Tuesday, October 29, 2013

FCC Strives to Build a More Resilient Communications Network

Marking the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, FCC Chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau David Turetsky, shared how the FCC is working towards building a more resilient communications network. Approximately 25% of the cell sites weren’t working during Hurricane Sandy and the FCC’s eyes were opened to the importance of having a reliable network.
“The Commission recently proposed rules that would require wireless service providers to publicly disclose the percentage of cell sites within their networks that are operational during and immediately after disasters. The concept is simple: by providing consumers with a yardstick for comparing wireless performance in emergencies, this proposal could empower consumers and in turn create competitive incentives in the wireless industry to improve network reliability,” Turetsky explains. He also noted that the FCC is seeking public comment on this approach.
The reasoning behind this proposed rule is to improve the reliability of the networks that are used to originate most 911 calls. Many people are disconnecting their landlines and switching their phone service to their mobile provider, making it difficult for emergency service providers to locate callers as quickly as they could before.
“Also this year, the Commission proposed measures to improve the reliability of the wireline facilities that are needed to complete 911 calls, especially during disasters. More specifically, the Commission proposed rules to ensure that the wireline network providers that route calls to 911 call centers implement vital best practices in network design, maintenance, and operation,” Turetsky said.

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