December 12, 2019 - SACRAMENTO – Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) has announced that the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee will hold an oversight hearing to discuss cellular and telecommunications service outages during wildfires on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at 9 a.m. in Room 3191.
The hearing, entitled “Telecommunications Service Outages: Ensuring a Reliable Lifeline for Californians” and led by Committee Chairman Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), is intended to better understand the extent of recent telecommunications service outages and their effects on Californians, as well as explore areas that merit additional attention, policy or regulatory oversight to ensure more resilient telecommunications networks.
“It is important for us to continue the important work of preparing for future wildfires,” said Senate President pro Tem Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego). “Understanding how to ensure proper phone reception during emergencies is critically needed in emergencies, and we must ensure it is uninterrupted. I thank Sen. Hueso for hosting the hearing.”
“Telecommunications play a critical role as a lifeline for communities and residents, and it is vital that service is reliable during emergency events,” said Sen. Hueso. “The recent catastrophic wildfires and power shutoffs underscore the importance of phone and internet service for preparing and protecting Californians. Our goal for this hearing is to find ways to bolster service reliability during such events.”
The hearing is the Senate's next step in oversight of utilities’ response to wildfires and the threat thereof. In November the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee held a full-day oversight hearing to investigate and review options to address deficiencies in the current public safety shutoff process. The committee heard from local emergency responders, health care providers, and other impacted parties and is now working on recommendations to mitigate the impacts of these events in the future.
Toni G. Atkins is President pro Tempore of the California Senate. Having previously served as Speaker of the California Assembly, she began her tenure in the Senate in 2016. As Senator for District 39, she represents the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach. Website of President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins: www.senate.ca.gov/Atkins.
Source: Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins