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ITI Urges Consistent Essential Worker Guidelines

Tech association ITI is calling for consistent, global, guidance on who constitutes essential tech workers--including information technology and communications technology workers--when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Department of Homeland Security has issued guidance on who qualifies for that designation, which allows them to work when others are under stay-at-home restrictions, and ITI said other countries should adopt similarly clear and comprehensive guidance.  

According to DHS, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), communications workers, including broadband, broadcast, cable and journalists, are "essential to continued critical infrastructure viability, including [for] staffing operations centers, maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, operating call centers, working construction, and performing management functions, among others." 

"Ensuring that these essential employees can continue to work during this time is vital," said ITI. "However, inconsistent guidance from different jurisdictions who implement lockdowns, shelter-in-place orders or other restrictions on personal movement could jeopardize their ability to provide the products and services that people need during this challenging time." 

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.