H.R. 588, the “Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act”

This item will be of interest to radio amateurs interested in disaster communication:

https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr588/BILLS-115hr588ih.xml

115th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 588

To direct the Federal Communications Commission to conduct a study on network resiliency during times of emergency, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 17, 2017

Mr. Pallone introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To direct the Federal Communications Commission to conduct a study on network resiliency during times of emergency, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act”.

SEC. 2. Study on network resiliency.

Not later than 36 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall submit to Congress, and make publically available on the Commission’s website, a study on the public safety benefits and technical feasibility and cost of—

(1) making telecommunications service provider-owned WiFi access points, and other communications technologies operating on unlicensed spectrum, available to the general public for access to 9–1–1 services, without requiring any login credentials, during times of emergency when mobile service is unavailable;

(2) the provision by non-telecommunications service provider-owned WiFi access points of public access to 9–1–1 services during times of emergency when mobile service is unavailable; and

(3) other alternative means of providing the public with access to 9–1–1 services during times of emergency when mobile service is unavailable.

SEC. 3. Access to essential service providers during federally declared emergencies.

Section 427(a)(1)(A) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5189e(a)(1)(A)) is amended by striking “telecommunications service” and inserting “wireline or mobile telephone service, Internet access service, radio or television broadcasting, cable service, or direct broadcast satellite service”.

SEC. 4. Definitions.

As used in this Act—

(1) the term “Commission” means the Federal Communications Commission;

(2) the term “mobile service” means commercial mobile service (as defined in section 332 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 332)) or commercial mobile data service (as defined in section 6001 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (47 U.S.C. 1401));

(3) the term “WiFi access point” means wireless Internet access using the standard designated as 802.11 or any variant thereof; and

(4) the term “times of emergency” means either an emergency as defined in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122), or an emergency as declared by the governor of a State or territory of the United States.

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