PSHSB SEEKS COMMENT ON PETITION FOR RULEMAKING BY THE CALIFORNIA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION REQUESTING THAT STATE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSIONS BE GRANTED DIRECT ACCESS TO THE COMMISSION'S NETWORK OUTAGE REPORTING SYSTEM
Federal Communications Commission
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500445 12th St., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
Released: February 2, 2010
PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOMELAND SECURITY BUREAU SEEKS COMMENT
ON PETITION FOR RULEMAKING BY THE CALIFORNIA PUBLIC UTILITIES
COMMISSION REQUESTING THAT STATE PUBLIC UTILITIES
COMMISSIONS BE GRANTED DIRECT ACCESS TO THE
COMMISSION’S NETWORK OUTAGE REPORTING SYSTEM
ET Docket No. 04-35
Comment Date: March 4, 2010
Reply Date: March 19, 2010The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau invites public comment on the petition
for rulemaking filed on November 12, 2009, by the California Public Utilities Commission
(“CPUC”).1 The CPUC petitions the Commission, pursuant to Section 1.401 of the
Commissions rules,2 requesting that the Federal Communications Commission (Commission or
FCC) grant state public utilities commissions direct access to the Commission’s Network Outage
Reporting System (NORS) database.3 The CPUC also informally requests, pursuant to Section
1.41 of the Commission’s rules,4 that the Commission act to allow the CPUC password-protected
access to the NORS database that is “limited to California-specific disruption and outage data.”5
NORS is the web-based filing system through which certain communications providers
submit reports to the Commission of disruptions to communications as required by Part 4 of the
1 The petition was filed on behalf of “the California Public Utilities Commission And The People of the
State of California.” See Petition of the California Public Utilities Commission and the People of the
State of California for Rulemaking on States’ Access to the Network Outage Reporting System (NORS)
Database and a Ruling Granting California Access to NORS, ET Docket No. 04-35 (Nov. 12, 2009)
2 47 C.F.R. § 1.401.
3 See CPUC Petition.
4 47 C.F.R. § 1.41.
5 CPUC Petition at 1, 13-20.
Commission’s rules.6 Reports of service disruptions filed in NORS are presumed to be
confidential.7 Currently, the Commission shares NORS data only with the Department of
Homeland Security (DHS).8
CPUC states that the Commission found that mandatory reporting of network outages
was “the only reliable way to collect this important information for use by this Commission and,
where appropriate, for other government entities.”9 The CPUC asserts that, during the Part 4
rulemaking proceeding, no state public utility commission requested access to the Part 4 service
disruption data and the Commission did not address whether it should or would grant state public
utilities commissions the same direct access to the NORS reports that it provided to DHS.10
CPUC states that because the public health and safety, as well as California’s economy,
depend heavily on reliable and well functioning wireline and wireless voice and data
communications networks, it is critical that the CPUC have access to the same level of service
outage detail found in NORS reports in order to effectively analyze the data.11 CPUC adds that
state commissioners, like the FCC, are responsible for overseeing the reliability and security of
their state’s respective communications infrastructures and, in times of crisis, local and state
authorities are often the first responders.12 CPUC states that, because of this, California has
adopted “the FCC’s NORS requirements”13 and implemented safeguards to ensure the
confidentiality of the information received.14
CPUC asserts that its goal is to obtain the data necessary to perform its “traditional role
of protecting public health and safety through monitoring of communications network
functionality”15 without requiring duplicative reporting by telecommunications providers.
Acknowledging national security concerns, it seeks to allow states access to the NORS database
6 47 C.F.R. Part 4.
7 47 C.F.R. § 4.2.
8 New Part 4 of the Commission’s Rules Concerning Disruptions to Communications, Report and Order
and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, ET Docket No. 04-35, 19 FCC Rcd 16830, 16856, ¶ 47
(2004) (Part 4 Report and Order).
9 See CPUC Petition at 3-4; see also Part 4 Report and Order, 19 FCC Rcd at 16848, ¶ 32 (emphasis
10 CPUC Petition at 5.
11 CPUC Petition at 13.
12 CPUC Petition at 11.
13 CPUC Petition at 6, citing Decision Adoption General Order 133-C and Addressing Other
Telecommunications Service Quality Reporting Requirements, D.09-07-019, 2009 Cal.PUC LEXIS 320.
14 CPUC Petition at 18.
15 CPUC Petition at 14.
if they can show that appropriate protections are in place that would ensure that the
confidentiality of the data is maintained.16
By this Public Notice, we seek comment on whether to grant the CPUC Petition and
initiate the requested rulemaking proceeding.
Procedural MattersThe CPUC Petition is available for public inspection and copying in the Commission’s
Reference Center, Room CY-A257, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554. Copies of the
request also may be obtained via the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) by
entering the docket number, ET Docket No. 04-35. Copies of the request also are available from
Best Copy and Printing, Inc., telephone (800) 378-3160, facsimile (301) 816-0169, e-mail
Pursuant to section 1.405 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. § 1.405, interested parties
may file statements in support of or in opposition to the CPUC Petition not later than
CPUC Petition not later than
March 19, 2010. Statements and replies may be filed using: (1)
the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), (2) the Federal Government’s
eRulemaking Portal, or (3) by filing paper copies. See Electronic Filing of Documents in
Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).
Electronic Filers: Statements in support of or in opposition to the CPUC Petition and
replies to such statements may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the
ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/ or the Federal eRulemaking Portal:
Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of
each filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this
proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or
Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or
by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the
Commission’s Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
Effective December 28, 2009, all hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper
filings for the Commission’s Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at
445 12th St., SW, Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. All hand deliveries
must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be
disposed of before entering the building. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00
16 CPUC Petition at 19.
Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and
Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD
U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to
445 12th Street, SW, Washington DC 20554.
In addition, interested parties shall send one copy of their statements and replies to Best
Copy and Printing, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room CY-B402, Washington, D.C.
20554, (800) 378-3160, e-mail email@example.com.
Filings and comments are also available for public inspection and copying during business
hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room CY-
A257, Washington, D.C. 20554, and via the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System
(ECFS) by entering the docket number, ET Docket No. 04-35. They may also be purchased from
the Commission’s duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street,
S.W., Room CY-B402, Washington, D.C. 20554, telephone: (202) 488-5300 or (800) 378-3160,
fax: (202) 488-5563, or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with
disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to email@example.com
or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432
For further information, contact Jean Ann Collins of the Public Safety and Homeland
Security Bureau, Communications Systems Analysis Division, at (202) 418-2792,
Action by the Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.
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