Pallone Introduces SANDy Act

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), ranking member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, has introduced a bill to ensure the resiliency of cellular, landline, TV and Internet communications during emergencies.

The Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act (or the SANDy Act) comes only weeks after the third anniversary (Oct. 29) of Hurricane Sandy and the "major breakdown” in communications that resulted, according to Pallone's office.

The legislation would:

• "Make sure that during an emergency consumer cell phones work on other carriers’ networks if their own network goes down, giving priority to calls to 9-1-1 services and emergency alerts;
• "Increase coordination between wireless carriers, utilities, and public safety officials;
• "Begin a process to provide 9-1-1 services over WiFi hotspots during emergencies;
•  "Make sure all communication providers — radio, TV, and phone — can fix outages faster, even across state lines; and
•  "Launch an expansive study of the future of network resiliency."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.