Wireless carriers received a bit of a reprieve when the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) rejected an FCC proposal to require all cell phone towers be equipped with backup power.
“CTIA is pleased the Office of Management and Budget recognized that the FCC failed to seek and evaluate public comment on these important rules at the inception of the rulemaking process, and failed to demonstrate the practical utility of the information collected,” said CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent in a statement. “While we have the same goal as the FCC – to keep our networks running during times of emergency – we believe that having the flexibility to adapt to unique emergency situations will better serve American wireless consumers.”
Carriers already have implemented business continuity/disaster recovery plans that address their backup power needs and enhance network reliability and resiliency, he added.
That hasn’t been enough for the FCC, though. The issue is still tied up in court; this past summer, a federal appeals court sent the rule back to the FCC for clarification. This week, FCC officials told the Associated Press they are considering their options after the OMB decision.
Wireless carriers’ opinions are mixed. Verizon Wireless, soon to be the nation’s largest carrier, has a good reputation for backup power and does not oppose the FCC proposal. Others, such as Sprint Nextel, argue that the proposal would be too burdensome.
Filed Under: Industry regulations