Today, six months since the devastating January 12th earthquake in Haiti, our hearts are with our neighbors in Haiti. I am picturing many of the people I met in Haiti when I participated in the FCC’s communications assessment team there after the earthquake – from the government officials to the radio and TV broadcasters who were making the most of very little to the young boy delighted by a small ball.
The country has now moved from the initial recovery phase to reconstruction. And yet, every day, our counterparts continue to be forced to work with limited resources and to strive against daunting challenges.
We at the FCC remain committed to helping Haiti improve its communications framework. Communications services are key to Haiti's future. As Haiti implements its reconstruction plans, including new "growth poles" of population centers, a diversity of competitive communications services will be critical for successful rebuilding of all sectors. Communications services will fuel the economy and facilitate delivery of education, health care, and government services to new communities. Whether through narrowband or broadband applications, communications and information technologies will drive the use of new media, mobile banking, and other applications that are important for both day-to-day life and long-term growth.
Immediately after the earthquake, the private sector undertook enormous efforts to restore communications services in Haiti, and did so quickly and at substantial cost. Now industry is a critical partner in Haiti’s rebuilding and will be a catalyst moving forward to bring innovative solutions to the myriad challenges facing the country. As the government works hand-in-hand with industry through public-private partnerships, there will be greater opportunity to improve communications infrastructure and services, which in turn, will enable cross-sector development, create much needed jobs, and open new possibilities for all of the people of Haiti.
We at the FCC look forward to continuing our strong relationship with our regulatory counterparts in Haiti, including during these difficult and critical next months that will set the stage for a brighter future. Today, not only do we reaffirm our professional commitment to help Haiti, but we at the FCC send our heartfelt admiration for the resilience that the Haitian people have shown in light of such tremendous challenges.