FCC Makes Homeland Security Bureau Official
September 26, 2006 at 6:09 AM (PT)
The FCC has released its order forming a new Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. The order makes formal the move adopted on MARCH 17. Chairman KEVIN MARTIN, in a statement issued with the order, said the new bureau "will enhance the Commission’s ability to continue ensuring public safety priorities are met and that consumers have access to reliable communications during emergencies and crises. The new Bureau’s coordinated efforts with the public safety community, other governmental agencies, and industry should also promote reliability, interoperability, redundancy, and rapid restorability of the nation’s critical communications infrastructure."
It is an important first step. We should have taken it four and a half years ago.
In his statement, Commissioner MICHAEL COPPS said, "My hope is that when we look back on this proposed reorganization years down the road, it will be seen as the first step in putting the FCC out front, where it long should have been, in providing communications security for all Americans in this dangerous age. It’s been almost five years since the tragedy of 9/11, and we know this: AMERICA is not as ready as it could be for the next attack should that awful day come -- and many experts believe it will indeed come.
"The FCC should be front and center when it comes to safeguarding this nation’s communications security. To the extent we aren’t, we fail our charge. I am not now, and never have been, in favor of waiting for others to do our job. And it strikes me today, looking back at his commendable leadership in the aftermath of last year’s hurricane season, that Chairman MARTIN isn’t, either. I know he and my other colleagues are deeply committed to the road we head down today. This reorganization, once put in place, provides a framework for action. It is an important first step. We should have taken it four and a half years ago. But now the task is to move forward because there is such an incredible amount of work to do, and because we are talking about challenges to our very safety and survival."