First Sandy Field Hearing Will Be Joint New York/New Jersey Event

The FCC has announced more details of its first field
hearing on communications failures during Superstorm Sandy, with the New York
hearing now a joint New York/New Jersey hearing, appropriate given how hard the
storm hit the New Jersey coast.

The Feb. 5 hearing will be divided into two sessions, a
morning session in Manhattan and an afternoon session in Hoboken, N.J.

The goal of the hearings, said the FCC, is to
"facilitate a wider national dialogue about the resiliency of
communications networks" in general, with Sandy as a focus. The FCC will
use the info from this and otherplanned field hearings to make recommendations and take actions to strengthen
wired and wireless networks.

The FCC announced that it would hold hearings a day after
Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), called on the FCC to get together with
stakeholders to come up with a new action plan for emergencies given
Sandy-related failures, including that 25% of the cell towers in a 10-state
area affected by the storm were taken out of commission in the immediate

Issues the hearings will address include "power and
fuel dependencies, emergency permitting, resource sharing protocols, 9-1-1
accessibility" and will result in recommendation to strengthen that

The commission will stream the hearing.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.