Chairman and PSHSB Chief Statement on Communications Network

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Release Date: November 1st, 201

 

NEWS
Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.


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Washington, D. C. 20554

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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:

November 1, 2012
Justin Cole, 202.210.2437
Email: justin.cole@fcc.gov

STATEMENT FROM FCC CHAIRMAN GENACHOWSKI & DAVID TURETSKY

REGARDING COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK IMPROVEMENTS AND CHALLENGES

The following is attributable to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski:
"Overall, we're seeing both continued improvement in communications networks and also that much
work remains to be done to restore service fully. The supply of fuel to generators is essential to keep
communications service up and running, and we're working with federal, state, and local authorities to
speed fuel delivery. This is a priority because our commercial communications networks are essential to
emergency response and recovery efforts, as well as to commercial activities and connecting with
family."
The following is attributable to FCC Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau Chief David Turetsky:
"Our Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) remains activated and we continue to collect data
from communications companies about the impacts of the storm. As of 10 a.m. this morning, our
assessment indicates steady improvements in wireline and wireless communications networks throughout
the affected area. However, restoration efforts in the hardest hit areas – including New York and New
Jersey – continues to be more difficult. Replenishing fuel supplies for generators that are enabling
communications networks to continue operating is a particularly critical challenge.
"Our latest data indicate that calls throughout the affected area can be received at 9-1-1 call centers,
though in limited cases calls are being re-routed to another center or do not contain location information.
We have reached out to every affected 911 center and the relevant state authorities, and we are talking to
communications providers about what can be done to address this.
"Based on data from 10 a.m. this morning, the number of cell site outages overall has declined from
approximately 25 percent to 19 percent. This figure includes many cases where cell sites that are
otherwise operational are effectively inoperable because of outages in other parts of the communications
infrastructure, which is highly interdependent. With regards to cable services, it appears that outages
have declined to approximately 12 – 14 percent, from initial outages estimates of 25 percent.
"Meanwhile, FCC staff at headquarters and at field offices are working around the clock to support
FEMA's efforts, and respond to requests for support from state and local teams, as well as
communications companies. For example, FCC field agents have been working with others on-the-
ground in New York City to get fuel to a switching center that serves many communications providers.
We also issued another special temporary authorization, which was to assist an energy company with
restoration operations in several states.