The FCC is looking to inform and create interest from the public about its inner workings from the perspective of some of its more than 1,400 employees with a new podcast called ‘More Than Seven Dirty Words.’ Launched this week, the podcast is hosted by FCC Policy Advisor Evan Swarztrauber and will feature guests from within the agency, beginning with an introductory episode discussing the creation of the content with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. The pair discusses the origins of the podcast’s title, harkening back to a George Carlin skit in the 70’s. The title was chosen to highlight the fact that news surrounding the agency tends to center around “headline-grabbing controversy.” The currently available episodes seem to avoid more recent issues within the FCC but that doesn’t necessarily mean those won’t show up later. However, the stated goal is to gain public interest and, according to Pai, shine a light on the positive public interactions and accomplishments through stories about agency employees going beyond what’s required of them.
To that end, the first full-length episode dives into the FFC’s response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico with FCC Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau attorney Roberto Mussenden. Mussenden was born in the unincorporated U.S. territory and says that returning in the aftermath of the disasters to take on administrative duties overseeing restoration was “devastating.” The discussion centers around agency cooperation with FEMA in restoring power through the use of generators before moving on to repair communications infrastructure. That involved a lot of fuel being moved around, open roaming policies so that any customer could use cell service from any carrier’s network, and rebuilding infrastructure that had to be replaced completely. One example of that involves towers that had to be relocated due to environmental conditions making original placements unviable and regulatory work that needed to be done to accomplish that task.
However, the efforts went far beyond those examples across every avenue of communication technology from traditional radio to the internet. So the 22-minute long episode is well worth a listen for anybody who might be interested in a more positive side of the agency. The FCC hasn’t given any details away with regard to what might be included in the second podcast or how many episodes will ultimately be made.