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FCC Explores Use of Emergency Aerial Communications

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Released: May 24, 2012

NEWS
Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:

May 24, 2012
Lauren Kravetz: (202) 418-7944
Email: Lauren.Kravetz@fcc.gov

FCC EXPLORES USE OF EMERGENCY AERIAL COMMUNICATIONS TO ENABLE QUICK

RESTORATION OF COMMUNICATIONS FOR FIRST RESPONDERS, OFFICIALS, AND

THE PUBLIC AFTER A MAJOR DISASTER STRIKES

Deployable Aerial Communications Architecture (DACA) Notice of Inquiry Adopted


Washington, D.C. – Today, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Notice of Inquiry (NOI)
to explore the use of Deployable Aerial Communications Architecture (DACA) technologies. DACA
technologies are aerial technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles, weather balloons or existing
aircraft that could provide emergency communications during or immediately after a major disaster, when
terrestrial communications infrastructures may be damaged or disrupted.
“During a disaster, when the terrestrial infrastructure is unavailable, DACA technologies could provide
emergency communications to first responders and possibly civilians” noted David Furth, Acting Chief of
the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. “Ideally, DACA technologies could be deployed
rapidly to the scene of a major disaster and enable immediate and continuous communications using the
devices that first responders and other users carry with them everyday until the infrastructure is restored.”
Federal, state, and local governments are constantly working to improve their emergency communications
capabilities when a disaster strikes. Yet there remains a gap during the first 72 hours after a catastrophic
event when communications may be disrupted or completely disabled due to damaged facilities,
widespread power outages, and lack of access by restoration crews into the affected area. DACA could
provide temporary emergency communications to emergency management officials, first responders,
critical infrastructure industry personnel, and the public to use their day-to-day communications devices
seamlessly during and immediately after an emergency. Most significant, the use of DACA to ensure
quick restoration of emergency communications could save lives.
In its Notice of Inquiry, the Commission seeks comment on:
·
the deployment and operation of DACA technologies;
·
the associated costs and benefits;
·
coordinating and managing the use of DACA technologies; and
·
authorizing the use of spectrum to support their operation.
The Notice of Inquiry also addresses DACA system performance issues, including questions on coverage
area, capacity, interference mitigation, and interoperability.

Public comments are due 40 days from publication in the Federal Register, and reply comments are due
60 days from publication.
Action by the Commission May 24, 2012 by Notice of Inquiry (FCC 12-53). Chairman Genachowski,
Commissioners McDowell, Clyburn, Rosenworcel and Pai. Separate statements issued by Chairman
Genachowski, Commissioners McDowell, Clyburn, Rosenworcel and Pai.
For further information, contact Jennifer A, Manner, Deputy Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security
Bureau at (202) 418-3619 or jennifer.manner@fcc.gov.
For more news and information about the FCC
please visit www.fcc.gov.
-FCC-

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