U.S. House Recognizes Broadcasters’ Role in Emergencies

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.

This legislation:

  • 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.

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