FCC Chairman Ajit Pai today named the members of the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee’s new disaster response and recovery working group, which he established in July when he added disaster response and recovery issues to the BDAC’s portfolio (TR Daily, July 27).
The working group will be chaired by Red Grasso, the FirstNet state point of contact for North Carolina, who works for the N.C. Department of Information Technology, according to a public notice released today in GN docket 17-83. Jonathan Adelstein, president and chief executive officer of the Wireless Infrastructure Association, who is also a member of the full BDAC, will be the working group’s vice chair.
The group’s members cover a range of industry players as well as a variety of local, state, territorial, and tribal governments and associations, including the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, the Georgia Municipal Association, the National Emergency Management Association, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council, the Puerto Rico Public Service Regulatory Board, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the city of Dallas, and the town of Germantown, Tenn.
The working group “is charged with recommending measures that can be taken to improve the resiliency of broadband infrastructure before a disaster occurs, as well as actions that can be taken to more quickly restore broadband infrastructure following a disaster. Following what he heard on the ground in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, the Chairman has also charged the working group with developing best practices for coordination among wireless providers, backhaul providers, and power companies during and after a disaster,” according to the Chairman’s announcement.
“Recently, I announced that the FCC will comprehensively re-evaluate the agency’s Wireless Resiliency Framework. The BDAC Working Group’s recommendations will be key to this review. We encourage and expect all stakeholders—including government at all levels, power companies, fixed and mobile broadband providers, first responders, and others—to work together to develop ways to harden networks for future disasters and quickly restore communications services,” Chairman Pai added.
In a statement, Mr. Adelstein of WIA said, “I am honored that Chairman Pai has chosen me to be Vice-Chair of this vital working group. Chairman Pai has shown great leadership in working to address proactively the myriad of issues facing communications networks before, during and after emergencies — this effort is another shining example of that leadership. The wireless infrastructure industry has worked long and hard to improve the resiliency of our networks. I look forward to sharing many of these successes with the working group, as well as learning from others on how to build on the work that has been done to ensure wireless networks remain reliable when needed most. I am impressed with the breadth of experience of my colleagues on the Working Group, and the incredible background of Chairman Grasso. I would like to thank Chairman Pai and I look forward to working with the other members of the working group.” —Lynn Stanton, firstname.lastname@example.org