back to article FCC plan for mobile contingency fails

An FCC plan that would see every US mobile-phone base station equipped with eight hours of backup power has been rejected by the White House, on the grounds that the regulator failed to consult properly on the proposal. The Federal Communications Commission proposed the mandatory backup power following the collapse of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    fcc does something rigth for once

    i am not suprised that whenever something that actuly makes sense and is good in a long run gets killed. for change FCC is doing that needs to be done and actuly needs to be done or should had done in first place and rathouse kills the proposal? i wonder why it makes sense in first place to kill this proposal at all? is it preassure from telecoms? or is it the standard excuse we have no money but our CO made a bundle for themselves . or even something more sinister such as bush thinking i can do it because i can?

    in my opinion the program should had been implimented from very begining when the cellular networks were going up. sadly no one thought that far ahead and it took few years after katrina to wake the twits up. i very rarely say it but for once i side with fcc on this proposal.

    as for the protests to hell with them FCC should go ahead and just do it.

    paris because she knows she is smarter than bush

  2. Stuart Gray

    How useful would 8 hours be anyway?

    During the first 8 hours of a power outage due to a natural disaster, isn't it likely that the hurricane/tsunami/whatever will still be happening, and so people will still be sheltering and trying to stay alive. It is surely in the 24 hours following the abatement of said hurricane/tsunami/whatever that communications are most needed?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Emergency Services

    Consumers expect their phone to work even when the power goes out, POTS does this - you can still ring emergency services because the telephone system runs its own power.

    But now more and more consumers are ditching their POTS line for a VoIP or cellular phone.

    Once the news gets out to consumers that when the power goes out their phones go dead and silent, consumers quite rightly should demand that communications providers source backup power to their equipment.

    If my cellular phone is my only phone, I would surely expect to be able to ring for help whether the mains power is on or not!

  4. Daniel

    Re: How useful would 8 hours be anyway?

    Actually, in the US most disasters are short lived. Tornadoes, earthquakes, flash floods, etc. all do a lot of damage very quickly, then leave the survivors to pick through the ruins. Being able to call for help on your mobile shortly after the disaster could be very nice indeed. The main exceptions to this are hurricanes and blizzards, both of which can last more than long enough to run an 8 hour battery pack dead.


  5. M7S

    They'll change their minds soon

    I think once the new series of survivors is shown on BBC America.

    Could we send their telcos the earlier discussion on the Reg comment about this topic for that series?

    Mine will be the one with the charcoal lining and S10 respirator.

  6. Cortland Richmond

    Horse Fades in Last Erlang, Bettors lose

    This horse may have looked good, but it carried a handicap; two Commissioners, three Congressmen, and a CFO.

    Cellular providers aren't public agencies; they are private firms who profit FROM the public. This focus has us losing service in storms, floods, fires and hurricanes because backup power (note: there often IS backup power for a time) and preventive maintenance are costs, not profit. In days of yore, the FCC required telco's to support a defined grade of service to insure calls weren't dropped and dial tone was provided. The cost of doing so, however, is not incosiderable, including basements full of wet-cell batteries with toxic electrolytes generating explosive hydrogen.

    It may not have escaped notice that the FCC now only rarely imposes on those it regulates. It is responding to the Will of Congress, some members of which once proposed abolishing the FCC and letting a market-free-for all accomplish the ends regulation (in their view) was meant to serve. Congressmen in turn were responding to complaints from regulated firms that the FCC was imposing costs they should not have to pay. It appears the outgoing White House supported this argument at every agency it ran.

    Not that cellular firms are alone. One recalls reports New Orleans police had to break into stores and grab battery-powered FRS (US version of PMR446) radios when their own systems failed. No one could have made a profit on a radio system 100 percent reliable under such circumstances. Engineers have already pointed out they could have done better, but the accountants are in charge.

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