From Next Gov: The Wireless Priority Service — a cell-phone service that is supposed to grant priority to emergency government and public-safety calls — failed during the August earthquake that rocked the East Coast, a Department of Homeland Security official said.

Key federal and municipal workers, as well as essential public-health and -safety personnel, are eligible to subscribe to the 75 cents-per-minute priority service, which was overwhelmed by text-messaging traffic in the aftermath of the 5.8-magnitude quake on Aug. 23. It already was acknowledged that many Americans were unable to make personal calls for several minutes following the earthquake.

Homeland Security officials are working with carriers to modify their circuitry by the time of the Republican and Democratic national conventions late summer of next year.