An East Tennessee lawmaker wants stronger oversight of the nation’s telecommunications grid after a Christmas Day bombing in Nashville temporarily crippled infrastructure that caused 911 outages and a sudden unreliability in regional phone service.
The security of America’s cyberinfrastructure was highlighted in the attack, 代表. Chuck Fleischmann, a Republican from Chattanooga who sits on the House Homeland Security Committee, 告诉 “你的世界”
“We need to make sure not only that we protect our grid from a software cybersecurity standpoint but we have to have physical protection for our grid,” Fleischmann said. “There’s a lot of talk about that out there. Maybe now we’ll focus in a very bipartisan way on making sure that we physically protect our grid because as you said, when this building was knocked out, it had a ripple effect across the state and the region.”
Suspected bomber Anthony Quinn Warner’s explosion damaged an AT&T facility, which led to the outages.
Fleischmann said that as the ranking member on the Homeland Security subcommittee on appropriations that there has been an effort to physically secure such facilities, and that such efforts should be strengthened in light of the attack.
“What I mean by that specifically is to make sure that the structures that would house this critical infrastructure would be protected as well,” 他说. “Utilities need it … So maybe this will be an awakening for us as legislators to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”
AT&T confirmed to The Tennessean newspaper on Sunday that the 2nd Avenue N. building was damaged in the explosion, and that services were affected by the blast.
“The explosion that devastated downtown Nashville in the early hours of Christmas morning did more than knock out communications for many of you,” AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh said in a statement obtained by the paper. “It shook your peace of mind and scarred the community that you call home. AT&T is a part of that community. We live here. We do business here. And we’re in this with you.”