As Hurricane Florence nears the Carolina coast and forecasters predict significant flooding and outages, many of our clients in North and South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia likely are busy preparing for the storm. We remind those clients in Florence’s path of federal outage reporting obligations.
If you participate in the voluntary Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS), the FCC has activated the system for certain counties in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, and requests daily DIRS updates, beginning today, for the duration of the activation. For DIRS participants, Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) reporting obligations are suspended for the duration of the DIRS activation in the identified counties.
All communications providers, including wireline, wireless, paging, cable, satellite, Signaling System 7, and interconnected VoIP service providers, must report information in NORS about significant disruptions or outages to their communications systems that meet certain thresholds. In addition, communications providers must report on disruptions affecting 9-1-1 facilities and airports.
Local Exchange Carriers must report an outage to the FCC if the duration of the outage is at least 30 minutes AND the number of “user minutes” potentially affected per outage is equal to or greater than 900,000. “User minutes” are determined by calculating the number of end users potentially affected by the outage times the duration of the outage.
If your company experiences a reportable outage, FCC rules require three separate reports to be filed with the FCC:
- Notification within two hours after discovery of a reportable outage;
- A more detailed initial outage report within 72 hours; and,
- A final outage report within 30 days.
If you need assistance with outage reporting, please contact Marty Kluh in the Maryland office at 301-459-7590. Our thoughts are with everyone in the hurricane’s path, and JSI stands ready to help in any way we can.