U.S. House Passes Bill Aimed at Improving Disaster Information Reporting System
Friday, September 25, 2020 | Comments

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would direct the FCC to issue reports after activation of the Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) and to make improvements to network outage reporting.

HR 5918 would direct the FCC to issue a preliminary report following an activation of the DIRS, including information on the number and duration of any outages of internet and mobile services and the approximate number of users affected by such outages. The FCC must then conduct at least one public field hearing in affected communities and issue a final report that includes recommendations on how to improve the resiliency of affected communications or networks recovery efforts.

Additionally, the act would direct the FCC to initiate a rulemaking to determine under what circumstances it should require mobile services providers to alert public-safety answering points (PSAPs) regarding disruptions to their mobile service.

The bill must now be approved by the Senate. Find more information on the bill here.

“NENA strongly supports improvement of the Federal Communications Commission’s outage reporting and preparation functions,” said Dan Henry, National Emergency Number Association (NENA) regulatory counsel and director of government affairs. “Disaster-related outages occur on regular basis, and both public safety and industry must adapt intelligently to save lives. This requires coordination, and we applaud the efforts of Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), and Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) to improve 9-1-1’s situational awareness through the Emergency Reporting Act.”

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