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Another Bilirakis Bill Passes the House

July 21, 2021
Press Release

 

Another Bilirakis Bill Passes the House

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Emergency Reporting Act, a bill coauthored by Congressman Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), and Representative Doris Matsui (CA-06) passed the House last night. This bill will improve the resiliency of communications networks during emergencies.

 

As extreme weather events increase in regularity and severity, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has an obligation to assist state and local governments in preparing for, responding to, and learning from major disasters. However, the agency’s response to major disasters has been inconsistent. With wildfires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters on the rise, it is critical that the FCC responds adequately and swiftly to assess emergency communications. By requiring field hearings, reporting, and policy recommendations, the Emergency Reporting Act will help ensure that disasters, regardless of their location, receive the necessary time and resources from the FCC. Additionally, the Emergency Reporting Act would improve standards that require mobile carriers to report network outages to 911 centers. While existing outage reporting requirements exist at the FCC, the notification threshold is high and can lead to situations in which 911 centers are left in the dark about service outages in their territory, jeopardizing public safety.

 

It is vital that we review the communication infrastructure in place after a major weather event to maximize coordinated public safety information during a future crisis,” said Congressman Bilirakis.These systems must be reliable and standardized to allow for an effective response from local, state and federal leaders as they recover. Our legislation helps to ensure we are ready to achieve that paramount goal. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to get this bill across the finish line.”

 

This bill has a bipartisan Senate companion authored by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Richard Burr (R-NC). This legislation is the fourth bill authored by Bilirakis to pass the House this Congress. Additionally, one bill he has authored has already been signed into law this term.