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Emergency Preparedness in the Wireless Industry

Today’s hot topic question: How can we better prepare our infrastructure systems to ensure that vital services remain functioning properly at all times?

Wildfires. Polar vortexes. Hurricanes. Flooding. The past 12 months seem like a surreal round of natural disaster bingo, bringing emergency preparedness onto the forefront of everyone’s agendas - especially the major infrastructure industry. The recent weather disaster in Texas opened many eyes to the domino-effect that can occur if one set of infrastructure falters, and experts say that this isn’t exclusive to Texas; this is a situation that could strike any part of the country. 

One such solution to safe-guarding our wireless infrastructure during emergencies and natural disasters are generators for individual wireless sites. It may seem like a no-brainer for wireless sites to have backup power, but in many parts of the country, having this emergency power source is optional. However, last year California passed legislation requiring cell towers to have 72 hours of backup power. This type of state-wide requirement is a first in the US, but given the turbulent nature of recent events, could easily be adopted by more states in the near future. 

California in particular is taking emergency preparedness for wireless infrastructure very seriously and also passed a bill effective this year that will speed permitting processes for low-emissions backup generators for cell towers.

Generators offer a safety net of power when communication is needed most. It’s estimated that around 80% of emergency calls are made from mobile phones. There are also countless emergency services and networks relying on wireless services, like AT&T’s FirstNet. It’s no hyperbole to say that keeping cell towers powered will save lives.

Though not a set-and-forget solution, routinely maintained generators are a safe and reliable solution to keeping lines of communication open no matter the environmental conditions. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected, and the first step is ensuring our infrastructure remains accessible. 

For more detailed information on backup generators for cell towers and other wireless sites including pricing info, please contact a Tangent associate today.

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