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Resilient Networks Act Introduced

Legislation focused on restoring communications following disasters.

February 20, 2020 Washington, D.C.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee member Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) earlier this week introduced the Reinforcing and Evaluating Service Integrity, Local Infrastructure, and Emergency Notification for Today’s Networks Act (H.R. 5926), or the RESILIENT Networks Act, a bill to improve network resiliency in times of emergency.

“Ensuring the resiliency and reliability of communications networks is critical to keeping Americans safe during emergencies.  This is particularly important with the growing threat of disasters intensified by climate change.  Resilient communications networks can mean the difference between life and death during and after a storm or wildfire,” Pallone and McNerney said.  “Our bill requires the creation of stronger, enforceable protections for consumers.  This will ensure that Americans have access to vital and lifesaving communications service before, during and after major disasters.  We look forward to moving this bill through the Committee process soon.”

The RESILIENT Networks Act requires pre-planned coordination among providers of advanced communications service to take effect during times of emergency, including roaming and mutual aid arrangements.  It improves coordination between communications providers, 9-1-1 operators and public safety entities.  The legislation also includes mechanisms to ensure first responders are provided network outage data to help guide disaster response.In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, Pallone authored the SANDy Act, which was signed into law in 2018 as part of the RAY BAUM’S Act, to help ensure the resiliency of communications networks during emergencies.  The RESILIENT Networks Act builds on the SANDy Act.

Section-by-Section summary available HERE.

Bill text available HERE.

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