September 16, 2005

FCC Hopes to Learn From Effort to Rebuild

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin yesterday proposed spending about $211 million to help provide mobile phones and free minutes to Hurricane Katrina survivors without telephone service and to help rebuild the telecom infrastructure shattered by the storm. [via The Washington Post]

"Martin also proposed forming an independent panel to study the telecom breakdown in the region and to suggest ways to prepare better for disasters. In addition, he wants to create a new FCC bureau to focus on homeland security and public safety".

... Hurricane Katrina caused a virtual communications blackout in parts of the region, knocking out some 2.5 million BellSouth Corp. telephone lines, disabling more than 1,000 cell sites and drastically undermining police, fire and other emergency communications.

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