In Superstorm’s Wake, FCC To Propose Requiring Cell Tower Backup Power

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 21, 2012)--The Federal Communications Commission is expected to announce that it will pursue a proposal to require backup power at cell towers to avoid a massive service loss such as the one Superstorm Sandy caused, a government official told The Associated Press.

The official familiar with the effort said the FCC is expected Wednesday to announce hearings with first responders and people along the Eastern Seaboard where cellphone service in some places was lost for days.

The official but spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to comment before the announcement.

On Sunday, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York asked the FCC to work with telecommunications companies and first responders to maximize reliability and minimize costs.

In some places, nearly one in four customers lost cellphone service because of Sandy.

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