FCC considers back-up cell power for cell towers

A government official familiar with the effort says the Federal Communications Commission is expected to announce it will pursue a proposal to require back-up power at cell towers to avoid another massive service loss like the one Superstorm Sandy wrought.

The official tells The Associated Press that the FCC on Wednesday is expected to announce hearings with first responders and people along the Eastern Seaboard where cell phone service in some places was lost for days. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to comment before the announcement.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York on Sunday asked the FCC to work with telecommunications companies and first responders to maximize reliability and minimize costs.

Nearly one in four cell phone customers was without communications.