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California Requiring Cell Towers To Have Backup Power

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Sacramento, CA — When PG&E turned off power during planned outages last year it also negatively impacted the ability of cell phone towers to continue to operate.

In response to this, the California Public Utilities Commission voted yesterday to require cell towers to have 72 hours of backup power so that service remains.

The commission noted that phone service is essential during times of public emergencies, and 88-percent of 911 calls are made from wireless devices. Cell service is also important for receiving emergency alerts from officials.

In addition to the 72-hour battery backup requirement, wireless service providers will be required to develop a communications resiliency plan with strategies to maintain service during emergencies.