89% of Cell Sites Still Down in Puerto Rico

More than 89% of cell sites remained out of service in Puerto Rico today, while nearly 70% remained down in the U.S. Virgin Islands due to Hurricane Maria, the FCC reported. Meanwhile, the FCC said that Puerto Rico’s main public safety answering point (PSAP) “was being taken offline yesterday” after it earlier was reported functionally normally.

“Overall, 89.3% (slightly down from 90.3% yesterday) of cell sites are out of service. All counties in Puerto Rico, except San Juan, have greater than 75% of their cell sites out of service. 29 (same as yesterday) out of the 78 counties in Puerto Rico have 100% of their cell sites out of service,” the FCC said in an outages report that uses data submitted to the Commission’s Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS).

In the Virgin Islands, “69.8% (slightly up from 67.0% yesterday) of cell sites are out of service. 100% of cell sites in St. John are still out of service,” the report said.

“The main PSAP in Puerto Rico was being taken offline yesterday. 911 calls are being sent to the other (back-up) PSAP in Puerto Rico, according to the primary service provider,” the report said. “In the U.S. Virgin Islands, the St. Croix 9-1-1 Call Center has been reported as completely down. FEMA has reported significant damage to the building. The St. Thomas 9-1-1 Call Center is unable to retrieve Phase I and Phase II location information for wireless callers and ANI/ALI for VoIP Callers.”

The report still did not provide specific data on cable and wireline system outages, but it said that in Puerto Rico, at least 12 switches, compared with 14 yesterday, “are out of service due to either SS7 or toll isolation.”

The report also said that two TV stations in Puerto Rico reported being out of service, while another said it was on the air, and it said that nine radio stations in Puerto Rico said they were down. It said that “informal reports” indicated that one TV station and 22 radio stations were on the air in Puerto Rico.

Meanwhile, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau today announced a deadline extension for filing annual 911 reliability certifications.

“Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria have caused significant damage in the areas within their respective paths, including storm surge, wind damage and flooding. They also appear to have damaged communications networks, resulting in service disruptions and outages throughout these areas, which include Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as portions of Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia,” the bureau noted. “The Bureau is mindful of the effect of the hurricanes on Covered 911 Service Providers, and is therefore extending the deadline for filing annual reliability certifications from October 15, 2017 to October 30, 2017.”

Also today, the Media Bureau extended from Oct. 10 to Nov. 13 the deadline for broadcasters in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to put in their public inspection file material covering the previous calendar quarter.- Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily