50% or More Tower Sites Not Working in 5 Out of 67 FL Counties

In Florida, 24.6 percent of cell tower sites were out of service on Tuesday, down from 27.4 percent the day before. Information from the FCC’s Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) was accurate as of 11 a.m. Tuesday. Five Florida counties have cell sites with 50 percent or more out of service: Collier, Hendry, Highlands, Monroe, and Union. On Monday, Miami-Dade County was on that list too. Of the 1,435 sites in Miami-Dade County, just over 600 were not operational yesterday, or 42 percent.

Of the 14,730 sites in all of Florida, 3,618 were not working yesterday, according to DIRS. In Georgia, four out of 58 tower sites in Decatur County were reported to be out of service. Of the 335 sites reported in three Alabama counties, only two, in Henry County, were out.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, 53.8 percent (down from 55.1 percent on Monday) of cell sites were not operational. In Puerto Rico, 14.5 percent of sites were not operational, compared to 19.4 percent the previous day.

More emergency call centers are working in Florida. More emergency call centers are working in Florida. Three were not working and no calls were being re-routed, compared with 14 on Monday. Twenty-seven call centers total in Florida are affected but the majority of the 911 calls are being re-routed. Two emergency call centers in the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Croix and St. Thomas) cannot retrieve location information from wireless callers and automatic numbers from VoIP callers. In all of the reporting areas — Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands — 9 TV and 51 radio stations are off-air.

Verizon said close to 90 percent of its cell tower sites in Florida and 97 percent in Georgia are working. Many are operating on backup power. “We continue to assess the impact across Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, and mobile equipment and personnel have been moved into impacted areas,” Verizon spokeswoman Karen Schulz told Inside Towers. “This week, we will begin deploying Unmanned Aerial Systems (drones) to survey sites and assess antenna and tower damage.”

AT&T is automatically issuing credits and waiving additional fees to give unlimited data, talk and texts to its wireless customers and unlimited talk and texts to AT&T Prepaid customers across all of Florida and, beginning September 12 in impacted Georgia counties. This continues through September 17. AT&T is also extending payment dates for impacted AT&T Prepaid customers with voice and text service through September 17.

The deal extends to AT&T wireless customers with billing zip codes and AT&T Prepaid customers with billing phone numbers in all of Florida and in 25 Georgia counties — Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Brooks, Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Clinch, Coffee, Effingham, Evans, Glynn, Jeff Davis, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Pierce, Tattnall, Toombs, Ware and Wayne.

Published September 13, 2017

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