The federal government needs to ensure resilient power supplies for maintaining wireless phone and data networks and supporting consumer communications devices when the electrical grid fails during natural disasters. This is the conclusion of a study by President Obama's Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force.

In its 200-page report, the task force proposed that the federal government develop a strategy to ensure that wireless phone and data networks and consumer communications devices can be maintained during super storms and other disasters. This approach reflects the growing notion that hardening the energy infrastructure to ensure continuation of communications services is central to any recovery strategy.

The panel, chaired by Housing and Urban Development secretary Shaun Donovan, recommended that the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Telecommunications Information Administration, part of the Federal Communications Commission, collaborate to promote a "programmatic approach" to make sure that cellular towers, data centers and other vital communications infrastructure components are able to function regardless of the status of the electrical grid.

Such a strategy would include the deployment of "smart microgrids," small-scale versions of the centralized electricity system that distribute power in a limited geographic area and help minimize widespread power outages. Read full story on InformationWeek


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