FCC Working to Provide Communications Help to Haiti

Commission assessing country's satellite, wireless, wireline needs
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The FCC is working to provide communications help to Haiti in the
wake of the devastating earthquake there, according to an e-mail to staff from
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Friday (Jan. 15).

While the e-mail did not detail those efforts, International
Bureau Chief Mindel De La Torre did in a
blog posting

In addition to waiving the rules against noncommercial
stations raising money on-air for anyone other than themselves, those efforts
include talking with USAID about relief and restoration on the
telecommunications front, offering immediate and long-term assistance to their
Haitian counterparts, reaching out to Haitian communications providers to
assess the needs for satellite, wireless, wireline, submarine and broadcast
communications both within the country and with the U.S.

The FCC says it is establishing a group of agency experts to
look at technical solutions to various communications problems there.

In his memo to staff, a copy of which was supplied to B&C, the chairman included links to
Web sites for the Red Cross, Unicef and the Center for International Disaster
Information for those wishing to donate money, goods or services, and said the
FCC's meeting room would be open midday "for those who want to come
together for silent reflection."

And in an unsilent reflection, he added: "Our thoughts
and prayers go out to the Haitian people and their relatives in the United States
and around the world."