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Sun Nov 18, 2012, 05:29 AM

 

Why Cell Phones Went Dead After Hurricane Sandy - horrifying. [View all]

After Hurricane Sandy, survivors needed, in addition to safety and power, the ability to communicate. Yet in parts of New York City, mobile communications services were knocked out for days.

The problem? The companies that provide them had successfully resisted Federal Communications Commission calls to make emergency preparations, leaving New Yorkers to rely on the carriers’ voluntary efforts.

We have so far heard few details about why the companies made the particular business choices they did on backup power and what the consequences of those choices were, because the FCC has been blocked from asking -- even though about a third of people rely on mobile service as their only voice-communications connection.

Americans might assume that the U.S. government exercises enough authority over communications networks to ensure that they are responsibly run, reliable and available to all at reasonable rates. In reality, after a decade of steady deregulation, during which communications companies asserted that new wires required new rules, the companies are in charge of themselves.

What’s more, those that sell network connections in the U.S. are trying to claim a constitutional right to operate without any federal oversight. At the moment, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) is attempting to legally bar Congress and the FCC from exerting any authority over its networks, claiming that the First Amendment protects the company’s “editorial discretion.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-15/why-cell-phones-went-dead-after-hurricane-sandy.html


Milton friedman started his career as a paid propagandist, funded by the biggest American companies, spreading the libertarian gospel.

It's creating a Mad Max world.

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