FCC: 25% Of Cell Towers In Storm Area Disabled
October 31, 2012 at 7:14 AM (PT)
The FCC reported TUESDAY that Hurricane SANDY disabled about 25% of cell phone antenna sites in the area affected by the storm and that others powered by generators could run out of fuel before power is restored, further diminishing coverage. "Our assumption," said Chairman JULIUS GENACHOWSKI in a conference call with reporters, "is that communications outages could get worse before they get better, particularly for mobile networks because of the flooding and loss of power."
The report is likely to be used to bolster the radio industry's contention that FM or HD RADIO chips be activated in cell phones for emergency use. However, some broadcast radio stations lost power as well during the storm, including CBS RADIO News WINS-A/NEW YORK (which ended up using the signal of sister Top 40 WXRK (92.3 NOW FM) to continue service) and, for a brief time TUESDAY morning, TOWNSQUARE MEDIA Talk WKXW (NEW JERSEY 101.5)/TRENTON, which continued its extensive coverage of the hard-hit JERSEY SHORE over the Internet until its over-the-air signal was restored.