New requirements will keep telephone and internet active in fire zones

New requirements will keep the telephone and internet active in fire zones

Utilities regulators are forcing communications companies to keep landline, Internet and data services active even when the lights go out in fire-prone areas.

SAN FRANCISCO, California – Utilities regulators are forcing communications companies to keep landline, Internet, and data services active even when the lights go out in fire-prone areas.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted unanimously on Thursday to require communications companies to provide 72 hours of backup power and minimal service for wired networks. Applies only to areas considered high fire risk districts.

Fires, public safety power outages, and rolling summer power outages highlighted areas dependent on wired networks. In some cases, entire communities had limited or no coverage, paralyzing the efforts of rescuers.

“When these networks go down, literally nothing is left,” said CPUC President Marybel Batjer. “Losing this fundamental lifeline during these ever-increasing times of emergencies is not acceptable.”

Wired communications companies are …

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