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More than Seven Dirty Words

Get to Know the Federal Communications Commission

The FCC is more than "Seven Dirty Words." It's over 1400 employees, 80 years of history, and countless untold stories and unsung heroes. The Official FCC Podcast will bring you those stories, featuring interviews with FCC staff and others in the communications space.

Episodes

#521 minutes

I'm Evan, And I Approve This Podcast

Equal time, lowest unit prices, and how a touring music man becomes the FCC's political ad guy

With the midterm elections fast approaching, political ads are sure to be flooding your TVs and radios. The Federal Election Commission certainly has plenty of work to do, but what role will the FCC play, given that radio and television are under its jurisdiction? Evan is joined by Bobby Baker, Assistant Division Chief of the Policy Division in the FCC's Media Bureau. They discuss the FCC's political ad rules—from equal time and opportunity to lowest unit prices to the always-exciting paperwork requirements. And how did Bobby go from being a touring music man in the 70s and 80s to running point at the FCC on political ad regulations? (Disclaimer)

#434 minutes

The Personal Story Behind Kari's Law

Hank Hunt joins Chairman Pai and Evan to share the heart wrenching story of his daughter Kari's murder, his granddaughter who tried to call 911 but couldn't get through, a promise he made, and his successful crusade to fix a glaring problem with 911 calls

In 2013, Hank Hunt's daughter, Kari, was attacked and killed by her estranged husband in a Marshall, Texas hotel room. Kari's nine-year-old daughter was in the room and tried calling 911 on the hotel phone. She dialed 911 four times as her mother was attacked. But not one of her calls ever went through. Why? The hotel phone required guests to dial a "9" before calling outside the hotel—even for 911. Since that day, Hank has worked tirelessly—and successfully—with the FCC and Congress to change the law so that a "9" is no longer needed for 911 calls from multi-line systems like hotel phones. His efforts culminated in Kari's Law becoming the law of the land on Feb. 16, 2018. Hank joins Chairman Pai to share his story and discuss his five-year journey to enact Kari's law, including his work with the FCC. (Disclaimer)

#316 minutes

This Is Not A Drill

Lisa Fowlkes discusses the latest in emergency alerting

On January 13, 2018, a false ballistic missile alert went out all over Hawaii. The message caused 38 minutes of panic and confusion until corrections were sent to residents' cell phones, televisions and radios through Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and the Emergency Alert System (EAS). When went wrong in Hawaii, and what did the FCC find in its investigation and report? While what happened in Hawaii may be an extreme example, Americans have become familiar with emergency alerts over the years—from flash flood and tornado warnings to AMBER Alerts when children go missing. What are some of the successes of the system, and what are some of the challenges? What is the FCC doing to improve WEAs, particularly when it comes to geotargeting and providing more information through the alerts? What should listeners expect when FEMA conducts a nationwide test on October 3, 2018? (Note: that test was originally scheduled for September 20). And finally, what do the latest innovations on the horizon mean for public safety? Evan discusses all that and more with Lisa Fowlkes, Chief of the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. (Disclaimer)

#222 minutes

Puerto Rico Se Levanta

Evan Swarztrauber joins Roberto Mussenden to discuss Roberto's visits to Puerto Rico

On September 7, Hurricane Irma struck Puerto Rico. And not even two weeks later, on September 20, Hurricane Maria followed. The damage was catastrophic, as over 90 percent of the commercial, public safety, and governmental communications systems went down. For those that remained online, fuel shortages, power outages, and other issues further strained public safety and law enforcement operations. What was the FCC's role in the wake of these storms? Evan is joined by Roberto Mussenden, an attorney in the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, where he works to ensure that first responders can communicate with one another during emergencies. They discuss Roberto's visits to Puerto Rico, the FCC's response efforts, and where things stand almost a year later. (Disclaimer)

#13 minutes

Introduction

There's a lot more to the FCC than the headlines might suggest

How did you first learn about the FCC? Maybe it was the court fight over George Carlin's "Seven Dirty Words." Or maybe it was the fallout from the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show. Or maybe it some other controversy. Whatever it was, there's a lot more to the FCC than the headlines might suggest. This agency has over 1,400 employees and 80 years of history. There's countless untold stories and unsung heroes, and this podcast will bring you those stories. Maybe we'll even achieve the impossible: make telecom interesting. So sit back, relax, and get to know the FCC. (Disclaimer)