FCC opened dockets to look at existing efforts by the affected industries to address continuity of communications service during major disasters, standards for broadband networks, and the FCC’s role and legal authority in this area.
This story was originally published at Techwire.net
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