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Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

DA 98-2235
November 3, 1998

NOVEMBER 16, 1998

The Federal Communications Commission will host a Forum entitled, "Year 2000: Maintaining Emergency Response Communications." The Forum is scheduled for Monday, November 16, 1998, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., in the Commission meeting room, Room 856, 1919 M Street, N.W.,Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by the FCC Year 2000 Task Force, the Forum will examine implications of the Year 2000 and related computer date change problems (sometimes called Y2K problems) for the various segments of the emergency response communications system, from the initial alert, through dispatch of emergency units, to communications at the scene, and finally, to activation of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). An initial scenario, illustrating the communications elements involved in a response to a major emergency, will focus on the mechanisms for handling incoming alert calls (including 911 calls), the processing of such calls by the Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), the dispatch of police, fire, emergency medical, and other mobile units and the related transmission of alerts through broadcast, cablecast, and EAS facilities.

At the Forum, panels will make presentations covering each communications segment of the emergency response system, potential threats to those segments from Y2K problems, and possible strategies to address these threats. In addition, the Commission will invite representatives from public safety groups, trade associations, equipment manufacturers, wireline carriers, broadcasters, cablecasters, and telecommunications end-users to participate in the Forum and to pass worthwhile information to their respective groups. The Forum will facilitate information sharing about these Y2K problems among equipment manufacturers, carriers, service providers, and end users.

The objectives of the Forum are (1) to emphasize the importance of ensuring the proper functioning of emergency communications links notwithstanding the threats posed by Y2K problems; (2) to warn about hidden Y2K problems that could affect the functioning of emergency communications systems; and (3) to persuade larger members of the emergency response community, that are already engaged in Y2K compliance, to convey the importance of these problems to smaller emergency response entities.

This forum is open to the public. Seating will be available on a first come, first served basis. A transcript of the forum will be available approximately 10 days later on the FCC's Internet site. The FCC's Y2K Internet Home Page is found at http://www.fcc.gov/year2000/.

The forum will also be carried live on the Internet. Internet users may listen to the real-time audio feed by accessing the FCC Internet Audio Broadcast Home Page. Step-by-step instructions on how to listen to the broadcast as well as information regarding the necessary equipment and software are available on the FCC Internet Audio Broadcast Home Page. The URL address for this home page is http://www.fcc.gov/realaudio/. Audio and video tapes of the forum may be purchased from Infocus, 341 Victory Drive, Herndon, VA 20170, by calling their office at (703) 834-0100 or by sending a fax to Infocus at (703) 834-0111.

News Media Contact: Audrey Spivack (202) 418-0500; aspivack@fcc.gov.
Year 2000 Task Force Contact: Stan Trost (202) 418-7573; strost@fcc.gov.