Big 4 Wireless Carriers Can’t Predict Service Restoration in Sandy Regions

As post-tropical cyclone Sandy surges on through the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic and leaves a path of destruction in its wake, carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile say they can’t predict when customers’ voice and data services will be restored.

The four major carriers have released statements indicating the extent of issues to expect.

Verizon offices in Lower Manhattan, Queens, and Long Island are experiencing power failures and say backup power systems at these sites are inoperable. These sites are currently on battery power, and the loss of power means all equipment must be powered down to prevent damage, according to TechCrunch.

Customers served by these Verizon central offices will experience a loss of all voice, internet, video and telephone services. Some customers may also experience intermittent busy signals while dialing 311 service for non-emergency calls.

AT&T said it is in the initial stages of performing an on-the-ground assessment of the network to evaluate damages done. Crews will be working around the clock to restore service, while personnel and equipment will be deployed when it is safe to do so.

Sprint is experiencing service impacts in the New York tri-state area; the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area; Pennsylvania; parts of New England; and other regions affected by the hurricane. These impacts are due to loss of commercial power, flooding, loss of cell-site backhaul connections, site access and damaging debris, the company said.

Sprint’s technicians are assessing the damage and servicing sites, but the company said it cannot provide a specific number of impacted customers.

T-Mobile indicated in a statement that customers may be experiencing service disruptions or an inability to access service in some areas, especially those that were hardest hit by the storm. The company’s rapid response engineering teams are still assessing the situation.

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