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+ - Has cellular technology advanced in 10 years?

An anonymous reader writes: Yesterday's earthquake in Virginia brought back some clear memories from 9-11 when I was unable to call my wife to check on her from either of my cellular or my landline phones. With all of the money spent on emergency communications infrastructure post 9-11, I was very disappointed and I'm left thoroughly disturbed about the potential of not being able to call 911 or reach my loved ones in the event of an actual emergency. So I'm left with two questions — 1) when are the cellular providers going to step up and provide more reliable networks, and 2) what is a reliable, affordable means of contacting emergency services that doesn't involve a landline or cellular telephone?
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Has cellular technology advanced in 10 years?

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