Two bills are being introduced, one in California for a mandatory backup power requirement and another in Florida that would allow for the state to bypass local governments for siting if public safety is at risk.
After reviewing data from the FCC that identified 874 cellphone towers were offline during an Oct. 27 power shutoff during wildfires that affected millions of people in California, Democratic lawmakers have revealed legislation that would force carriers to have at least 48 hours of back-up power on the towers they are collocated upon in a fire threat district.
Senate Bill 431, sponsored by Calif. Sen. Mike McGuire (D) and Calif. Sen. Steve Glazer (D) would require to provide battery backup to their cell towers.
The bill also demands that cell phone users get warnings when the backup power is running low or is about to run out.
Florida State Sen. Lauren Book (D) filed a bill this week that seeks to get the projects done in a timely fashion by giving the state the power to intervene. The measure (Senate Bill 1472) would allow the state to bypass local governments and complete communications upgrades if the project isn’t finished within two years and public safety is deemed to be at risk.