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FCC Deploys Staffers to Haiti

A team of three FCC staffers was dispatched to Haiti
Monday to help with telecommunications issues there, according to FCC Chairman
Julius Genachowski.

Providing an update on the current telecommunications
situation in Haiti,
the chairman said that wireline service is down, and two of four mobile
services are out as well. Of 18 TV stations in the country, only two are still

The FCC staffers are said to be fine after the major
aftershock Wednesday (Jan. 20).

That was part of a status report delivered at the outset of the
FCC's public meeting Wednesday.

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

He said those examples underscore the "vital
importance" of universally available infrastructure that works in times of

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps said Genachowski had done a
superb job of coordinating the FCC response.

Copps said that more money would need to be raised to
rebuild not only communications but the whole country. "As we open up our
hearts, we need to be mindful of the need to open up our checkbooks as
individual citizens," he said.

Commissioner Robert McDowell echoed those sentiments. He
said the FCC had "swiftly put ideas into action." He said his
thoughts and prayers were with the heroes helping out, including the FCC

Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said the FCC, and the U.S., have
shown by their willingness to help they are good neighbors and Good Samaritans.
Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker added her thanks to the companies who have
mobilized support.