Irene to challenge cell networks. Networks to lose.
Hurricane Irene is expected to hit with full force tomorrow morning and possibly be enormously destructive. CNET points out that 96% of Americans own cell phones and a quarter of households use cell as their only phone. In times of crisis and emergency, a lot of people start making calls, which alone should severely disable communications. Add to that the possibility that a massive storm could knock down cell towers and damage infrastructure, well, this is probably going to be ugly. Our cell system isn’t built for emergencies. It didn’t even stay strong during the earthquake on the east coast. If there’s a lot of damage, expect even more pressure for the government to allocate some spectrum space for the so-called D-Block: a communications system to be used my emergency first responders. Won’t mean anything for your cell coverage though, which will still be terrible in an emergency.
Marketplace is on a mission.
We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.
Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?