Our outage reporting rules have enabled us to detect adverse outage trends and work with industry on solutions, monitor and assist restoration efforts, and coordinate with public safety officials and other affected third parties during crises.
Last year, we identified submarine cables as a gap in our reporting rules.
That is why I am proposing that we update the nation’s Emergency Alert System (EAS) codes.
The EAS is a proven life-saver, sending alerts to people over radio, television, and cable systems to warn about severe thunderstorms, tornados, hurricanes, and other weather events. At a press conference in Miami this Wednesday, the heads of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Hurricane Center came together to send a message to America: beware of storm surges.
Applicants seeking foreign ownership rulings from the Commission have raised concerns that this Executive Branch review process is too slow and needs greater transparency.
"What kills people is water,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.
If adopted, the updated rules would require EAS equipment manufacturers to integrate the codes into new equipment and enable EAS participants to update their existing equipment in advance of next year’s Atlantic hurricane season.
Another way the Commission promotes public safety in times of crisis is by collecting data on network outages.
Today, I circulated to my fellow Commissioners new rules that would require submarine cable licensees to report major communications outages to the FCC.
Our June open meeting will feature a third item that seeks to improve Commission coordination with Executive Branch agencies concerning issues of national security, law enforcement, foreign policy, and trade policy raised by certain applications involving foreign ownership.
These cables are essential to America’s economic stability and national security, yet licensees currently only report outages on an ad hoc basis.
The information we receive is too limited and inconsistent to be of much use.