Tuesday, September 13, 2005

FCC mandates seen as aid to telecoms in disasters

A ComputerWorld article by Matt Hamblen, via NetworkWorld, reports that:

An FCC mandate on network providers and related emergency communications policies would help telecommunications companies prepare for future disasters similar to Hurricane Katrina, industry experts said last week.

Hossein Eslambolchi, AT&T's CIO, called on the FCC to require every communications provider to adopt crisis management plans. AT&T has had a crisis management plan in place for several years and has invested $350 million on 160 emergency vehicles containing repair equipment that it has stationed throughout the U.S. for any network disaster, he said.

"Like the way the U.S. responded to the Y2K problem, there needs to be mandate by the FCC for crisis management," Eslambolchi said. "It wasn't clear to me whether a lot of crisis management [by private carriers] was done here [with Katrina]. We cannot afford to have another of these disasters."

A related improvement would be a coordinated information delivery system that provides updated information about disaster response tactics. That way, Eslambolchi said, if officials are forced to close off roads or highways, for example, repair crews carrying materials and fuel would know to find alternate routes, Eslambolchi said.


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