In an open meeting this week, FCC Commissioners received scheduled briefings from FCC staff on “Next-Generation Mapping” resources available to the public at fcc.gov/maps, the harnessing of “white space” technology to advance wireless broadband, and the release of a new “Measuring Broadband America Report.”
Added to the front of the agenda was a discussion about the recent severe storms that disabled communications in several states, particularly in the Mid-Atlantic. Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel noted, “As we all know, weather-related power outages brought life here to a halt. Wireless towers and 911 service failed too many of us. I believed then, and believe now, that the agency has a duty to search out the facts—wherever they may lead. Then we can apply the lessons we learn and make our networks more resilient, more secure, and more safe.” Commissioner Ajit Pai added, “I would like to thank broadcasters for the critical role they played in relaying information to those impacted by the storms. When electrical power, cell sites, and broadband networks went offline, battery-power radios served as a lifeline connecting many of us to the outside world.”
The next FCC Open Meeting will be on August 3 and is scheduled to focus on wireless backhaul and cable regulations in light of movement from analog to digital transmission.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations