Hurricane Sandy, like that bully who picked on you at school, has largely come and gone on the East Coast. But also like that bully who picked on you at school, the damage she’s caused will linger well after much else of what she’s done is just a memory.
Mostly because every time you try to make a call, it’ll drop, and you’ll curse the winds that gave birth to her. This is because among other things, Sandy has trashed pretty much the entire cellular infrastructure of the East Coast. Oh, and as an extra screw-you, she also trashed your cable.
We know all this because the FCC just released some outage data and it’s pretty much garbage up and down the East Coast:
[FCC Chairman Julius] Genachowski said that as of 10 a.m. ET today, 25 percent of the nation’s wireless companies’ cell sites were not operational in 158 counties in 10 states from Virginia to Massachusetts. This information comes from the carriers themselves, which report outages to the FCC as part of the agency’s Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS).
Cable operators in that same area also reported that about 25 percent of consumers were without broadband and other services this morning. The agency said outages for landline phones are much less widespread.
So, yes, your grandpa can still make phone calls, and will probably never let you hear the end of it. If you’re wondering why landlines are up while cellular networks are down, the short answer is power. In areas where power is out, cell towers are having a much bigger problem. And it’s not done yet, either. As Sandy works her way towards Michigan, she’ll keep knocking over cell towers and yanking down power lines.
If you want to do your part, don’t call people: Send texts or let people know on Facebook you’re all right. Also, Yankees fans, it’s tasteless to root for Sandy to destroy Michigan. Just a warning.