With regard to recent news from the telecom field….
Y’all need some ham radio in your lives if you want to be able to ensure communications in the future.*
The American Radio Relay League has a guide to how to get your Technician class (entry level ) license. No, you do not have to know Morse Code, though you may use it on the airwaves if you do!
That being said, for local communications via radio, ham radio isn’t a necessity – other services such as MURS, CB, and FRS work for some distance. They’re all good to have around in general – it can be a refreshingly simple way of talking to someone else in the neighborhood.
* I’m sorry to use such nonsense sensational language, but I think it’s true at this point – the US is about thiiiiis close to having Ma Bell reformed via a few rapid fire corporate buyouts and mergers that will be rubber-stamp approved by federal agencies and make access to electronic communication highly selective, expensive, and genuinely impossible in some communities, and the net neutrality rules that would have forbidden them from deciding to filter out communications that were not in compliance with their business plans and offerings are gone.