ATIS on Use of Drones in Disaster Recovery Operations
The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) released a report covering how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or “drones” can be used to restore communications following a disaster. According to the report, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have started being used for several important roles in the process of restoring communications infrastructure. One such role is for UAVs to act as flying cell sites, which can provide mobile cellular coverage as an alternative to ground-based cell towers. UAV-hosted cell sites use antennas attached to the UAV as an alternative to antennas attached to ground-based structures. These cell sites have all the capabilities of a conventional mobile cell, i.e., they add new capacity and are not just relays for available ground-based coverage. UAVs can also be used for providing backhaul and fronthaul connections. They also will have other roles in communication service recovery, such as inspection of infrastructure for damage.
The report introduces some of the ways in which UAVs are being used and explains the technical and logistical considerations. The report may be used by emergency planners and organizations that provide UAV-based communication
“Experience shows that the effort that goes into advanced planning significantly improves the speed and quality of the recovery process,” said ATIS President and CEO Susan Miller. “Considerations presented in this report can help to restore coverage more quickly — whether the outage is caused by non-functioning individual cell sites or wide-spread damage to infrastructure.”
The Regulatory Mix Today: ATIS on Use of Drones in Disaster Recovery Operations, California Bill Would Prohibit Surcharges on Information Services
The California legislature is considering a bill that would prohibit the PUC from collecting, for deposit into any universal service fund, any revenues derived from charges upon the provision of a communications service that the FCC has determined is an information service. The bill would also prohibit the PUC from imposing a utility reimbursement fee that is applicable to the provision of a communications service that the FCC determined is an information service. (The reimbursement account fee is paid by every public utility providing service directly to customers or subscribers and subject to the jurisdiction of the PUC.)
In addition, the PUC recently released a draft decision declining to require surcharge contribution of text messaging services revenue to the Public Purpose Program budget or to assess user fees on text messaging services revenue. The PUC had initially proposed it would require a surcharge on text messaging revenue but due to the recent FCC decision declaring text messaging as an information service, the PUC changed its course.
Inteserra Briefing Service subscribers see FCC Briefing dated 1/9/19.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.