FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn today commented on their visit to Miami yesterday to assess damage caused by Hurricane Irma. The Commissioners “toured the David Paulison Fire Rescue Headquarters Building, met with a Florida Public Service Commissioner and staff from the FCC’s Miami Field Office, visited NewsRadio 610 WIOD, and spoke with a team restoring cell towers and other wireless infrastructure damaged during the storm,” according to an FCC news release.
“I commend Florida’s first responders and the entire public safety community for their heroic efforts to help keep residents safe during Hurricane Irma,” Mr. Pai said in a statement. “It was inspiring to meet with these individuals, such as fire rescue personnel at the Miami-Dade Emergency Operations Center who worked tirelessly to make sure residents could get help from first responders. I also met with broadcasters who made incredible sacrifices to keep the public informed and wireless workers bringing critical mobile services back online. In times of an emergency, everyone involved in public safety communications has a role to play. The lessons learned during our visit will help the FCC’s continued work to improve the performance of communications networks in future emergencies.”
“During times of greatest need, including when a natural disaster strikes, we are reminded of the incredible generosity and goodwill of those in our communities,” Ms. Clyburn said. “This was never more apparent than during our visit yesterday to South Florida where we heard countless stories from broadcasters, telecommunications providers, first responders, FCC field staff, and others who worked day and night to ensure that their communities would have a means to stay informed and keep in touch with family and friends. There is still much more work to be done in the days and weeks ahead, including in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where more than 50% of cell sites remain out of service. Working with my colleagues, Members of Congress, as well as state and local officials, we can translate these lessons into policies that ensure our nation’s communications networks and 9-1-1 systems remain reliable and resilient during disasters.” —Paul Kirby, firstname.lastname@example.org