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April 9, 2020

Protecting Wireless Workers to Keep Networks Running .

Protecting Wireless Workers to Keep Networks Running

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CTIA VP John Marinho
John Marinho
Vice President, Cybersecurity & Technology

 

As people stay home to help stop COVID-19, America’s wireless industry is hard at work to make sure your mobile voice and broadband networks continue to meet our country’s connectivity needs. Keeping people connected with work, family, and friends means that wireless companies need to carefully continue their operations, even under social distancing measures and stay-at-home directives.

As we continue our work keeping Americans in touch, we are taking several steps to maintain, as safely as possible, the services that keep us connected wirelessly. Federal and state policymakers can help by ensuring coordinated access to network infrastructure and consistently following DHS guidance.

Taking care of wireless employees.

The wireless industry is implementing recommended precautions and following CDC guidelines. This includes employees across our industry, from emergency retail services to the technicians in the field taking care of wireless infrastructure.

Keeping infrastructure running and rolling out network upgrades.

Wireless providers have moved quickly to add capacity to networks where there have been significant usage increases, and have teams on call 24/7 to monitor network usage and make modifications and adjustments to keep customers connected.

But that means crews need to be able to access cell sites and other pieces of infrastructure to conduct routine maintenance and install equipment to help ensure our wireless needs are met as we adjust to increased internet and phone use. State governments can help us by giving wireless workers access to key pieces of the network during this critical time.

Working with all levels of government nationwide.

Like many industries in these challenging times, wireless personnel going about their important jobs face a range of directives from federal, state and local officials.

The good news is that the Department of Homeland Security designated communications networks, including wireless networks, as critical infrastructure, and the wireless communications workforce is designated “essential critical infrastructure workers” to ensure continuous support and maintenance at state and local levels.

States can help here, too, by following DHS directives and guidance so that all wireless providers across the country have access to infrastructure to  keep our networks running, and consumers have access to wireless providers so they remain connected to work, family, and friends.

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Thanks to all the front-line wireless industry employees. You’re the ones keeping America’s world-leading wireless networks running and keeping us connected. And, working with federal, state, and local officials, we’re going to keep fighting for you so you can do your jobs as safely as possible.

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