Cell Tower Reliability - SB 431

District 5 Header Image 2016

I heard from many of you during PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) concerning your lack of cell phone service.


During the four-day PSPS in October, Marin lost power at 160 cell sites - 57% of the County’s cell towers! Currently, the Public Utilities Commission has no requirement that cell towers develop performance reliability standards.


I wanted to let you know about legislation, SB 431, sponsored by our Senator, Mike McGuire, which would require 72 hours of backup power at cell phone towers in high risk wildfire zones and establish means to warn customers when the backup power is low.


This legislation is critical for emergency communications, such as 911 service and the dissemination of emergency alerts. Senator McGuire continues to be a champion for the public safety of the residents of Marin, and I was pleased that our Board sent a letter in support of SB 431 to the legislature earlier this week.


For your reference attached is a one-page fact sheet of the bill in its current form.