From The FCC recognized that during the critical 72 hours after a disaster strikes it could be difficult to maintain critical public-safety communications.

Last week. the FCC issued a staff white paper "The Role of Deployable Aerial Communications Architecture (DACA) in Emergency Communications and Recommended Next Step," which discusses the potential of airborne repeaters and other communications gear to replace or supplement damaged terrestrial communications system. The DACA vision involves deploying an aerial communications system within 18 hours and using it to temporarily restore critical communications, including broadband, for a period of 72 to 96 hours.

The White Paper also says the aerial capability would be useful where the power grid may be inoperable for 5 to 7 days. In that period of time, it says backup power supplies would be depleted, resulting in almost complete failure of not only broadcast and cable transmissions, but landline, cellular, land-mobile radio and Wi-Fi and Internet services. If bridges or access roads are impassable, fuel won't be able to get to the generators at these facilities. The White Paper says, "If DACA systems were available, users on the ground could continue to rely on their day-to-day communications devices in a transparent manner." It notes that the military "has employed aerial platforms using piloted aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and tethered or untethered balloons for localized communications and to provide enhanced coverage areas and extend the battle space."