FCC to Host Earthquake Communications Preparedness Forum

Will feature input from emergency response officials, reps from White House, DHS, FEMA
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In the wake of Japan's disastrous earthquake and tsunami,
the FCC is hosting an earthquake communications preparedness forum May 3 in
Washington.

The forum will feature input from emergency response
officials and host representatives from the White House, Department of Homeland
Security, FEMA, the United States Geological Survey (USGS), and the FCC, along
with a representative from the Japanese Embassy.

A focus of the forum will be to review communications
policies and procedures that should be in place to respond to the potential
impact of a quake on communications networks and services.

Lined up to weigh in are: David Applegate, senior science
advisor for earthquake and geologic hazards, USGS; William Carwile, associate
administrator, response and recovery, for FEMA; Paul Hogue, assistant executive
director, Central United States Earthquake Consortium; Karen Wong, deputy
director, Public Safety Communications Office, California Technology Agency;
Pete Simpson, SVP, Trilogy Communications, and Jeffery Goldthorp, associate
chief, Communications Reliability, at the FCC. 

One of the things not yet in place is a nationwide,
interoperable public safety communications network. Numerous legislators are
working on giving the FCC the authority to auction spectrum, including
broadcast spectrum, to help pay for that network. On the same day the FCC is
holding its forum, the Senate Commerce Committee is holding a hearing on
natural disaster preparedness plans including legislation
sponsored by
Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D- W. Va.)
that would create and fund that
network through incentive auctions.

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