• FCC and USDA Respond to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria
  • October 24, 2017 | Author: Kathleen M. Slattery
  • Law Firm: Keller and Heckman LLP - Washington Office
  • Hurricane Maria has taken down more than 95% of cell sites in Puerto Rico and more than 76% of cell sites in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The FCC was able to collect this data through the FCC’s Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS). The Commission is working closely with service providers and FEMA to resume communications as quickly as possible. This process is complicated by widespread power outages. USDA Rural Development is also focusing on getting utilities back up and running. In addition to providing assistance, USDA announced they are “helping businesses and utilities that are current USDA borrowers by considering requests to defer principal and/or interest payments, and to provide additional temporary loans.”