Friday, September 18, 2015

FCC Proposal Seeks Outage Reports for Submarine Cables

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering new rules that would require submarine cable licensees to report significant outages to the FCC. Licensees currently only report outages on an ad hoc basis, so the FCC only has limited data.

The FCC notes that there are approximately 60 primary submarine cables that connect the mainland U.S. and Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. territories, as well as between the U.S. and the rest of the world.

Under the new proposal, submarine cable licensees report would be required to report major outages (i.e. outages involving either lost connectivity or degradation of 50 percent or more of an undersea cable’s capacity for periods of at least 30 minutes, regardless of whether the cable’s traffic is re-routed) to the agency’s Network Outage Reporting System (NORS). The Commission also seeks comment on how the agency can improve submarine cable deployment processes generally.

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