Copps: FCC Needs to Better Address its Homeland Security Role

The FCC, which by federal law is responsible for public safety as it relates to communications, is falling short of meeting its responsibilities, said FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, during a rousing speech at the NTCA show yesterday. But the agency is working to correct that, he said.

“We meaning us and the government dont have our act together yet” but everyone is working on it through a Blue Ribbon Panel, he said.

“There may be attempts by some to sweep what caused the communications” problems faced during the recent floods in the southeast “under the rug,” but he urged the involved parties talk about those issues openly.

Copps also emphasized the importance of the FCC’s role in U.S national security. The FCC, he said, should play an integrator role in emergency communications bringing together interests from various local, state and federal entities from the public and private sectors to ensure a more integrated approach to communications in the event of disasters.

But the FCC cannot step into this vital emergency integration role if it conducts “business as usual, so we need to push, push, push to keep Homeland Security at the forefront,” Copps said, adding “Can you imagine what would happen if we had an attack on rural America?”


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