[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 32 (Friday, February 15, 2002)]
[Pages 7178-7179]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-3696]



Network Reliability and Interoperability Council

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, this 
notice advises interested persons of the first meeting of the Network 
Reliability and Interoperability Council (Council) under its charter 
renewed as of December 26, 2001. The meeting will be held at the 
Federal Communications Commission in Washington, DC.

DATES: Monday, March 22, 2002 at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

ADDRESSES: Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th St. SW, Room TW-
C305, Washington, DC.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeffery Goldthorp at 202-418-1096 or 
TTY 202-418-2989.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Council was established by the Federal 
Communications Commission to bring together leaders of the 
telecommunications industry and telecommunications experts from 
academic, consumer and other organizations to explore and recommend 
measures that would enhance network reliability.
    The Council will discuss the modifications that have been made to 
the Council's charter and how those modifications should be addressed, 
and any additional issues that may come before it. The amended charter 
is attached to this document.
    Members of the general public may attend the meeting. The Federal 
Communications Commission will attempt to accommodate as many people as 
possible. Admittance, however, will be limited to the seating 
available. The public may submit written comments before the meeting to 
Jeffery Goldthorp, the Commission's Designated Federal Officer for the 
Network Reliability and Interoperability Council, by email 
([email protected]) or U.S. mail (7-A325, 445 12th St. SW, Washington, 
DC 20554). Real Audio and streaming video Access to the meeting will be 
available at http://www.fcc.gov/

Federal Communications Commission.
William F. Caton,
Acting Secretary.

Charter of the Network Reliability and Interoperability Council

A. The Committee's Official Designation

    The official designation of the advisory committee will be the 
``Network Reliability and Interoperability Council.''

B. The Committee's Objective and Scope of Its Activity

    The purposes of the Committee are to give telecommunications 
industry leaders the opportunity to provide recommendations to the FCC 
and to the industry that, if implemented, would under all reasonably 
foreseeable circumstances assure optimal reliability and 
interoperability of wireless, wireline, satellite, and cable public 
telecommunications networks. This includes facilitating the 
reliability, robustness, security, and interoperability of public 
telecommunications networks. The scope encompasses recommendations that 
would ensure the security and sustainability of public 
telecommunications networks throughout the United States; ensure the 
availability of adequate public telecommunications capacity during 
events or periods of exceptional stress due to natural disaster, 
terrorist attacks or similar occurrences; and facilitating the rapid 
restoration of telecommunications services in the event of widespread 
or major disruptions in the provision of telecommunications services. 
The Committee will address topics in the following areas:
1. Homeland Security
    (A) Prevention. The Committee will assess vulnerabilities in the 
public telecommunications networks and the Internet and determine how 
best to address those vulnerabilities to prevent disruptions that would 
otherwise result from terrorist activities, natural disasters, or 
similar types of occurrences.
    (1) In this regard, the Committee will conduct a survey of current 
practices by wireless, wireline, satellite, and cable 
telecommunications services providers and Internet service providers 
that address the Homeland Defense concerns articulated above.
    (2) By December 31, 2002 the Committee will issue a report 
identifying areas for attention and describing best practices, with 
checklists, that should be followed to prevent disruptions of public 
telecommunications services and the Internet from terrorist activities, 
natural disasters, or similar types of occurrences.
    (B) Restoration. The Committee will report on current disaster 
recovery mechanisms, techniques, and best practices and develop any 
additional best practices, mechanisms, and techniques that are 
necessary, or desirable, to more effectively restore telecommunications 
services and Internet services disruptions arising from terrorist 
activities, natural disasters, or similar types of occurrences.
    (1) The Committee will report on the viability of any past or 
present mutual aid agreements and develop, and report on, any 
additional perspectives that may be appropriate to facilitate effective 
telecommunications services restorations. The Committee will issue this 
report within six (6) months after its first meeting.
    (2) The Committee will issue a report containing best practices 
recommendations, and recommended mechanisms and techniques (including 
checklists), for disaster recovery and service restoration. The 
Committee will issue this report within twelve (12) months of its first 
    (3) The Committee will prepare and institute mechanisms for 
maintaining and distributing contact information for telecommunications 
industry personnel who are, or may be, essential to effective 
telecommunications service and

