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FCC Adopts Communications Outage Sharing Plan

Federal, state and tribal authorities to be in loop during disasters and more

The Federal Communications Commission has adopted a framework to provide federal and state agencies with direct, read-only access to communication outage reports filed with the Network Outage Reporting System and its Disaster Information Reporting System.

Agencies of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, tribal nations, territories and the federal government are part of the  new program.

[Read: FCC Will Explore EAS on the Internet]

The FCC said this will allow participating agencies to share NORS and DIRS information with first responders and other government officials who play a vital public safety role during crises and have a need to know this information.

Furthermore, the sharing of this information is expected to speed up response and repair of the downed networks and infrastructure.

“The commission’s experience with recent major outages — including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, and, most recently, severe winter storms — underscores the value of reliable and timely outage information to the rapid restoration of communications and the crucial role that state and other government authorities play in this restoration,” it stated in a press release.