Telecom Alert - Minnesota 911 Outage; Broadband DATA Act; Call for WEA System Test Participants; Network Resiliency Webinar; UTC - Vol. XVI, Issue 24
Minnesota 911 Outage
Last August, Minnesota experienced a 911 outage, which resulted in nearly 700 failed 911 calls. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission held a meeting to review actions CenturyLink has taken to prevent similar outages from happening in the future. CenturyLink reported that it had been working with public safety officials regularly to make improvements, but Commissioners were not satisfied. The Commission voted 5-0 to require more meetings between CenturyLink and public safety officials.
Broadband DATA Act
Senators Wicker (R-MS), Peters (D-MI), Thune (R-SD), and Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced S.1822, the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act, last week. The bill aims to resolve Broadband mapping issues and, if enacted, “would require the FCC to issue rules relating to the collection of data with respect to the availability of broadband services and for other purposes.” The introduction of the bill coincided with a hearing regarding oversight of the FCC. At the hearing, Senator Wicker emphasized the importance of resolving inaccuracies with the Broadband map prior to making any more Broadband funding decisions.
Call for WEA System Test Participants
The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau issued a Public Notice seeking entities authorized by FEMA to send alerts using the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to participate in a test of the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system. Specifically, the Commission seeks to test the geotargeting capabilities of Commercial Mobile Service (CMS) providers. The Commission plans to partner with at least one alert originator for the test. Interested alert originators should submit an expression of interest in PS Docket Nos. 15-91 and 15-94, which explains how they meet criteria listed in the Public Notice by July 11, 2019.
Network Resiliency Webinar
Today, the FCC held a Webinar “to discuss available resources and best practices for small and rural communications providers regarding network reliability and security.” The webinar provided information on improving cybersecurity, reliability, resiliency, and interoperability. A recording of the webinar will be available in several days on the FCC’s streaming events page.