The FCC yesterday formed a Disaster Response and Recovery Working Group as part of its Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC). NRECA CEO Jim Matheson was one of 28 figures from the communications and utility industries, as well as representatives of state and municipal governments named to the working group.
“Broadband communications have become essential to the delivery of life-saving information in a disaster,” Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement announcing the group. “It’s critical to public safety that our broadband networks are as resilient as possible to prevent outages in a disaster and also can be restored as quickly as possible when an outage occurs.” He said that the group’s recommendations will be important to the Commission’s current review of its “Wireless Resiliency Framework.”
Pai established BDAC in Spring 2017 as a forum to discuss potential business and regulatory barriers to broadband network construction and propose policies to eliminate the rural broadband coverage gap. Matheson is one of the early appointees to the group and has been especially vocal on pole attachment-related issues.