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Verizon fiber suffered unprecedented damage from Hurricane Michael



 Vehicles sit partially submerged in floodwaters after Hurricane Michael hit in Panama City, Florida, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.
Enlarge / Vehicles sit partially submerged in floodwaters after Hurricane Michael hit in Panama City, Florida, US, on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.

Getty Images | Bloomberg

Nearly 300,000 households were still without home Internet, phone, or TV service yesterday in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, as Hurricane Michael. More than 200,000 of the households without cable or wireline service are in Florida, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Mobile service has taken over 15 percent of cell sites in the 21 Florida counties where the FCC is tracking hurricane-related outages.

Carriers have made progress in reducing those outage numbers to the past few days. Nearly 29 percent of tracked cell sites in Florida have been cut off as of October 11,

"unprecedented" fiber damage

Still, mobile efforts have been hampered by extensive fiber damage.

"The storm caused unprecedented damage to our fiber, including many of our temporary portable assets-to-work," Verizon said yesterday on its webpage for hurricane updates.

We have some positive movement, although there is a connection to the cell network and some mobile assets work-still poses a significant challenge. Residents in the community search for clearing roads, residential property clearing, and replacing electric poles.

Verizon said today that "99 percent of our network is in service in Georgia and 98 percent in Florida," but those numbers appear to be completely separate from the FCC. [T] "The hardest hit area of ​​Panama City, Panama City Beach and the surrounding communities [are] still experiencing the most impact," Verizon said.

AT & T said today that its network is performing well and almost fully restored most affected areas. " AT & T is using portable cell sites in numerous locations throughout Florida and Georgia.

FCC disaster reporting

The FCC has activated its disaster information reporting system on October 9, 2009 Category 4 hurricane made landfall on October 10. The latest update, released yesterday, shows that carriers have a way to go in restoring service for both mobile networks and wired connections to people's homes.

More than 66 percent of cell sites ( 216 out of 327) in Florida's Bay County were out, while more than 69 percent of cell sites (16 out of 23) in Florida's Gulf County were out. Across the 21 Florida counties that are part of the FCC's disaster reporting, 383 out of 2,543 (15.1 percent) of cell sites were out of service.

In Georgia, 2 percent of cell sites in tracked areas were out yesterday, down from 14.2 percent on October 11. The outage rate was 50 percent in Georgia's Early County and more than 18 percent in Decatur County. In Alabama, 1.1 percent of cell sites in tracked areas (8 out of 759) were out yesterday, down from 9.2 percent on October 11.

While the number of cell site outages provides a rough approximation of the storm's impact, the FCC

"Wireless networks are often designed with multiple overlapping cell sites that provide maximum capacity and continuity of service even if an individual site is located inoperable, "the FCC said.

Charter cable customers still paint service

Most of the home internet outages are located in Florida, where 205,643 cable or wireline Subscribers remain out of service yesterday. The cable and wireline outages affect Internet, phone, and TV service. The Florida wireline outages were at their peak on October 12, when 252,748 households were affected. Charter Spectrum customers.

"Our technicians are working to restore Spectrum service interrupted by damage from Michael," Charter said. Restoration will continue to operate as conditions permit. "

Nearly 70,000 Georgia households were still without cable or wireline service yesterday, down from 103,775 on October 11. Nearly 16,000 Alabama households were still without service yesterday, down from 18,244 on October 11.

Disclosure: The Advance / Newhouse Partnership, which owns 13 percent of charter, is part of Advance Publications. Advance Publications owns Condé Nast, which owns Ars Technica.


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