House Dems push for hearing on Sandy's effect on communications networks


"This is especially important because scientists predict huge storms like Sandy will become more common as a result of unchecked climate change," the Democratic lawmakers wrote in the letter on Monday. "Press accounts and anecdotes provide an incomplete picture of our communications infrastructure during and after the storm. A hearing would allow us to investigate the reliability of the communications networks, to identify and highlight best practices and, where necessary, to address potential vulnerabilities in our communications infrastructure."

The letter was signed by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the committee, Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), the ranking member of Walden's subpanel, Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.).

The Democratic lawmakers said they also want to examine the performance of wireless networks during and after the storm. 

"We are concerned by accounts suggesting that those with corded telephones running on copper-line networks were able to communicate while those relying on wireless services or fiber-optic cables were not," they wrote.