In the past two years, residents of Bethel, Conn., have been hit by three massive snowstorms that knocked out power for days. Each time, nearby cell towers that rely on electricity failed, preventing people from communicating with the outside world.
“Our cell phones became completely useless,” Bethel resident Matt Knickerbocker recalled. “You can’t call in an emergency. You’re completely out of touch.”
On Friday, with a massive winter storm barreling into the Northeast, the resiliency of cell phone networks was tested again. The blizzard arrived as federal regulators were still debating how to fix weaknesses in wireless towers that were exposed by Hurricane Sandy three months ago.