Cell Towers May Get Backup Power In Aftermath Of Superstorm Sandy

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Cellphone (AFP/Getty Images)

Cellphone (AFP/Getty Images)

By MICHAEL GORMLEY, Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ A government official says the Federal Communications Commission is expected to announce it will pursue a proposal to require backup power at cell towers to avoid a massive service loss like the one Superstorm Sandy wrought.

The official familiar with the effort tells The Associated Press that 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.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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