March 28, 2020
Background: Responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) today updated its initial list of ‘Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers’ to help state and local officials work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health, safety and economic and national security. Today’s announcement expands the categories of communications workers to include vital support elements such as supply chain and logistics personnel, retail customer service personnel, and personnel responsible for infrastructure construction and restoration.
Robert Mayer, USTelecom’s Senior Vice President for Cybersecurity and Innovation and Chair of the Communications Sector Coordinating Council said:
“We applaud CISA for recognizing the essential role of communications employees operating under these extraordinary circumstances.
“It is unprecedented the degree to which the nation is relying on its communications infrastructure for remote activities like telework, distance learning and telehealth. Americans are also counting on our sector to keep the lines of news, public safety, daily communication and entertainment open and running smoothly as we collectively cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re up to this challenge, but our employees need freedom of movement and unique access to core business or customer locations to manage the health and security of our shared networks. Some functions can only be handled in-person.”