Nearly 39 Percent of Cells Sites out in Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands

Nearly 39% of cell sites were out of service as of this morning in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands due to Hurricane Irma, the FCC reported this afternoon, using information submitted to its Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS). The report advised readers not to compare the outages reported today with those in yesterday’s report because today’s report includes a larger area.

The FCC said yesterday that more than half of the cell sites were down in 25 counties in Puerto Rico and in St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, while across all 41 counties in the northern and eastern parts of Puerto Rico and all three districts of the U.S. Virgin Islands, 55.2% of cell sites were suffering outages (TR Daily, Sept. 7).

“DIRS is currently activated for all areas of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” today’s report noted. “Yesterday’s report covered only the northern and eastern counties of Puerto Rico and all three counties of the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Based on the information in yesterday’s report, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Communications Commission decided to extend the data collection to all counties/municipalities in Puerto Rico.”

Today’s report said that more than 50% of cell sites were down today in 18 counties in Puerto Rico and in St. John and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It said that four public safety answering points (PSAPs) were impacted: two PSAPs in Puerto Rico were operational but did not have automatic location information (ALI), while two PSAPs in the U.S. Virgin Islands were operational but did not have ALI or automatic numbering information (ANI).

The report did not provide specific data for cable systems and wireline service but it said, “Since there are widespread power outages over Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the FCC has received reports that large percentages of consumers are without either cable services or wireline service.”

“Based on the limited input into DIRS, there are no [broadcast] stations reported out of service,” it said. —Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily