If you think Sandy’s slow, steady passing is a sign of good things to come, think again. It’s going to take days (at the very least) to restore power to many of the 7 million+ people living in darkness, and cell service is expected to get worse before it gets better.
According to the FCC, 25 percent of cell towers in ten states were disrupted or damaged during the Hurricane. Landline outages are “far fewer” but 25 percent of cable services have also gone down, meaning many are without news updates at all.
As far as 911 is concerned, there are only a very small number of call centers that were affected by the storm. But while cell coverage is still shoddy, 911 calls are being rerouted to different call centers for the time being.
Perhaps the worst news of all is that it’ll take some time before coverage gets back to normal, and at a time when people need service most. Apparently, storm surge advisories that are in affect until early morning on November 2 will make it difficult to repair what’s already been damaged for the next few days.
Here’s what FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski had to say:
The storm is not over. And our assumption is that communications outages could get worse before they get better, particularly for mobile networks because of the flooding and loss of power.
We’ve seen throughout the past couple days that some of the carriers are having issues, namely Verizon, which still has a couple feet of water in its Manhattan headquarters. Still, these service providers are asking that customers use social networks like Twitter to take the load off of cell networks.