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FCC Circulates Derecho Outage Report

According to multiple FCC sources, the chairman's office has
circulated to the other commissioners a draft of the commission's investigation
into communications failures during the Derecho storm last summer that hammered
the East Coast.

According to those sources, the report focuses on 911
outages, while giving broadcasterscredit for being an information lifeline during those troubles.

Among its suggested improvements, according to sources, are
for wired and wireless phone companies to better meet their own best practices

On a related topic, the FCC Tuesday announced that it has slated Feb. 5 in Manhattan for the first of what will be series of field hearings on communications failures in the subsequent Superstorm Sandy last October.

That storm also caused outages and failures of
communications systems -- again broadcasters were generally saluted for staying
on the air during that storm, fulfilling the "first informer" role broadcastershave been emphasizing as one reason why the government should not be too
quick to try and reclaim broadcast spectrum.