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CFO Jimmy Patronis: FCC Report Underscores Vital Need for Post-Disaster Telecommunication Improvements

5/16/2019

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 16, 2019
Contact: Katie Strickland, 850.413.2842, Katie.Strickland@myfloridacfo.com
Devin Galetta, 850.413.2842, devin.galetta@myfloridacfo.com

CFO Jimmy Patronis: FCC Report Underscores Vital Need for Post-Disaster Telecommunication Improvements

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Following the historic landfall of Hurricane Michael in the Florida Panhandle in October 2018, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis urged the FCC to recommend best practices to pre-position equipment so companies are prepared to make repairs quickly after a hurricane passes, sending a letter and speaking with FCC Chairman Pai regarding the detrimental impact to telecommunications. The FCC recently released a report outlining failures in restoration of telecommunications services post-storm.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “The FCC report released outlines what the Panhandle already knew: when communications systems fail, first responders and people are cut off. I spoke with Chairman Pai after the storm and asked for industry wide measures to prevent downed communications for long periods of time.
 
“Having dealt with Hurricanes Hermine, Matthew, Irma and now Michael over the past nearly three years, we must better coordinate at every level—not just local, state, and federal government, but private and public entities as well. This report outlines exactly what I called for in October: wireless carriers MUST pre-position equipment to help save lives and aid first responders in recovery efforts. Additionally, by opening roaming agreements in the aftermath of a disaster, residents will be able to call for help and connect with their loved ones. Effective communication is necessary to save lives, and I’m calling on all telecoms carriers to step up and improve recovery response, redundancies, and forward thinking strategies. It’s time disaster resiliency extends to wireless carriers.”
 
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About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).