Earlier this week, Julius Genachowski (News - Alert), chairman for Federal Communications Commission, warned that before getting better, phone outages created by Hurricane Sandy are likely to get worse. He added that to restore electricity and communications networks, flooding, snow, and other rough weather conditions are likely to impede efforts.
According to National Journal, Genachowski stated that wireless communications are vulnerable to sustained outages. On the communications infrastructure, Sandy has had a "substantial and serious" impact and their posture is to expect the unexpected since the storm is not over.
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National Journal reported that according to the FCC (News - Alert) officials, who actively monitored 158 counties in 10 states through the agency’s system monitors, roughly a quarter of broadband, home phone, or cable services experienced widespread outages. Genachowski added that a very small number of 911 call centers were down whilst some centers were rerouting emergency calls to other centers.
Across several major carriers, the wireless service is reportedly disrupted. In lower Manhattan, AT&T (News - Alert) Inc. (T) customers were not receiving wireless service. On wireless and wire-line network, the company was experiencing problems in areas hard hit by the storm.
"We’re in the initial stages of performing an on-the-ground assessment of our network for damage; crews will be working nonstop to restore service. We are deploying personnel and equipment as soon as it is safe to do so,” said Mark Siegel, AT&T spokesman.
Verizon (News - Alert) Communications Inc., stated flooding and power loss in lower Manhattan, Queens and Long Island resulted in problems with its network. Spokesman Bill Kula told the Wall Street Journal that the company deputed teams to work on problems, including at two critical switching centers in Manhattan that were severely affected due to flooding and power outage issues. As customers may have lost services including FiOS (News - Alert) TV, Internet and telephone connections, the company was assessing wireless situation, stated Verizon Wireless.
Edited by Brooke Neuman