When Carriers Have Outages, Public Has No Right To Know: FCC

Another outcome of a busy day at the FCC is the decision that wireless and fixed-line US telcos must report service outages to the FCC, but cannot offer these reports to the public. Apparently, the FCC and the carriers believe that outage reports should be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act because knowledge of outages could be used by terrorists, presumably to test and measure the impact of a disruption effort. Come on! Massive service outages are anything but secret information – everyone affected knows about it. What public disclosure or outages really offers is help for consumers to make better choices about their service providers. If the concern is that terrorists could abuse knowledge of an outage to strike in the affected area so as to have a greater terror impact, all we need to do is delay public release of the outage reporting by a week or so. This would still be useful to consumers, and would require carriers to stand behind their record.

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