February 19, 2018

February 19, 2018

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Hurricane Harvey Client Alert: Energy Companies with Affected Communications Networks Post-Harvey Can Seek FCC Emergency Authority

Hurricane Harvey has wreaked havoc with some communications systems, including those relied upon by energy companies, throughout the affected Houston area. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai and the FCC’s operating bureaus are preparing to handle requests for emergency authority to restore service and facilities in connection with the hurricane.

In addition to affecting cellphone networks and 911 facilities, many energy companies may find that the storm and resulting floodwaters have damaged or displaced internal communications infrastructure that enables employees to communicate at a distance, connect multiple company locations, or track assets. FCC-licensed wireless systems and devices also are used for monitoring, telemetry, and in industrial control systems such as a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA).

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About this Author


Catherine Wang is a partner at Morgan Lewis and deputy practice leader of the firm's Telecommunications, Media, and Technology Practice. Ms. Wang's practice focuses on telecommunications regulatory issues, including transactions, licensing, and technology policy. She practices before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), State Public Utility Commissions (PUCs), Congress, and many foreign regulatory agencies. Catherine counsels on regulatory compliance issues relevant to wireless, long-distance, local, international, and enhanced services.