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[ NNSquad ] Re: FCC upset about "cell phone logjam" after D.C. quake

I was wondering whether it was technically possible to do what the 700
MHz auction approach seems to assume, and give first responders
*automatic* priority for calls in an emergency -- and if so, whether the
same sort of automatic priority could be given to 9-1-1 calls.

Rick Ellrod

  [ There are things that can be done, IF you can get a signal in the
    first place under such conditions.  Outside of the fundamental
    capacity constraints that give wired systems such a vastly larger
    capacity than wireless, power and connectivity problems are ever
    more dramatic in newer systems.  And old-style copper pair
    straight to the CO is remarkably reliable, especially when you
    consider the traditional CO battery room with row after row of wet
    cell batteries and big copper busbars.  Often during widespread
    power failures (think the big NYC blackouts of decades ago)
    everything was dead everywhere *except* the phones.  And the
    phones didn't even need external power -- not even to ring.  There
    are *damned* good reasons to keep POTS lines and wired phones
    around now.  I sure do.  (Just remember, in an widespread
    emergency, WAIT for dial tone -- every time you hang up you lose
    your place in the queue.)

    Many newer wired systems now depend on remote equipment away from
    the CO with limited battery backup.  The problem is vastly worse
    on the wireless networks, where most of the profusion of
    microcells and interconnecting circuits not only have limited
    battery backups, but no independent generating facilities.

    So combine these factors -- limited capacity and limited
    operational life during power failures, and we can easily see why
    depending on the existing wireless networks (despite their many
    wonders) during emergencies isn't a good bet.

       -- Lauren Weinstein
          NNSquad Moderator ]

 - - -

-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Frankston [mailto:Bob19-0501@bobf.frankston.com] 
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2011 10:48 PM
To: 'Lauren Weinstein'; nnsquad@nnsquad.org
Subject: [ NNSquad ] Re: FCC upset about "cell phone logjam" after D.C.

The cellular system is designed to fail because if you can't bill for a
bit you have to block it.

As Tom Evlsin reminded us at Telecom 2018, on 9/11 the Internet and VoIP
proved resilient. If you provide wired<=>wireless routers (AKA access
points) along the wired path then you get the best of path then you get
resilience. As long as any path works you've got connectivity.
Especially if the wired bits could hop failed wired segments using

During the transition we can do Cellular over IP (CoIP) which T-Mobile
supports ... but ATT does not and has explicitly not committed to retain
if they get control of T-Mobile.

    [ Speaking in terms of the existing infrastructure for now, I had
      long been under the impression that cell phones were supposed to
      be able to access any frequency/modulation capable network for
      911 calls, even if the phone isn't registered on those networks
      -- even if the phone didn't have a SIM.  But clearly that doesn't
      work most of the time -- if at all anymore -- with modern phones.
               -- Lauren Weinstein
                  NNSquad Moderator ]


-----Original Message-----
From: nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=bobf.frankston.com@nnsquad.org
[mailto:nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=bobf.frankston.com@nnsquad.org] On
Behalf Of Lauren Weinstein
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2011 22:16
To: nnsquad@nnsquad.org
Subject: [ NNSquad ] FCC upset about "cell phone logjam" after D.C.

FCC upset about "cell phone logjam" after D.C. quake

http://j.mp/pm4xiF  (CNN)

    "The Federal Communications Commission says it is looking into the
     failures of cell phone service that occurred Tuesday afternoon
     the East Coast earthquake. For as long as an hour after the quake,
     wireless customers in Washington and elsewhere reported being
     to get calls through."

 - - -

I'll admit I laughed out loud as I read this story.  All it takes is a
trembler in their own back yard, and suddenly the FCC cares about cell
network reliability, something those of us in areas where natural
disasters are common have been talking about for many years.

And how long before AT&T starts running ads claiming this will never
happen again if they're allowed to merge with T-Mobile?
Go tell it to the judge, AT&T.  In a pig's eye.

Even with ten times the spectrum, wireless can't compete with wired
systems for capacity during emergencies, by their very natures.  Many of
us have been warning of this for ages, as more and more people have
abandoned their wired phones, lulled by the carriers into thinking that
wireless will be just as reliable during disasters, with power failure
issues just one key aspect.

Oh, and don't miss the part of the article where "LTE" is touted as a
mechanism for prioritizing 911 calls!

Send in the clowns.

NNSquad Moderator