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FCC responds to communications needs in post-quake Haiti

The FCC announced a series of actions Jan. 15 to be done in coordination with other federal agencies to assist Haiti with its recovery from last week’s devastating earthquake.

In a press statement released last week, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said it is “vitally important” for those in Haiti to have communications as part of the rescue and recovery effort.

Among the steps the FCC is taking regarding Haiti are:

  • Coordinating with the U.S. Agency for International Development on Haitian Relief and Restoration Efforts on telecommunications;
  • Reaching out to contacts in the industry and the international community to determine the status of communications services in Haiti, and between Haiti and other countries;
  • Working with the National Communications System, under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to coordinate communications efforts;
  • Identifying points of contact within the FCC bureaus and offices for questions regarding licensing, legal, spectrum or technical issues related to provision of communications services to and in Haiti;
  • Working with the State Department on issues related to importation and operation of emergency communications equipment in Haiti;
  • Providing technical analysis of carriers’ technical proposals for provision of temporary services;
  • Reviewing the spectrum allocation and assignment table for Haiti to ensure U.S. originated equipment and systems will not cause interference to incumbent systems;
  • Taking steps to increase available satellite capacity over Haiti; and
  • Informing noncommercial educational stations of the procedures to follow in order to obtain a waiver of FCC rules for fundraising appeals to support Haitian relief efforts.