8 Different Comm Companies, 8 Different Sets Of Generators Needed To Keep Phones, Internet Up

Written by on November 21, 2019

The California Public Utilities Commission yesterday held a hearing on why cell phones and lan lines fail during power outages.

California’s catastrophic fire dangers and blackouts have laid bare a problem that officials have been worrying about for years:

There are no federal or state requirement that telecom companies provide backup power … or service during blackouts.

The California Public Utilities Commission is now considering whether to require backup power for cell and internet services.

Eight wireless and internet companies were grilled yesterday on why hundreds of thousands of people lost vital services during past outages.

On Wednesday, some companies also pledged to publicly disclose more outage data, such as the percentage of cell sites out of service.

The data companies said they were taken by surprise byt he blackouts.

The CPUC chairwoman said that was “stunning.”

The governor’s office is recommending that every communication site must have a minimum of eight hours of battery backup and permanent generators with 72 hours of onsite fuel storage.

In Malibu alone… that would mean several hundred generators installed on the overlapping cellphone and wired data circuits.

At least eight different companies operate Communications facilities in Malibu … includingT T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Frontier, and Charter.

Three other companies provide Data services to those as well.

Eight companies operating overlapping systems … and none of them talk to each other.

An AT&T official said theyWe believe fixed generators and portable generators is the right combination, but it doesn’t make sense from a financial perspective, an environmental perspective, and a community perspective for every carrier to be individually staging all these generators.”

Apparently no one has thought about interconnecting the competing systems … at least to provide emergency services.

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