Updated: Mar 3
State and Federal Agencies would have read-only access to confidential data
February 7, 2020
Background: The Commission supports our country’s incident preparedness and emergency response efforts by, inter alia, collecting and providing accurate and timely communications outage and infrastructure status information via its Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) and Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS). The Commission’s experience with recent major outages—from the 2017 hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding, to power shutdowns in California and the latest earthquakes in Puerto Rico—underscores the value of reliable and timely outage information to the rapid restoration of disrupted communications and the crucial role that state and other government authorities play in that restoration.
This Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would propose a framework to provide state and federal agencies with access to outage information to improve their situational awareness, enhance their ability to respond more quickly to outages impacting their communities, and help save lives, while also preserving the confidentiality of this data.
What the Second Further Notice Would Do:
• Propose to provide direct, read-only access to NORS and DIRS filings to qualified agencies of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Tribal nations, territories, and federal government. • Propose to allow these agencies to share NORS and DIRS information with other public safety officials that reasonably require NORS and DIRS information to prepare for and respond to disasters.
• Propose to allow participating agencies to publicly disclose NORS or DIRS filing information that is aggregated and anonymized across at least four service providers.
• Propose to condition a participating agency’s direct access to NORS and DIRS filings on their agreement to treat the filings as confidential and not disclose them absent a finding by the Commission that allows them to do so.
• Propose to establish an application process that would grant agencies access to NORS and DIRS after those agencies certify to certain requirements related to maintaining confidentiality of the data and the security of the databases. https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-362365A1.pdf
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