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FCC, CISA Issue Guidelines for State Communication Networks

Designed to keep emergency lines open during coronavirus pandemic

WASHINGTON—The FCC and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) sent a joint letter to governors that stressed the importance of providing the necessary access and resources to communications workers striving to keep Americans connected during the coronavirus pandemic.

The letter, which was signed by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and CISA Director Christoper Krebs, offered a number of guidelines that states can follow to ensure that communications open during these times.

Areas covered in the letter include: 

  • Recent guidance from CISA related to the infrastructure workforce and 911 centers during the pandemic; 
  • Asks that certain communications industry entities and personnel be declared essential to the pandemic response and afforded all appropriate access and resources;
  • Asks that states consider prioritizing the distribution of PPE to communications personnel when available;
  • Underscores the role of various communications personnel in supporting remote emergency communications needs;
  • Encourages collaboration between industry and government on prioritizing and completing communications infrastructure and next-gen 911 projects; and
  • Calls on states to facilitate the maintenance, repair and provisioning of communications infrastructure and services with online access to relevant government functions where not already available electronically

“We urge state leaders, who are playing a critical role in protecting their communities, to consider the recommendations we are making today to ensure that communications networks and services remain available to the public and first responders,” said Pai.

The full letter is available online.

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