How phone companies redline cell phone customers into digital ghettos

This op-ed was originally published in The Hill Why can't most inexpensive cell phones receive life-saving emergency weather alerts? Why, unlike people in the rest of the world, can't Americans listen to emergency information broadcasts on their cell phones? These are not accidents or unanticipated consequences. These are the results of deliberate decisions that have been made on the design, regulation and operation of the U.S. cell phone system. Nearly a decade ago, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who now chairs the House Energy & Commerce Committee, anticipated the need to expand access to emergency information. "With nearly 200 million Americans…

Lifeline phones should be enhanced to ensure public safety, CCLP urges FCC

Why can't many inexpensive cell phones receive life-saving emergency weather alerts? Why, unlike people in much of the world, can't Americans listen to emergency information broadcasts on their cell phones? These are not accidents or unanticipated consequences. These are the results of policies and decisions by government agencies and the U.S. cell phone industry that should be addressed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Based on a series of meetings with high level participants from government, industry and academia, CCLP filed a comment with the Federal Communications Commission on May 29, 2015, recommending that the FCC ensure that cell phone…

Policymakers and industry leaders take steps to improve cell phone capabilities during emergencies

Mobile phones today offer enormous potential in regards to public safety and emergency preparedness, but current infrastructure and systems present substantial challenges as well. The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands and the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy have launched an initiative to research these issues, explore solutions and define minimum capabilities of cell phones for health care, public safety and other public services. On Sunday and Monday, 20 high-level government officials, top mobile technology industry professionals, public advocates and entrepreneurs attended an event hosted by CCLP in Washington, DC. The event, entitled "Mobile Phones for Public…