4.1% of Cell Sites Out of Service in Florence-Affected Area

In the 99 counties in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia covered by the FCC’s activation of its Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) for Hurricane Florence, 4.1% of cell sites were out of service as of 11 a.m. today, down from 6% yesterday, the FCC reported. The communications status report said that 8% of cell sites in North Carolina were out, 0.5% of sites in South Carolina, 0.1% of sites in Georgia, and no sites in Virginia. It said that 911 calls to two public safety answering points in North Carolina and one in South Carolina were being routed without location information to other PSAPs.

As for cable and wireline service, the report said that 285,725 subscribers had lost service in North Carolina; 30,053 in South Carolina; and none in either Georgia or Virginia. Three TV stations reported being out of service. Four FM radio stations reported being down but programming was being sent to another station, while 22 FM radio stations said they were out of service. Four AM radio stations said they were out of service.

Courtesy TRDaily

Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alerting Systems Postponed Until October 3

WASHINGTON –FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), postponed the nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) until October 3 due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence. 
The WEA portion of the test commences at 2:18 p.m. EDT, and the EAS portion follows at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.
October 3 was the previously scheduled back-up date for the test, which was originally set up for this Thursday, September 20. A backup date is always planned in case of widespread severe weather or other significant events on the primary test date. FEMA and the nation’s emergency management community remain committed to the life-saving activities occurring through parts of North Carolina and South Carolina. 
For further information on the test, go to https://www.fema.gov/emergency-alert-test.
Background: In 2007, FEMA began modernizing the nation’s public alert and warning system by integrating new technologies into the existing alert systems. The new system, known as the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) became operational in 2011. Today, IPAWS supports more than 1,000 state, local, tribal, territorial and federal users through a standardized message format. IPAWS enables public safety alerting authorities such as emergency managers, police, and fire departments to send the same alert and warning message over multiple communication pathways at the same time to citizens in harm’s way, helping to save lives. For more information on FEMA’s IPAWS, go to: www.fema.gov/ipaws. For more preparedness information, go to www.ready.gov.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blogwww.twitter.com/femawww.twitter.com/femaspoxwww.facebook.com/fema and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Brock Long’s activities at www.twitter.com/fema_brock
The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

6.0% of Cell Sites Out of Service in Florence-Affected Area

In the 99 counties in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia covered by the FCC’s activation of its Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) for Hurricane Florence, 6.0% of cell sites were out of service as of 11 a.m. today, down from 7.2% yesterday, the FCC reported.  The communications status report said that 11.8% of cell sites in North Carolina were out, 0.8% of sites in South Carolina, 0.1% of sites in Georgia, and no sites in Virginia. “Onslow county in North Carolina has more than 50% of cell sites out of service,” the report noted. It said that 911 calls to three public safety answering points in North Carolina were being routed to other PSAPs.

Calls to primary PSAPs Columbus County Central Communications and Pamlico County Communications were being rerouted with location information, and calls to secondary PSAP Washington Policy Communications were being rerouted without location information.  As for cable and wireline service, the report said that 187,885 subscribers had lost service in North Carolina; 5,073 in South Carolina; and none in either Georgia or Virginia. Five TV stations, 28 FM radio stations, and three AM radio stations reported being out of service.

Courtesy TRDaily

State, Local Officials Back Public Safety Bills

Officials from New Jersey and Maryland scheduled to testify today at a House communications and technology subcommittee hearing threw their support behind pending public safety legislation, according to their prepared testimony.

Though the hearing had been scheduled to take place today, it was postponed to a yet-to-be-determined date due to changes in the House calendar.  However, witnesses’ written testimony was made available by the subcommittee.

