T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon report progress restoring cell service

Sprint said in a statement that its network is “fully restored” for customers in seven states, including Maryland and Virginia, as well the Washington, D.C. metro area. In New York and New Jersey, where the storm caused widespread damage, the network is “more than 80 percent operational,” the company said.

While roughly three-quarters of its network is up and running in New York City, Sprint said there are still some obstacles when it comes to “obtaining commercial power, backhaul connections, and gaining safe access to cell sites.”

Meanwhile, Verizon said its employees are “making substantial progress” restoring the company’s phone, Internet and TV services for customers. However, Bob Mudge, president of Verizon’s consumer and mass business division, said in a statement that the widespread storm damage in areas like New Jersey and New York City “makes full restoration a marathon and not a sprint.” 

Verizon said that’s partly because there isn’t enough fuel available for the backup generators that power its phone and Internet service, which the company said “is an increasing challenge.”  It’s working with federal and state government officials to procure this extra fuel, the company said.

On somewhat of a brightener note, Verizon reported that its engineers and technicians have revived the backup power at four “critical facilities” in New York, including its flooded headquarters in lower Manhattan.

Roughly 85 percent of T-Mobile’s network in New York City has been restored and the company said it’s made “good progress” getting its service running again in other areas affected by the storm.

“Network technicians are working as quickly as possible to restore service by deploying generators to cell sites where power outages continue and to repair damage caused by high winds and flooding,” T-Mobile said in a company statement.

On Wednesday, AT&T said in a statement that the “vast majority of our cell sites in the Northeast are online and working.”

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