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Friday, March 5th, 2021

House advances bill that seeks to improve outage, disaster information reporting

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The U.S. House of Representatives advanced legislation last week that would direct the Federal Communications Commission to issue reports after activation of the Disaster Information Reporting System and make improvements to network outage reporting.

The passage of the Emergency Reporting Act (HR 5918), introduced by Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), was commended by the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), an organization that works to foster the technological advancement, availability, and implementation of a universal emergency telephone number system in the United States.

“America’s 9-1-1 community is encouraged by the U.S. House of Representatives votes this week to ensure a resilient communications network amid the coronavirus pandemic. We commend Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) for their advocacy on behalf on these common-sense, bipartisan improvements to our nation’s telecommunications system,” said Dan Henry, regulatory counsel and director of government affairs for NENA: The 9-1-1 Association.

The bill passed by voice vote in the House on Sept. 21.

“NENA strongly supports improvement of the Federal Communications Commission’s outage reporting and preparation functions. 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,” Henry added.