Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and a 2020 Wash100 Award winner, and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai have asked governors through a joint letter to provide the communications industry and its workers access to resources as they work to continue to keep citizens connected during the coronavirus pandemic.
FCC said Tuesday that Krebs and Pai called on state leaders to consider reviewing CISA’s updated guidance on 911 centers and essential critical infrastructure workforce during the pandemic.
They also asked governors to declare certain communications infrastructure and entities essential to COVID-19 response efforts, distribute personal protective equipment to communications personnel, understand the role of customer service employees in communications retail sector in addressing clients’ remote emergency communications needs and facilitate repair and maintenance of communications services and infrastructure.
“As our nation continues to respond to COVID-19, our ability to maintain reliable and consistent communication is vital,” Krebs said. “We commend industry on making the investments to ensure the nation’s telecommunications infrastructure was ready for this moment and CISA is committed to ensuring the sector has the support and resources needed to continue operating.”
Government and industry should collaborate on next-generation 911 projects and communications network infrastructure.
“We urge state leaders, who are playing a critical role in protecting their communities, to consider the recommendations we are making today to ensure that communications networks and services remain available to the public and first responders,” Pai said.