The FCC's report on Derecho storm-related communications
problems takes aim at wireless and wired phone companies for avoidable
disruptions, but it has nothing but good things to say about broadcasters' role
in continuing to be first informers, according to a source familiar with the
Echoing many of the points made by broadcasters themselves
in comments on the storm, it says: "The key role broadcasters played
during and following the Derecho should also be recognized...As in many times
of crisis, broadcasters served as first informers, providing the information on
the storm's path, the damage it caused." It points out that people without
power could still receive radio and TV broadcasters with battery-powered devices.
It also points out that 911 call centers took advantage of
that fact by working with broadcasters to update the status of 911 service and
ways to obtain emergency assistance.
The FCC is expected to release the report Thursday morning, along
with a proposal to boost 911 reliability.