Washington (February 14, 2022) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) expressing support for the recent decision of the agency notice of proposed regulation (NPRM) to improve the resilience of communication networks during emergency situations. Strong action by the FCC is needed to address the growing threats to communications networks created by extreme weather, natural disasters, including wildfires, and events related to climate change, which are increasingly causing more frequent and severe service interruptions. Senators Markey and Wyden encouraged the FCC to adopt rules aligned with their GREEN law on the production of resilient and energy-efficient communications, legislation introduced to promote network resilience. In addition, senators expressed support for changes to the cooperative wireless network resiliency framework, measures to address the need for emergency roaming, increased reporting requirements to promote situational awareness, and aimed at coping with the impact of power outages affecting communication networks.
“As demonstrated by the recent outages caused by Hurricanes Ida and Nicholas, which severely disabled wireless, wireline, and emergency communications services in Louisiana and Texas, network resilience is critical in times of crisis.write the senators in their letter to FCC President Jessica Rosenworcel. “Outages can be life-threatening when they prevent individuals from staying informed or communicating with first responders and loved ones.”
A copy of the letter is available HERE.
Senators Markey and Wyden previously presented the GREEN law on the production of resilient and energy-efficient communications to promote network resilience, provide financial assistance for projects to strengthen communication infrastructure against emergency events, identify communication infrastructure vulnerabilities, develop more resilient communication technologies, train employees to Respond to network outages and expedite service restoration if needed. the GREEN Communications Act would also give the FCC the power to issue rules and establish a regulatory resiliency framework designed to minimize the number, duration, and impact of future communications network outages, as well as plan for long-term outages networks and meet the communication needs of first responders.