WASHINGTON - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission needs to make improvements in several areas, including cyber security, as it prepares to deal with national emergencies, top officials said on Tuesday.
The FCC conducted a 30-day review of the agency's ability to respond to national emergencies such as an attack or natural disasters.
During emergencies, the FCC's primary mission is to ensure that essential communications networks and services are operable, reliable, and quickly restored, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said.
Jamie Barnett, head of the agency's public safety and homeland security bureau and Genachowski, pledged to work more closely with other government agencies to ensure phone lines and networks are operable if there were to be an attack in the United States, a pandemic outbreak, or other disasters.
FCC officials said the agency has established a cyber security working group that would work with network providers to find weak spots and prevent attacks on government and private-sector networks.
Genachowski ordered the review even though the Federal Emergency Management Agency would take the lead role in responding to emergencies. (Reporting by John Poirier, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)