Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

Commissioner Rosenworcel Statement on Derecho Inquiry

Download Options

Released: July 19, 2012

STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER JESSICA ROSENWORCEL

Re:
June 29th Derecho Storm 911 and Communications Outages Overview/Update
(July 19, 2012)
Last week, at the oversight hearing before the House of Representatives Energy
and Commerce Committee, I called for the Commission to begin an investigation into the
communications difficulties that followed in the wake of last month’s storm in the
Washington region and beyond. As we all know, weather-related power outages brought
life here to a halt. Wireless towers and 911 service failed too many of us. I believed
then, and believe now, that the agency has a duty to search out the facts—wherever they
may lead. Then we can apply the lessons we learn and make our networks more resilient,
more secure, and more safe.
This week, I visited the 911 center in Fairfax County, one of the public safety
answering points that was not able to answer emergency calls. The head of Fairfax
County’s Department of Public Safety Communications described an eerie quiet in the
aftermath of the storm, as the calls into 911 quickly and implausibly ceased. This put
lives at danger. It put our safety at risk. It deserves our attention.
So I am pleased that the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has
provided this update today. I am also pleased that the agency has begun an inquiry into
what happened and why. I am confident that the Bureau will get to the bottom of this
situation, so we can learn from it and be better prepared when disaster strikes.

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.

close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.