FCC: 19 percent of cell towers still down in wake of hurricane

The Federal Communications Commission said Thursday that 19 percent of the cellphone towers in the path of Hurricane Sandy are still out of service.

The hurricane, which slammed the East Coast on Monday night, initially took down about 25 percent of the cell towers in the worst-hit areas.

Flooding, power outages, high winds and snow disabled the towers, leaving millions of customers without service. 


The commission said that about 12 to 14 percent of cable TV and broadband Internet connections are still disabled, down from 25 percent on Tuesday morning.

The FCC said that all calls to 911 should now be able to go through, although some calls are still being rerouted to other 911 centers and may lack location information. The commission had said that a "very small number" of 911 call centers went down in the initial aftermath of the storm.

“Overall, we’re seeing both continued improvement in communications networks and also that much work remains to be done to restore service fully," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowksi said in a statement. 

"The supply of fuel to generators is essential to keep communications service up and running, and we’re working with federal, state, and local authorities to speed fuel delivery. This is a priority because our commercial communications networks are essential to emergency response and recovery efforts, as well as to commercial activities and connecting with family,” he said.