Thursday, June 01, 2006

Telecoms Call for Legal Fixes After Katrina

Anne Broache writes on C|Net News:

Days after Hurricane Katrina pummeled the Gulf Coast last August, repair crews hoping to breathe life into a damaged telephone network were temporarily blocked by government officials who refused to give phone company workers permission to enter a disaster-stricken area.

And when looting and gunfire erupted in New Orleans, bureaucratic mix-ups and problems in communication delayed efforts by BellSouth to revive a rapidly growing number of dead telephone lines that could have saved lives had they been working.

With the formal start of hurricane season on Thursday, some of the nation's largest wireless and wireline providers are vowing to prevent that from happening again. Through private correspondence and in public statements, telecommunications companies are calling on President Bush and the Department of Homeland Security to change the way the government responds to a natural disaster, and a federal panel is expected to release a report in two weeks.

More here.


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