The House of Representatives passed the Securing Access to Networks in Disasters (SANDy) Act, H.R. 3998, sponsored by Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ). This bill makes several changes to wireless and emergency networks in order to improve disaster response. It officially recognizes the role radio and television broadcasters play in emergency situations.
- Ensures that during an emergency, consumer cell phones work on other carriers’ networks if their own network goes down, giving priority to calls to 911 services and emergency alerts;
- Begins a process to provide 911 services over Wi-Fi hotspots during emergencies;
- Ensures that all communication providers, including radio, TV, and phone can fix outages faster, even across state lines; and
- Launches an expansive study of the future of network resiliency.
H.R. 3998 is now being considered by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.