Rulemaking Regarding Emergency Disaster Relief Program

 

 

The CPUC established R.18-03-011 to adopt an emergency disaster relief program for entities under its jurisdiction.

The Docket Card provides links to all of the documents in this proceeding.

 

Ensuring Resilient Communications Networks

On Nov. 13, 2019, the CPUC announced Actions to Hold Communications Companies Accountable and Increase Public Safety.

 

On March 6, 2020 - President Marybel Batjer issued proposals for maintaining resilient and dependable communications networks during catastrophic events that will better aid emergency responders and ensure the public’s ability to reliably communicate and receive critical information. This included proposals to require 72 hours of backup power, to share critical infrastructure location information with emergency responders, and developing uniform protocols for responding to disasters.

The proposals are an effort to develop a uniform and structured approach for ensuring communications providers are meeting every facet of their responsibility to provide safe and reliable service to Californians in future disasters. The proposals cover three overarching areas of concern:

  1. Ensuring Resiliency in Communications Provider Networks: Proposes that providers have on-site emergency backup power to support all essential communications equipment necessary to maintain service for a minimum of 72 hours immediately following a power outage. Service must be sufficient to maintain access for all customers to 911 service, to receive emergency notifications, and to access web browsing for emergency notices. 
  2. Critical Facility Location Information Sharing: Proposes that providers annually submit to the CPUC GIS information with the specific location of network facilities and backhaul routes. The CPUC would share this information with state and local emergency responders ahead of a disaster to improve their situational awareness, plan fire lines, defend these vital facilities against wildfire damage, and aid in restoration where damage occurs. Further, knowing the location of cell sites, including whether sites are operational, will enhance the ability of emergency responders to effectively target the distribution of emergency alerts.  
  3. Emergency Operations Plans: Proposes that providers submit Emergency Operations Plans to the CPUC and that the plans are shared with the relevant emergency responders. Additionally, proposes providers take necessary steps to prepare for a disaster and communicate critical outage information to emergency responders and the public in times of disaster.

The Assigned Commissioner’s Ruling with the proposals is available at: http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/SearchRes.aspx?docformat=ALL&docid=328685793.

The Media Advisory is available at: http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M328/K859/328859235.PDF.

 

Comments on Assigned Commissioner's Ruling and Proposal:

 


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