Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), ranking member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, has introduced a bill to ensure the resiliency of cellular, landline, TV and Internet communications during emergencies.
The Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act (or the SANDy Act) comes only weeks after the third anniversary (Oct. 29) of Hurricane Sandy and the "major breakdown” in communications that resulted, according to Pallone's office.
The legislation would:
• "Make sure that during an emergency consumer cell phones work on other carriers’ networks if their own network goes down, giving priority to calls to 9-1-1 services and emergency alerts;
• "Increase coordination between wireless carriers, utilities, and public safety officials;
• "Begin a process to provide 9-1-1 services over WiFi hotspots during emergencies;
• "Make sure all communication providers — radio, TV, and phone — can fix outages faster, even across state lines; and
• "Launch an expansive study of the future of network resiliency."