Local officials: cell phone service needs better backup - KMSP-TV

Superstorm Sandy

Local officials: cell phone service needs better backup

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

John Marron says he felt helpless without cell phone service for at least four days after Superstorm Sandy hit. People had started looting businesses and homes and there was no way to call for help. The cell towers had run out of backup power. Thankfully, Marron never had to use his shotgun.

Now in Long Beach, N.Y., and other communities, officials are calling on the Federal Communications Commission to require phone companies to install more backup batteries at their cell towers. Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman testified about the issue before the FCC.

However, the wireless phone industry says it is working on installing more backup power and has already upgraded cables since Sandy.

But a public interest group called Public Knowledge, based in Washington, D.C., hasn't seen any evidence of that yet.

Sen. Charles Schumer is leading the charge to persuade the FCC to make changes in the wireless industry.

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