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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).

Copyright © 2020 by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume VII, Number 256


About this Author

Catherine Wang, Morgan Lewis, telecommunications lawyer

Catherine Wang’s practice focuses on telecommunications regulatory issues, including M&A and financing transactions, technology policy, and licensing. She practices before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), State Public Utility Commissions (PUCs), Congress, the Commerce Department, and many foreign regulatory agencies. Catherine counsels on strategic regulatory and compliance issues relevant to equipment manufacturers and wireless, broadband, international, long distance, and local service providers. She assists clients through advocacy in rulemakings,...