Power outages left communities, not only without lights, but without phone service as well, especially for those of us using cable- based phone service, says Kim Stephens of idisaster 2.0.

“Our community relies very heavily on reverse 911 for both school and emergency information.” “This service, however, was only able to reach people with traditional land-lines,” says Stephens.

Those observations point out some of the implications of traditional voice network design, in an environment where the old assumptions do not necessarily hold.

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Line-powered service traditionally has been considered the best way to ensure reliability. In this case, the cable network might not have had robust ability to survive in-the-field disruptions of AC power.

In this case, mobile devices seemed to function well enough, though network robustness always is contingent on ability of the mobile towers to survive damage and maintain connections to the power grid.

News spread quickly by teenagers sending text messages to each other.

Social Media Lessons from Hurricane Irene

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