FCC chairman Julius Genachowski kicked off what will likely
be his final meeting atop the agency with praise for all the heroes of the
Boston Marathon bombing, and said the FCC would follow up on cell service
issues, while emphasizing that the services had not shut down after the
"It was amazing," he said, citing the "first
responders and ordinary citizens who immediately ran toward the explosions, the
marathon runners who went straight from the finish line to the line to donate
blood, and the doctors and nurses who dropped everything to treat the injured.
"These amazing people together minimized the casualties
and demonstrated the character of the American people. It reminded us once
again that the best of America will always overcome even the worst of
The chairman conceded that the event again raised issues of
communications and public safety, ones the FCC has been working on.
For example, the FCC has held field hearings on
storm-related cellphone outages in recent months.
"Wireless networks were so overwhelmed by the temporary
surge in traffic, that there were reports, incorrect ones, that mobile services
had actually shut down," he said.
He said it was vital to "be able to communicate in
times of crisis, particularly to reach 911 and family."
The FCC will certainly pursue this issue along
with other agencies," he said, calling it an "institutional
imperative" for the agency.
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