Satellite radio is great for us consumers. It gives us many choices for news, sports, comedy, music, weather and more. It works almost everywhere except in steep canyon roads and tunnels. Because it does not work in tunnels, it can cause a problem in an emergency. Television and normal radios have the public broadcasting system to alert us to emergencies; XM Radio can do the same. The only problem is that none of these works in a highway tunnel.
I recently drove through the Boston Tunnel after traveling along the east coast. After passing through several tunnels along the road I noticed that the XM radio was switched off. Of course I was not surprised because it is difficult to get a signal while you are underground from a satellite. But every time I entered a tunnel, I happened to listen to a really great song at the 80s station. The Baltimore Tunnel was no problem, there was no traffic and I sailed on; no problem. In New York it took a while to travel through the tunnel due to traffic, but a few extra minutes and then the radio was as good as gold again. The real problem was in Boston and the traffic was heavy. I spent almost 20 minutes in traffic while in the Big Dig, without the radio and had my CD collection in the back and couldn't get up to get it. This led me to believe that there had to be a better way. XM Radio has a small delay, so you can pass over the highway without interrupting your music or news on one of the more than 200 channels. However, when you go through long tunnels or in canyons, you often miss the signal because you do not have a direct line of sight to the satellite.
What I propose is one of the two options. A.] We allow government agencies to use all possible channels of all satellite radios and regular radio stations to play pre-recorded information or B.] We place relays at the end of such tunnels, so all Satellite radio users can pick up the signal in the tunnel. If we use option "A", the governmental authorities grant a free license to use those signal frequencies with a warning for fast one or second line advertising, along with a public service announcement:
"XM Radio brings you the following statement from the Great State of MerryLand; Stay in your Baltimore Tunnel in your lane and drive at a steady speed of 45 miles per hour when traffic permits. Always watch the drivers around you If you see something unusual, you should call the information on the Maryland Highway Patrol Our alert status today has been raised and we trust that you are our eyes and ears out there If you see suspicious behavior, please call. make Maryland a great place, please drive kindly and always be polite, thank you. This is an announcement from the public service of XM Radio and the Maryland Highway Patrol and Toll Transit Authority "
If we choose option "B", we must allow the authorities to program in the radio while they are in the tunnel during heavy traffic, Amber Alerts, Fugitive Watch or during increased alert. Think about this.