Do Not Call in Case of Emergency

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Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

As East Coasters learned today, the nation's wireless carriers don't hold up so well in a crisis. While the four biggest companies (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile) reported no damage to their networks, millions of people attempting to make phone calls in the wake of this afternoon's earthquake found they could not get through due to high usage. So, what does this mean about the systems' ability to handle a real disaster? "That's a very large question, and we can discuss it another day," said an AT&T spokesman. Of course, he knows that the next time people want to talk about this, no one will be able to get him on the line. [TPM]