[[Page 7179]]

Internet restoration efforts within six (6) months of the first meeting 
of the Committee.
    (C) Public Safety. The Committee will explore and report on such 
actions as may be necessary or desirable to ensure that commercial 
telecommunications services networks (including wireless, wireline, 
satellite, and cable public telecommunications networks) can meet the 
special needs of public safety emergency communications, including 
means to prioritize, as appropriate, public safety usage of commercial 
services during emergencies.
2. Network Reliability
    (A) The Committee will prepare and provide recommended requirements 
for network reliability and network reliability measurements for 
wireline, wireless, satellite, and cable public telecommunications 
networks, and for reliability measurements for the Internet, for 
reporting within twelve (12) months of the Committee's first meeting.
    (B) The Committee will evaluate, and report on, the reliability of 
public telecommunications network services in the United States, 
including the reliability of router, packet, and circuit-switched 
    (C) During the charter of a previous Committee, interested 
participants recommended that the FCC adopt a voluntary reporting 
program in conjunction with the National Communications System, to 
gather outage data for those telecommunications and information service 
providers not currently required to report outages to the Commission, 
and voluntary reporting was initiated. The Committee shall: (i) analyze 
the data obtained from the voluntary trial; and (ii) report on the 
efficacy of that process and the information obtained therefrom.
    (D) Should the Commission initiate an inquiry or rulemaking with 
respect to any of the above-mentioned issues, the Committee will make 
formal recommendations as a part of such proceeding(s).
3. Network Interoperability
    The Committee will prepare analyses and, where appropriate, make 
recommendations for improving interoperability among networks to 
achieve the objectives that are contained in Section 256 of the 
Telecommunications Act of 1996, with particular emphasis on ensuring 
``the ability of users and information providers to seamlessly and 
transparently transmit and receive information between and across 
telecommunications networks.''
4. Broadband Deployment
    The Committee will make recommendations concerning the need for 
technical standards to ensure the compatibility and deployment of 
broadband technologies and services, and will evaluate the need for 
improvements in the reliability of broadband technologies and services.
5. Other Topics
    (A) The Committee will make recommendations with respect to such 
additional topics as the Commission may specify. These topics may 
include requests for recommendations and technical advice on 
interoperability issues that may arise from convergence and digital 
packet networks, and how the Commission may best fulfill its 
responsibilities, particularly with respect to national defense and 
safety of life and property (including law enforcement) under the 
Communications Act.
    (B) The Committee will assemble data and other information, perform 
analyses, and provide recommendations and advice to the Federal 
Communications Commission and the telecommunications industry 
concerning the foregoing.

C. Period of Time Necessary for the Committee To Carry Out Its Purpose

    The Committee will require two years to carry out the purposes for 
which it has created.

D. Official to Whom the Committee Reports

    The Committee will report to the Chairman, Federal Communications 

E. Agency Responsible for Providing Necessary Support

    The Federal Communications Commission will provide the necessary 
support for the Committee, including the facilities needed for the 
conduct of the meetings of the committee. Private sector members of the 
committee will serve without any government compensation and will not 
be entitled to travel expenses or per diem or subsistence allowances.

F. Description of the Duties for Which the Committee Is Responsible

    The duties of the Committee will be to gather the data and 
information necessary to prepare studies, reports, and recommendations 
for assuring optimal network reliability and restoration of damaged, or 
impaired, telecommunications services within the parameters set forth 
in Section B, above. The Committee will also monitor future 
developments to ensure that network interoperability and network 
reliability are not at risk.

G. Estimated Annual Operating Costs in Dollars and Staff Years

    Estimated staff years that will be expended by the Committee are 
three (3) for the FCC staff and 12 for private sector and other 
governmental representatives. The estimated annual cost to the FCC of 
operating the committee is $200,000.

H. Estimated Number and Frequency of Committee Meetings

    The Committee will meet at least two times per year. Informal 
subcommittees may meet more frequently to facilitate the work of the 

I. Committee's Termination Date

    The Committee will terminate January 6, 2004.

J. Date Original Charter Filed

    January 6, 1992.

[FR Doc. 02-3696 Filed 2-14-02; 8:45 am]