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This is a sub-selection from Wired phone system


reply to timcuth

Re: Wired phone system

What it reflects is the need to require backup power for cell towers, the same way pressure was brought to bear on pre-breeakup AT&T to have generators and backup batteries for the PTSN, which was correctly viewed as a National Security asset that required national attention (with the PTSN being replaced by cell and digital, the bureaucrats and politicians in D.C. need to realize these systems are the next generation replacement). Both the Bush and Obama administrations have been loath to impose regulations that mandate back up power at cell towers. In 2005, the FCC had a proposed rule that would have required there to be 8 hours of backup power at all cell sites. The usual suspects lobbied to have it killed, successfully. The Obama administration has continued to ignore the issue. That said, the magnitude of this storm was on such a scale that even with backup power at every cell site there would still be problems. The public view and pressure being placed upon the big 3 carriers will probably ensure that they will work to restore service as quickly as possible. They don't want momentum to build on the Hill and in the Executive Branch to take away their existing autonomy. My sympathies to those affected by Sandy.


Chesterfield, MO

National Security? I suppose anything is possible but given today's technology and "global" military/CIA, if they depend on the US wired or cell infrastructure to keep us safe, we should all be scared. These resources did not provide even one square mile of coverage in Iraq or Afghanistan.

I was watching a NatGeo (or Discovery?) program about Air Force One and while it inter-links to the land and wireless networks, it uses satellites. I'd also bet that the down-link interconnects are ridiculously redundant and strategically placed. I also expect this is the norm for other branches of government that deal with matters of national security.


Bradenton, FL
reply to commonsense

Well I have been hearing a little buzz about micro-cell systems or wifi being an answer for the future. Is this the kind of thing that can kill that??

Most of you are probably more in tune with tech than I am so are my thoughts off base??

Looking at the bigger picture
reply to commonsense

FYI, most of the cell sites in NYc do have battery back-up and/or diesel generators. The problem is that the back-end fiber equipment either doesn't have backup power or the batteries have been neglected for YEARS (Verizon doesn't maintain them) and provide power for about 5 seconds after the failure.

reply to rradina

Communications is a critical infrastructure sector and is a national security issue. National security isn't just provided by DoD and CIA and it isn't just conducting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

DHS Critical Infrastructure Sectors


Chesterfield, MO

My bad. I didn't know national security had such a broad definition. I was thinking external threats to our sovereignty and it's really any threat that would have significant impact on America's way of life.