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LA's newer cell towers will keep working after earthquakes

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Cellular networks are only trustworthy if they continue running in emergencies, and Los Angeles knows it. The city's council has voted for legislation that requires all new cell towers to be tough enough to remain functional after a major earthquake -- not just standing, like they need to do today. Officials believe that this will involve only a "marginal" hike in costs, but should make a huge difference the next time a big quake rocks LA and leaves residents scrambling for help. This hardening process won't be truly comprehensive until carriers start replacing existing towers, which could take years. However, patience could be a virtue if it keeps families and rescue teams in touch when a disaster strikes.

[Image credit: Getty Images]

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