As Hurricane Dorian nears the US southeast coast, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai reports the agency been working throughout the weekend to finalize preparations for the storm and coordinate with federal and state partners.
“Our staff has reached out to wireless carriers and broadcasters to offer assistance,” Pai said in a statement. “With our government partners, including FEMA, we have worked to ensure that communications providers and power companies closely coordinate their activities as needed when service restoration efforts get under way — making sure they implement lessons learned from Hurricane Michael.”
Pai said the Commission has reminded wireless carriers of the need to have roaming agreements in place before the storm hits.
“Additionally, FCC staff [has] been deployed to conduct ‘pre-landfall’ surveys of the radiofrequency spectrum in projected impact areas, which will help us identify any impacts to public safety communications and broadcaster outages,” Pai continued. “We have activated our Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) to collect and report information on the status of communications services.”
DIRS is a voluntary, web-based system that communications providers — including wireless, wireline, broadcast, cable, and Voice over Internet Protocol providers — can use to report communication infrastructure status and situational awareness information during times of crisis. The FCC requests that communication providers servicing any potentially impacted areas report the status of their communications equipment, restoration efforts, and whether they are using commercial or back-up power. Reports are requested until DIRS is deactivated.
Pai said the FCC Operations Center is open around the clock to assist first responders and communication providers.
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