AT&T has finally phased out its 3G service.
The change happened Tuesday and we’re following how this change affects various emergency services.
Douglas Braff spoke to emergency management and law enforcement officials in our region to see if they were prepared for the change.
3G had a long run and now cell phone providers have begun phasing it out. However many folks and agencies in a rural region like ours rely on services that run on 3G.
Ankle monitors are one device that runs on 3G or at least it used to.
“And both our providers have ensured us that our equipment thats already been converted over from 3G to be able to utilize the new service.”
Cambria County District Attorney Greg Neugebauer also told us they’ve already upgraded their ankle monitor technology.
But what about emergency services such as 911
Cambria EMA Director Art Martynuska tells me that if you are unsure that you’re going to maintain connectivity
“You know whether that be a medical alert device, whether that be cellular, whether that be car connectivity, home security whatever may rely on that type of network, that
you have a conversation with your provider, or reach out for help to somebody who may be able to help you with it a friend, a neighbor, relative Cause the last thing we
want is somebody relying on a system that may not be operational any longer.”
He says devices like Life Alert also depend on your carrier.
“So, whether it’s AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, whoever it might be, those are the ones that need to make sure that the connectivity goes through to our 911 center.
We don’t work with the individuals, that goes through the corporate carrier.”
But he adds that they’re testing a backup system to help locate callers.
“As 3G gets phased out, how they’re going to transfer those services cause we depend a lot on the carriers that have those We do have redundant systems in place.
We are actually testing one today, at Cambria County, that gives us additional levels of security when trying to locate callers.”