The hearing was slated to include discussion about three bills. One of the bills would prevent states from diverting 911 fees to other purposes, while a second would increase criminal penalties against people who intentionally transmit false or misleading caller ID information–a practice known as “swatting”–to initiate emergency responses from law enforcement and first responders when there is no threat to life,  health, or property. Continue reading

Paper: Wi-Fi Can Share 5.9 GHz Band with DSRC

Wi-Fi devices can share the 5.9 gigahertz band without impacting the safety of dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) operations, according to a paper. “We observe that DSRC SAFR (safety alert failure rate) is not impacted by the presence of Wi-Fi traffic in the adjacent channel,” said the paper, which examined the results of an open-source vehicular traffic simulator to study 20,000 vehicles during rush hour in Bologna, Italy. “We also observe that the SAFR is above the levels deemed by DSRC architects to be harmful to system performance in the majority of locations simulated; however, since this result is not due to Wi-Fi interference, we conclude that it is most likely attributed to DSRC system instability in high vehicular traffic scenarios. We perform a number of checks to demonstrate the robustness of these conclusions.  Our results therefore suggest that regulators can successfully enable Wi-Fi use of the 5.9 GHz band without impacting DSRC safety efficacy. This finding provides the necessary technical foundation for policy in an important frequency band, and provides a valuable case study for rigorous analysis in spectrum sharing scenarios more generally.”

The paper was written by Yimin Pang from the University of Colorado Boulder Department of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering and Joey Padden and Rob Alderfer of CableLabs. The paper is scheduled to be presented next week at the Research Conference on Communications, Information and Internet Policy in Washington.

Courtesy TRDaily

2.9% of Cell Sites Down From Hurricane Florence

The FCC said in a Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) report released this afternoon that 2.9% of cell sites in a 99-county impacted area of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia were out of service as of 11 a.m. due to Hurricane Florence. The report said that 5.7% of cell sites in North Carolina were out, 0.3% of sites in South Carolina, 0.1% of sites in Georgia, and no sites in Virginia. The report said that all public safety answering points were operational in the impacted area.

As for cable and wireline service, it said that 66,889 customers had lost service in North Carolina, 1,470 in South Carolina, six in Georgia, and none in Virginia. Two TV stations were out of service while two FM radio stations were down and their programming were sent to other stations, and 11 FM radio stations were out of service. No AM radio stations were out of service.

Courtesy TRDaily

Muni Member of BDAC Group Slams Draft Small Cell Item

The FCC’s draft declaratory ruling and third report and order that would establish new shot clocks for state and local governments to address applications to install small cell facilities and would treat violations of the shot clocks as a “presumptive prohibition” on the provision of services ignores the “minority report” filed by local government representatives on the regulatory barriers working group of the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, one of those local government representatives has told the FCC.

The draft item, which is tentatively slated for a vote at the FCC’s Sept. 26 meeting, says that “while we do not adopt a ‘deemed granted’ remedy for violations of our new shot clocks, we clarify that failing to issue a decision up or down during this time period is not simply a ‘failure to act’ within the meaning of applicable law. Rather, missing the deadline also constitutes a presumptive prohibition. We would thus expect any locality that misses the deadline to issue any necessary permits or authorizations without further delay. We also anticipate that a provider would have a strong case for quickly obtaining an injunction from a court that compels the issuance of all permits in these types of cases” (TR Daily, Sept. 5).

In an ex parte letter filed today in WT 17-49 and 17-84, McAllen, Texas, City Attorney Kevin Pagan criticized the way the draft item incorporates some BDAC working group perspectives and omits others.

“I am filing this letter to share my disappointment with the way the work of the group was reported in the Federal Communications Commission’s draft Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order (‘Draft Order’) which is scheduled for a vote on September 26, 2018. Neither I, nor the other local government representatives on that working group, agreed with the Barriers Working Group’s conclusions, and independently developed a minority report to express our objections in detail. The majority of the working group minimized local government input into their report and voted to exclude our minority report from the documents delivered to the full BDAC. Nevertheless, we filed that minority report with the Commission, and it remains part of the record underlying the BDAC’s work. I believe that fairness dictates that in the repeated references to the Barriers Working Group report, there should be at least a single note that there exists a Local Government Minority Report,” Mr. Pagan said.

He added, “Adoption of a report by the BDAC does not seem to be required for inclusion in the Draft Order, either. It references the Rates and Fees working group’s draft report, which the BDAC has not adopted. And it cites that draft report for its page ‘listing “Local Government Perspectives,”’ yet makes no mention of local governments’ minority report.”

Mr. Pagan said, “To the extent the Commission cites BDAC materials, it should also acknowledge the dissenting views included in the BDAC’s record, particularly when referencing local government perspectives, which have been consistently minimized throughout the BDAC’s process and working group reports.” —Lynn Stanton, lynn.stanton@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily