House Passes Eshoo’s Bills to Mandate Reporting on Telecom Failures During Disasters and Preserve Landline Numbers for Wildfires Victims

July 20, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills co-authored by U.S. Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18) to require reporting on telecommunications failures during disasters, and to preserve landline telephone numbers of victims of natural disasters. H.R. 678, the PHONE Act, ensures that Americans who lose their homes in natural disasters do not also lose their home phone numbers. H.R. 1250, the bipartisan Emergency Reporting Act, mandates the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reports on and learns from the failures of telecommunications networks that occurred during natural disasters and recommends improvements for the future.

“In wildfires over the last few years, thousands who lost their homes were further frustrated to learn they also lost their phone numbers because phone companies had given the numbers away. H.R. 678, the PHONE Act was written to protect those who depend on landlines, including older Americans and retirees who often have multiple doctors, caregivers, and loved ones using long-held phone numbers, from losing their phone numbers,” said Rep. Eshoo. “H.R. 1250, the Emergency Reporting Act, requires the FCC to report on the telecommunications issues that occurred during disasters and recommend solutions post-crisis to improve communications networks going forward.”

Read Rep. Eshoo’s statements for the Congressional Record on H.R. 1250, the Emergency Reporting Act, and H.R. 678, the PHONE Act HERE and HERE.