Last night Hurricane Sandy rocked the East coast in a way it’s never been rocked before. And despite the fact that our mobile carriers did everything conceivable to prepare for and mitigate the damage, many people experienced voice and data outages throughout last night and on into today.
We’ve received word from the nation’s four major carriers on the extent of the service outages and issues.
Verizon reports that several Verizon Central Officers in Lower Manhattan, Queens and Long Island have been flooded by Sandy’s fierce storm surge, resulting in a loss of all Verizon services for customers powered by those stations. The big red carrier also seems to have outages in other areas such as Maryland and New Jersey, according to Twitter.
Here’s the official word:
The storm surge from Hurricane Sandy has resulted in flooding at several Verizon Central Offices in Lower Manhattan, Queens, and Long Island causing power failures and rendering back-up power systems at these sites inoperable. While these sites are currently on battery power, the inevitable loss of power requires that all equipment at these sites be powered down to prevent damage. Customers that are served by these central offices will experience a loss of all services including FiOS (voice, internet, video), high speed internet, and telephone services. Some customers may experience intermittent busy signals while attempting to dial 311 service for non-emergency calls. Verizon engineers continue to assess the damage at these locations and we will post updates as additional information is available.
Update: Verizon has sent us an afternoon update, explaining that many of the Verizon facilities in downtown Manhattan are still flooded. They even sent us a picture (below) as proof. They are waiting for power companies to deem certain areas safe before engineers and technicians can make full assessments and repairs, but they are working on it now.
Photo taken at Verizon’s 140 West St HQ lobby at 9pm last night, with water as high as three feet.
AT&T is still assessing the situation, but Twitter shows that northern New York and parts of New Jersey are down. For what it’s worth, my AT&T wireless service is shoddy at best and I’m in Brooklyn.
Here’s the official word:
As we continue to closely monitor our wireline and wireless networks for service disruptions, we are experiencing some issues in areas heavily impacted by the storm. We are in the initial stages of performing an on-the-ground assessment of our network for damage and crews will be working around the clock to restore service. We are deploying personnel and equipment as soon as it is safe to do so.
Sprint is having pretty widespread issues within the majority of the storm zone, according to Twitter. To their defense, though, customer care does seem to be working hard to respond to everyone.
Update: AT&T has sent out a press release with resources to donate toward the restoration effort. As far as network performance goes, they’ve said the following:
We continue to closely monitor our wireline and wireless networks, and are deploying personnel and equipment as soon as it is safe to do so. For more information on our efforts related to Hurricane Sandy, visit www.att.com/aboutus.
Here’s Sprint’s official response:
Sprint is experiencing service impacts in the states affected by Hurricane Sandy and the concurrent winter weather conditions, particularly in the New York tri-state area, the Washington, DC metro area, Pennsylvania, and parts of New England. These impacts are due to loss of commercial power, flooding, loss of cell site backhaul connections, site access and damaging debris. Weather and safety conditions are still dire in some areas, but our technicians are assessing the damage and servicing sites as they become known to us and as the areas are deemed safe to enter. Given the on-going weather conditions, we cannot provide a specific number of impacted customers, but we ask that they remain patient at this time and exercise caution in the aftermath of the recent events.
T-Mobile hasn’t been very clear yet either, regarding where service is down. It’s clear that parts of New York and New Jersey are experiencing problems, says Twitter. We’ve reached out to T-Mobile and are waiting for an official response.
Update: T-Mobile has responded with their statement.
Severe high winds and weather conditions continue to affect many areas. Due to the impacts of Sandy, T-Mobile customers may be experiencing service disruptions or an inability to access service in some areas, especially those that were hardest hit by the storm. T-Mobile rapid response engineering teams are assessing the situation and we are moving as quickly as possible.