32 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for December 18, 2013
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Date: Mon, 16 Dec 2013 23:29:56 -0800 (PST) From: Neal McLain <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: FCC Imposes New Requirements for 911 System Service Providers Message-ID: <email@example.com> By Bradford Ham, CommLawBlog, December 16, 2013 | FCC addresses numerous systemic failures in 911 service that | surfaced after 2012 "derecho" storm. | | In a matter of hours on June, 2012, a powerful, fast-moving, | killer storm (dubbed a "derecho") swept from the Midwest to | Northern Virginia, a silver-dollar's-throw across the Potomac | from the FCC's headquarters. It laid bare severe shortcomings | in 911 service: from isolated breakdowns to systemic failures, | 911 service was unavailable (or at least unreliable) for | millions of residents for extended periods. | | In the wake of that unacceptably poor performance of a | critical public safety function, the FCC completed an | extensive review of the 911 system begun in 2011. As a result | of that review, the FCC has now imposed on 911 system service | providers (SSPs) a new and rigorous set of requirements. (This | latest action is separate from, but motivated by some of the | same concerns as, the FCC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking | released last September looking to require facilities-based | Commercial Mobile Radio Service providers to provide daily | public reports of the percentage of cell sites operating in | their networks during and immediately after major disasters.) Continued: http://tinyurl.com/omphd4b Neal McLain
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 2013 19:00:03 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (David Platt) To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: CPB Board hears troubling predictions Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> In article <MPG.email@example.com>, T <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >> Ham radio is trying to redefine its role in the public mind, since >> Amateur Radio operators are no longer a major factor in emergency >> communications, and the ever-more-hungry mobile service providers >> are eyeing the ham bands as the next big thing. Stay tuned. >Part of the problem for the mobile service providers is that when push >comes to shove their networks simply don't work. That was amply >demonstrated not so many month ago with the attack in Boston. People >were saying they shut the cell networks down. The truth is the cell >networks couldn't handle the traffic. Same in NYC on 9/11, the Bay area after the Loma Prieta earthquake, etc. For very understandable financial reasons, the cell networks are built out to handle typical day-to-day loads, with some amount of surge demand. They don't do well when trying to handle 10x of their design load. >So there is still a role for amateur radio beyond the ragchew. >Plus local Emergency Management sort of has a use for us. Same in my area (thanks to a lot of hard work and diplomacy by the city and county ARES/RACES officers). One thing we've been able to do, is demonstrate that we can put quite a lot of "eyes out on the street" for early reporting after a disaster or incident (earthquake, bad storm moving in with flooding potential, etc.). We can gather and radio in a whole bunch of status information in the first 15-30 minutes and get it into the hands of the city and county emergency managers... long before they could free enough police or fire personnel to perform any sort of area-wide survey. We can tell 'em where there are serious problems, and where things are "OK for now", so they know where to commit their (limited and essential) official "first responder" resources. And, we can do this even if the cellphone network is frotzed due to the (inevitable) everybody-tries-to-dial-at-once overload. Some important parts of getting this to work and be used: regular training, regular practice, good organization, a cooperative attitude, and professional behavior... yes, we're "amateurs" (unpaid by definition, and in this case by law) but we have to behave with the sort of professionalism which convinces the paid first responders (and officials) that we aren't a bunch of insane loose-cannon radio cowboys but are people that they can depend upon.
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