Rural Mountain SceneSmall and rural communications providers serve thousands of consumers, often in remote areas. They also serve small businesses, 911 call centers, hospitals, law enforcement, and other critical customers.  The reliability and resiliency of small and rural provider networks is therefore essential to ensuring that all consumers, public safety entities, and businesses have access to communications, especially during disasters and emergencies.

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau provides this non-exhaustive list of useful resources for small and rural service providers.

Network Reliability and Resiliency
  • Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) Best Practices:  Voluntary network reliability best practices database for cable, Internet/data, satellite, wireless, and wireline networks adopted by CSRIC.
  • Network Outage Reporting System (NORS):  Web-based filing system through which communications providers are required to electronically report information about significant disruptions or outages to their communications systems once certain thresholds are met, as described in Part 4 of the FCC’s rules (47 C.F.R. §§ 4.9 et seq.).  The Commission uses data from this system to identify and study trends and to work collaboratively with communications providers to improve communications reliability.
  • Network Reliability Best Practices for Small and Rural Providers:  A list of 23 of the most recurring best practices as reported by small and rural carriers in NORS outage reports filed during the last five years.
  • Emergency Alert System Security Best Practices:  The Emergency Alert System is a national public warning system through which broadcast TV, radio, cable, wireline video, satellite and other service providers provide the communications capability to the President to address the American public during a national emergency.  The system also may be used by state and local authorities to deliver emergency information, such as AMBER alerts and weather-related alerts.  This 2014 CSRIC Report provides voluntary security best practices for EAS participants, alert originators, EAS device manufacturers, and government agencies.
Disaster and Emergency Response

Times of crisis can create a strain on networks and other infrastructure.  Small and rural providers are a critical link to their communities during such times, and below are some resources to support them in that role.   

  • Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS):  Web-based system that communications companies, including wireless, wireline, broadcast, and cable providers, can use on a voluntary basis to report communications infrastructure status and situational awareness information during times of crisis.
  • Emergency Alert System:  Resources and handbook instructions for Emergency Alert procedures.
  • Disaster Support for Broadcasters:  Resource list for outreach support, disaster information reporting system details, logistical coordination assistance, multi-lingual emergency broadcast support, and other information.


Additional Resources

Thursday, May 20, 2021