Residents in Ca know about wildfires, cell towers, and power outages more than anyone living in less fire-prone areas.
Following other forest fires, the 2019 California wildfires spread devastation. The fires burned in the remotely populated Sonoma wine country, as well the far-denser city of LA. This is when the FCC documented 874 cell tower outages.
Power loss during a wildfire impacts wireless communications. What’s worse, people cannot make lifesaving calls to 911 or receive emergency notifications. For these reasons, legislators proposed a new bill. The bill would compel tower carriers to install a minimum of 72-hour back-up for cell sites in high-risk areas.
How Carriers Respond to Cell Towers in Crisis
AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon presented their perspective. In most cases, main tower centers are equipped with a minimum of 48-72 hour on-site back-up. Mobile generators are used at other cell-sites.
Nonetheless, problems exist:
- Not all mobile generators operate properly at all sites
- Utility companies give two-hour advance notice about power outages; this makes it difficult to transport and fuel up mobile generators
While the legislature would solve many of the issues, it still has not been passed.
But tower landlords need to reflect on other matters.
Additional equipment on rooftops can give landlords the right to increase rent rates. On the flip side, involved unknowns make a lump sum buyout a viable consideration.
For more on the topic, contact the independent experienced tower consultants.
Nexus Towers offers transparent guidance and professional services to empower property owners to leverage the highest value from their wireless assets. Our supportive services include Pigeon Patrol (oversight and management), lease consulting, lease evaluation and lump sum lease buyouts.
Summary: Wildfires, cell towers and power outages: As the Bobcat wildfire in South CA’s Mt Wilson devastates structures in LA and imperils broadcast towers, Nexus Towers highlights the region’s 2019 wildfire, and cellular companies’ response.