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FCC Makes It Easier for Hurricane Matthew-Related Emergency Operations

The FCC is making it easier for communications companies to keep on the air, or the wire, if they are impacted by Hurricane Matthew.

Various FCC bureaus said in a public notice that those who need help to maintain or resume operations to provide emergency communications in affected areas can seek special temporary authority (STA) to do so using a variety of methods.

They can be submitted by letter, email or by phone if necessary. TV station licensees can also file requests electronically through the Licensing Management System (LMS) and radio stations through the Consolidated Database System (CDBS).

Those requests should include the technical outlines of the proposed temporary operation and a contact.

When a broadcaster can't operate "in accordance with its license" due to equipment failure or damage, in can request an STA to use an emergency antenna or facilities "at variance with its license" to stay on the air. Actually it can start using one without FCC permission but must file for that permission within 24 hours.