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April 27, 2006

Better Communication in Disasters – End of Round One

The comment deadline for the petition Jeff Pulver and I filed to mitigate some of the effects of disasters like Hurricane Katrina have on real people is today.  You can view the comments filed here.

Disappointingly the comments filed by Verizon, BellSouth, Sprint, and the National Telecommunication Cooperative Association (industry trade group) are all negative.  Very well formatted and filed by attorneys but all negative.

Of course we will study them thoroughly and answer them in much more detail.  However, the gist of their objections seems to be:

  1. Everything worked well in Katrina (as far as communications were concerned) so we ought to just leave things they way they are (yeah, right).
  2. Every disaster is different so it doesn’t make any sense to do any advance planning.
  3. Our systems can’t do what’s needed (I hate to be a defender of obsolete technology but their systems can whether they know it or not.  It’s easy to do what’s needed with VoIP but VoIP isn’t needed to do what’s asked).
  4. This is being studied by committees which won’t finish in time for this hurricane season so let’s not rush anything.

Thanks to all of you who filed in support of the petition.

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