Regulators hang up on cell tower backup rules

Monday, December 1, 2008 | 3:28 p.m. CST; updated 3:55 p.m. CST, Monday, December 1, 2008

KANSAS CITY — Federal regulators have disapproved proposed changes by the Federal Communications Commission that would have required all U.S. cell phone towers to have at least eight hours of backup power.

The Office of Management and Budget said late Friday that the FCC failed to get public comment before passing the regulations and didn’t show that the information required from wireless companies would actually be useful.

The FCC proposed the requirements last year after a task force investigated communication problems along the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina. The rule was intended to ensure the towers continued working following a natural disaster.

But much of the wireless industry rebelled, saying it would cost millions to comply with the regulations.


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