National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) Legislative and Regulatory Task Force: Federal Support to Telecommunications Infrastructure Providers in National Emergencies [open pdf - 118KB]
Alternate Title: Designation as 'Emergency Responders (Private Sector)'
"The President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC), in recognition of the importance of protecting and restoring vital services following natural or man-made disasters, is charged with providing the President 'advice in the identification and solution of problems which the Committee considers will affect national security telecommunications capability.' On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana, as a Category 4 hurricane and battered the Gulf Coast region of the United States. Most notably, the storm surge breached the levees that protected New Orleans from Lake Pontchartrain, and most of the city was subsequently flooded by the lake's waters. In addition, the Mississippi Gulf Coast was devastated. The storm and ensuing flooding resulted in severe damage to the wireline and wireless communications infrastructure throughout the area. Electric power no longer functioned, switches were damaged by flooding, and critical personnel could not gain access to many sites. Because of the storm's unprecedented destruction to the infrastructure, recovery and restoration teams were faced with numerous challenges. Civil unrest that arose in the wake of the disaster seriously impeded recovery and restoration efforts. The NSTAC examined the response to Hurricane Katrina and the implications of that response for vital national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) communications. The Federal Government recognizes the significance of the telecommunications infrastructure in providing essential communications during and after a natural disaster or terrorist attack."
National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC): http://www.ncs.gov/nstac/