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Eshoo, Thompson Request Hearing on Telecommunications Failures During California Wildfires

November 1st, 2019

Representatives lead 23 California Members in Call to Action After Dangerous Network Outages

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18) and Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-05) led a letter signed by 23 Representatives from California requesting that the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hold a hearing on the role of telecommunications in public safety, which has been a major issue during recent California wildfires.

“The human impacts of natural disasters are often worsened when our telecommunications infrastructure isn’t resilient to the damage caused by disasters … In California, our telecommunications infrastructure has failed many times when the public and public safety officials needed it most,” the Representatives wrote to Subcommittee leaders. “Wireless carriers and others have made efforts to aid in response to the emergencies, but our Subcommittee should hear about how all stakeholders have responded and potential actions Congress can take to improve network resiliency during natural disasters.”

You can read the letter HERE.

As California battles the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County and numerous fires in Los Angeles and Ventura Country, including the Getty, Saddleridde, Tick, and Easy Fires, 874 cell towers are down in California, 702 of which are out due to power issues, according to an October 28th Federal Communications Commission report. The letter was signed by Representatives  Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Mike Thompson (CA-05), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Doris O. Matsui (CA-06), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Scott H. Peters (CA-52), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Mark Takano (CA-41), Harley Rouda (CA-48), Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), Brad Sherman (CA-30), Katie Porter (CA-45), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Gilbert Ray Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39), John Garamendi (CA-03), Alan S. Lowenthal (CA-47), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), and Ro Khanna (CA-17).

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