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FCC sends staff members to Haiti

The FCC dispatched three staff members to Haiti last week to offer aid to the country in dealing with communications and telecommunications problems.

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said that of the 18 TV stations in Haiti, only two were still on the air. Wireline service was down, and two of four mobile services were out or order as well.

Genachowski cited a number of ways in which new media has helped in saving lives in the earthquake torn disaster area. They included five people trapped in rubble who were rescued after they texted their location, a trapped person who used an iPhone app to apply first aid to his injuries, and a Denver woman who found her daughter after a cable news story about the destruction of an orphanage.

Genachowski said those examples underscore the “vital importance” of universally available infrastructure that works in times of crisis.