Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Puerto Rican Telecom Services May Not Be Restored Until 2018 -

Puerto Rican Telecom Services May Not Be Restored Until 2018 - Obviously the first priority for Puerto Rico is getting food and water to survivors, though getting the electrical grid restored will likely take months. Getting telecom service restored will likely take significantly longer than that, with many estimates suggesting it could be well into 2018 before basic telecom infrastructure is restored on any scale. That has result in ham radio, satellite phone and spotty wireless and WiFi signals being the only way many of the island residents can communicate with the outside world, even as we zero in on the two-week anniversary of Hurricane Maria. "It is completely catastrophic down here to the point where you feel paralyzed, unsure of where to begin cleaning up," a senior engineer at one of Puerto Rico's bigger telecom companies tells Stop the Cap . "It looks like the eastern and northern parts of Puerto Rico got the worst the storm, but there are lots of areas on the western half of the island nobody has heard from since the storm. There is absolutely no communications with some of what we think are the most vunerable communities. The news media has taken helicopters into some of these areas and stations like WAPA are reporting there is life, but water is in short supply and the destruction is unbelievable -- nothing Puerto Ricans can recall during their lifetime." The employee notes that much of the island's power systems -- and telecom infrastructure -- will need to be rebuilt from the ground up. "There are towers -- many metal or concrete, that are completely bent over or fallen, and some of the higher voltage lines are going the take weeks just to reach because they are blocked by the huge number of trees down," he notes. "Many are in such a compromised state, they are still toppling over. Some cell towers collapsed over the weekend, so it can be very dangerous to climb these." According to the most recent update (pdf) from the FCC, 88% of cell service on the island remains inoperable, with 27 out of the 78 counties in Puerto Rico reporting that 100% of their cell sites are out of service. The FCC also notes that at least 11 switches are out of service due to either SS7 or toll isolation, and several fixed line ISPs confirm that 100% of their fixed-line broadband service addresses remain inoperable.

No comments:

Post a Comment