It was an interesting past week in world news – Steve Jobs’ resignation, the rebels storming into Tripoli. You might not have been able to notice any of it because of the deluge the Hurricane Irene coverage, just sayin’. But I’m not here to criticize news studios for over-hyping Irene. If I were, I’d say something like, “With all this press coverage, you’d think this storm was named Hurricane Lindsay Lohan.”
But I digress.
I’m here to inform you of the possibility of the FCC reorganizing the use of the spectrum, through speedy legislation, to make way for an emergency national network.
As you may know, Hurricane Irene was not the only disaster that ravaged the East Coast. There was also the 5.8-magnitude earthquake whose epicenter was in Virginia. This was an earthquake felt from Georgia to New England. There were no damage and no injuries, however – just the flogging of wireless networks.
Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), the chairman of the Commerce Committee, and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) write to the FCC:
“Americans should expect that they can reach their loved ones during an emergency, but our commercial [telecommunications] networks are asked to do much more. Because first responders still do not have a nationwide wireless broadband network of their own, they must rely on these same commercial networks if they hope to access any mobile data services, such as text messaging and emails.”
Comic by Randall Munroe from xckd.com
Nowhere in the letter were broadcasters mentioned. Is it necessary for the FCC to spring into action by quickly legislating without the input of broadcasters? Or is this change necessary because of the dangerous, ever-changing world we’re living in?