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Clyburn on Promoting a More Resilient and Reliable 9-1-1 System

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Released: May 13, 2011

STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER MIGNON L. CLYBURN

Re:
In the Matter of the Proposed Extension of Part 4 of the Commission's Rules Regarding
Outage Reporting to Interconnected Voice Over Internet Protocol Service Providers and
Broadband Internet Service Providers, PS Docket No. 11-82

With this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission takes an important step to
improve our Nation's emergency preparedness. As the item explains, the President has assigned
the FCC the mission essential function of ensuring continuous operation of critical
communications services. Because hundreds of millions of Americans use broadband Internet
service networks, and a growing number of Americans use interconnected VoIP services, these
networks need to be at the top of the priority list when it comes to ensuring continued operations
of critical services.
The proposed outage reporting requirements also enable the Commission to meet
Congressional mandates. Section 615a-1 of the Communications Act gives the Commission
authority to modify its regulations, when necessary, to ensure that IP-enabled voice service
providers allow their customers to make 9-1-1 calls. Last year alone, there were a number of
instances in which interconnected VoIP service customers lost service for several hours. In one
case, a carrier experienced an outage in which more than one million customers lost
interconnected VoIP service for more than four hours. In light of these experiences, it is
appropriate to propose outage reporting requirements that allow the Commission to monitor
whether interconnected VoIP providers are satisfying their statutory obligations. The reporting
requirements will also promote the reliability of broadband Internet and interconnected VoIP
networks, and allow us to satisfy statutory obligations, to promote the deployment of those
networks.
I commend Chairman Genachowski and Admiral Jamie Barnett for their leadership in
initiating this important proceeding.

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