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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.


#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


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)