[opendtv] Re: 11 years after

  • From: Mark Schubin <tvmark@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 06 Nov 2012 12:18:04 -0500

Thanks for asking.

Here's my blog post on the subject:
http://www.schubincafe.com/2012/11/06/borscht-in-pots/

I have heard of no first-responder communications issues. The biggest issues for them seem to have been an inability to get to affected areas due to flooding. That applies to power-restoration crews, too.

Kudos to all rescuers at all levels of government and the public and private sectors. Special kudos to the Army Corps of Engineers pumping teams.

There was no loss of broadcast television service of which I am aware. Several AM radio stations were lost; they are normally located in marshlands to get a good ground plane, so rising waters were a problem. There were no FM losses of which I'm aware, and at least one FM station took on the programming of a flood-shut AM news station.

I know of one affected person who was able to receive broadcast TV (using generator-operated receivers). Otherwise, those who had power generally had cable or satellite reception. Those who had no power had no TV. Rooftop antennas went in the high winds (gusts in excess of 130 MPH reported at one New York City bridge).

As my blog post notes, the main source of information for those affected was battery-powered or crank-up radio receivers. The New York Times reported that the consolidation of New Jersey's public broadcasters into New York- and Philadelphia-based outlets turned out to be not such a great idea in the hardest-hit state. They had almost no mobile facilities or personnel to provide coverage:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/05/business/media/storm-poses-first-big-test-for-njtv.html

And big kudos, too, to the New York Public Library, which provided light, power, Internet access, programming, phones, computers, and even food to some of the hardest-hit areas (it serves Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island; Brooklyn & Queens have their own library systems).

My conclusion: newspapers, radio, wired telephones, and public libraries still have important roles to play in this digital age.

TTFN,
Mark



On 11/6/2012 8:37 AM, Craig Birkmaier wrote:
It has been just over 11 years since the 911 terrorist attacks brought down the World Trade Center, and the TV towers that provided broadcast television for many of the stations in the New York market. While the 911 attack had a profound affect on life in New York in the days after the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, one might argue that Hurricane Sandy has disrupted the lives of many more people over a much larger geographical area.

After the attack in 2001 there were MANY reports about the failure of communications systems, especially those used by emergency responders. These concerns ultimately led to the decision by the FCC to reclaim a large block of spectrum for use by emergency management agencies. For many reasons that block of spectrum remains largely unused, although Congress did pass legislation signed in February assigning the D-Block spectrum to public safety, authorizing $7 billion for the build out of a public safety LTE network, and reclaiming lower frequency bands from public safety in 9-10 years.

http://urgentcomm.com/policy_and_law/news/obama-signs-dblock-law-20120223

In the week since the storm hit there has been significant coverage concerning the number of homes with electric power and communications problems faced by the public in the aftermath - loss of service or congestion on wireless networks, loss of Internet service, etc. But I have not heard much about communications issues for emergency responders, or the role that local TV stations have played in the aftermath.

So I am calling upon our resident expert Mark Schubin, to provide any insights he has about these issues.

Did public safety communications networks and commercial wireless services get the job done this time?

Is broadcast television playing a role in areas that have lost power and cable TV services?

Any insights would be appreciated!

Regards
Craig



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