Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai has confirmed that 95% of Puerto Rico’s cell towers are out of service, in the wake of the devastating Category 5 storm Hurricane Maria. Mr Pai commented: ‘Hurricane Maria has had a catastrophic impact on Puerto Rico’s communications networks. For example, over 95% of Puerto Rico’s wireless cell sites are currently out of service. The FCC is proactively reaching out to communications providers in Puerto Rico to gather additional information about the situation on the ground and find out if there is anything that the Commission can do to assist with restoration efforts … Unfortunately, getting Puerto Rico’s communications networks up and running will be a challenging process, particularly given the power outages throughout the island.’
The unincorporated US territory of Puerto Rico is the easternmost of the Greater Antilles and the fourth largest island in the Caribbean. It is home to some 3.5 million people, and mobile providers include AT&T, Claro, T-Mobile, Sprint and Open Mobile.