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                                  STATEMENT OF

                        COMMISSIONER ROBERT M. MCDOWELL

   Re: Recommendations of the Independent Panel Reviewing the Impact of
   Hurricane Katrina on Communications Networks (EB Docket No. 06-119)

   In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the FCC worked around the clock to
   bring much needed help and to make available funds to help restore
   communications and provide a lifeline for thousands of Americans. Under
   the leadership of Chairman Martin, the FCC was a model of swift
   governmental response and support in time of need.

   The job of the Independent Panel was to study the effect of Hurricane
   Katrina on all sectors of the telecommunications and media industries, to
   review and critique the recovery effort with respect to the communications
   infrastructure, and to present their findings and recommendations on
   improving disaster preparedness, network reliability, and communications
   among first responders. I applaud the Chairman for his leadership in the
   FCC's response to Hurricane Katrina and in establishing this panel, and I
   thank Nancy Victory and the members of the panel for their hard work.

   The lessons learned from the Katrina experience will allow us to be better
   prepared, not just in the Gulf Coast region or in the event of a
   hurricane, but in the face of any impending disaster to provide the
   critical infrastructure and interoperability of communications systems so
   vital to protecting lives and property. As we seek comment on how best to
   act on the recommendations of the Independent Panel and put these measures
   in place, I urge everyone to weigh in on this important issue. The power
   of every American to serve the public good has never been stronger, the
   need to act as one community to defend against the threat of harm has
   never been more urgent, and the opportunity to come together to make a
   difference has never been greater than now.

   Federal Communications Commission FCC 06-83