City Council Passes Treyger’s Bill To Strengthen Communication Infrastructure Against Severe Weather

City Council Passes Treyger’s Bill To Strengthen Communication Infrastructure Against Severe Weather
Photo of Mark Treyger
The City Council passed Treyger’s bill to improve communications infrastructure. (Photo provided by Mark Treyger’s office)

The New York City Council on Thursday passed legislation proposed by Councilman Mark Treyger to strengthen telecommunications infrastructure against future storms.

During the Hurricane Sandy, power outages and flooding at critical communication hubs caused many people to emerge from the storm without phone, cable or internet access. Although the city sent out frequent online and television updates about storm recovery efforts, this information was not able to get to those who needed it most. Over 2 million telecom customers in New York City lost service due to the storm.

Many also had trouble locating loved ones in evacuation zones. Sheepshead Bites set up a web page to facilitate communication for those who lost cell phone service after the storm.

“One of the biggest challenges we faced in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy was getting in touch with loved ones and receiving vital information due to widespread phone, internet and cable service outages across the city. As we learn important lessons from Sandy and prepare for the next major storm, we must look for ways to prevent crippling breakdowns in the city’s communications infrastructure in order to keep the public safe and informed,” said Treyger, who chairs the Committee on Recovery and Resiliency.

The legislation tasks the city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) with establishing recommendations to improve the resiliency of both public and private telecommunications infrastructure. The department is expected to work with service providers to come up with a report on the state of existing infrastructure. The report will note any providers who decline to cooperate with the study.


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