FCC Describes Cellphone Problems Caused by Hurricane Sandy

  • Power outages throughout the Northeast were the main cause for the loss of more than 20% of cellphone tower sites in 10 states. Restoration is making slow progress down from the 25% rate on Tuesday.
  • “The crisis is not over,” Julius Genachowski, chairman of the F.C.C., said Wednesday. “Over all, the condition of our communications networks is improving, but serious outages remain, particularly in New York, New Jersey, and other hard-hit areas.”
  • The New York Times reported that 6 percent of Verizon Wireless’ cell sites remained down in storm-affected areas, but its switching and data centers “are functioning normally.” T-Mobile has roughly 20 percent of its network in New York City and 10 percent of its network in Washington that are out of service.
  • AT&T and T-Mobile customers will be able to use the networks of both companies in the affected areas of New York and New Jersey at no additional charge as their networks use similar technologies, so switching between them will be seamless.

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