Hurricane Sandy onslaught means 25% of US base stations are offline in affected areas

1 Nov 2012

Around a quarter of mobile network base stations in the United States have been damaged by Hurricane Sandy, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has revealed. Citing internal figures from the country’s mobile network operators, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said that 25% of cell sites in 158 counties in ten states from Virginia to Massachusetts were not operational. He warned that the country’s communications infrastructure is likely to deteriorate further before it improves. Speaking during a conference call Genachowski commented: ‘This was and still is a devastating storm with a serious impact on our nation’s communications infrastructure. 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’.

In related news Fierce Wireless reports that AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile USA have agreed to open up their networks for customers in New York and New Jersey who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy, allowing them to roam onto each other’s networks without extra fees. The two GSM carriers have reportedly indicated that they will initiate the roaming pact in heavily impacted areas, providing capacity is available and subscribers possess a compatible device.