The nation's five largest mobile carriers are backing an initiative that would help them to share information and fix network outages during disasters and other emergencies.
Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular signed on to the Wireless Network Resiliency Cooperative Framework, which is aimed at providing reasonable arrangements for roaming, fostering mutual aid, enhancing government agencies' preparedness and restoration, and improving public awareness of service and restoration status during emergencies.
The pact is the result of five months of discussions among CTIA, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-New Jersey), who late last year introduced the Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act. The SANDy Act, which was approved last week by the Energy and Commerce Committee, was created to improve the resiliency of U.S. communications networks during emergencies.
The bill is a response to the breakdown of telecom networks during and after Hurricane Sandy, which slammed into the Northeast U.S. in October 2012.
"I am pleased that CTIA and the wireless providers created a set of common-sense solutions to improve coordination and network recovery during disasters and emergencies," CTIA CEO Meredith Attwell Baker said in prepared remarks. "This Framework will benefit consumers and help limit the impact of future disasters, while avoiding unworkable and unnecessary mandates."
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