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Commissioner Pai Statement on Derecho Inquiry

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Released: July 19, 2012

STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI

July 19, 2012

RE:
Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Efforts to Analyze 9-1-1 Outages in
Wake of June 29, 2012 Derecho Storm
The June 29th “Derecho” storm left in its wake a wave of destruction across the Midwest
and Mid-Atlantic regions. In addition to property damage and power outages,
communications networks of all types and Public Safety Answering Points were hit hard,
leaving many without service or the ability to complete a 911 call—in some cases, for
several days. This storm exposed a very serious set of issues that requires the
Commission’s attention.
I commend the Chairman and the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau for
launching this inquiry into the causes of the outages and the resiliency and reliability of
911 networks, in fulfillment of our responsibilities under Section 1 of the
Communications Act. I hope that the Commission will quickly finalize this fact-finding
and identify the lessons to be learned so that our nation’s communications systems can
better withstand future emergencies.
Finally, I would like to thank broadcasters for the critical role they played in relaying
information to those impacted by the storms. When electrical power, cell sites, and
broadband networks went offline, battery-power radios served as a lifeline connecting
many of us to the outside world.

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