FCC Outage Report Shows Cell Sites Returning After Hurricane Matthew

October 11, 2016–A status report released today by the FCC showed that the number of cell sites down in the states affected by Hurricane Matthew over the weekend was decreasing.  As of today, only 3% of the cell sites were down in the affected area, compared to 5.9% yesterday, and 8.7% on Sunday. In addition, the FCC said in the report that for the affected counties in South Carolina, the percentage of cell sites down had dropped to 9% today from 18% yesterday. And in Georgia, 10% of the cell sites in the affected area remained down today, compared to 15% yesterday.  In North Carolina, 5% of cell sites were still down, and in Virginia, 1% of cell sites remained down.

As of today, there were a total of 432,433 cable customers out of service in the affected states (Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia), with Florida customers experiencing the largest outage (199,322). Yesterday, there were a total of 739,053 cable customers out of service in the affected states, with North Carolina experiencing the largest outage (300,675 users). Today’s report showed that 88,531 cable subscribers in North Carolina remained out of service. According to the report, there were 410 switching centers out of service. Of these, 302 were down due to a lack of power and 47 switches were on back-up power.

The FCC also noted that there were no public safety answering points down that had not had calls rerouted in the disaster area. The Hoke County, N.C., and Charleston County, S.C., PSAPs, as well as the Sanford, N.C., Police Department had 911 calls rerouted, and no other PSAPs reported operational problems, the FCC said.

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau expanded its data collection as a result of Matthew. The bureau announced in a public notice that it was including additional communities in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina in the activation of its Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS). – Carrie DeLeon, carrie.deleon@wolterskluwer.com