U.S. Senator Charles Schumer joined other lawmakers in calling for the FCC to take the lead in developing a nationwide plan to ensure that cell towers don’t lose power for days or weeks in the wake of severe storms and to include terrorist attacks or other events that cause power failures.

Schumer said that the FCC should work with industry and first-responder groups to decide the best way forward that maximizes reliability, and minimizes costs and accelerates performance time.

He noted that approximately 33 percent of phone users now rely exclusively on wireless technology, and an estimated one out of every four towers in the impacted areas were down after Superstorm Sandy hit, leaving huge sections of impacted citizens struggling to effectively communicate during and after the storm’s impact.

Schumer noted that a nationwide plan to ensure the functionality of cell towers has long been discussed, but never implemented, partly because of cost and partly because of industry opposition.