Instead of giving priority access to wireless calls emergency officials make during emergencies, Verizon will increase its network capacity. It intends to deploy portable cell sites know as “cells-on-wheels,” rerout traffic, distribute mobile phones, and add personnel where increased traffic is flowing or expected.
According to the Associated Press, Verizon had been working with the federal government to deploy a system in New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Salt Lake City, Utah, in which officials would be able to enter a code on their mobile telephone and be given priority to complete the call.
The need for additional capacity was highlighted during the terrorist attacked on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11. Wireless networks were overwhelmed by the number of calls attempted; only a few of them were completed.
VoiceStream, on the other hand, is moving ahead with plans to offer priority access in those three cities, in accordance with the government’s request.