FCC Expands Outage Reporting for Submarine Cables

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Citing inadequacies and inconsistencies in outage reporting and outage response, the FCC has adopted rules
that will require submarine cable licensees to report major outages to the agency’s Network Outage Reporting System (NORS). Other communications providers, including wireline, wireless, and satellite, already report outages to NORS. This reporting system has allowed the FCC to analyze outage trends, spot systemic issues, and work with providers to develop solutions to make communications more resilient and reliable.  In the past, submarine cable licensees have reported outages to the FCC on a voluntary and inconsistent basis and such reports have provided only limited outage information.  There are approximately 60 undersea cables that provide voice, data and Internet service connectivity between the mainland U.S. and Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as the rest of the world.  These cables are deemed vital to America’s economic and national security.

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