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David Turetsky Statement Regarding Communications Network

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Released: November 2, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.


Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).



November 2, 2012

Justin Cole, 202.210.2437



The following is attributable to FCC Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau Chief David Turetsky:
“As recovery efforts continue, our thoughts and prayers remain with the communities in the Northeast and
Mid-Atlantic states who have been affected by this storm. We will continue to work with stakeholders
throughout government and the private sector to assess and help restore communications in these areas.
“Our Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) remains activated, and we continue to collect data
from communications companies about the impacts of the storm, but we have begun narrowing our data
collection to a more targeted geographic area as restoration progresses, and will continue to do so as
needs change. As a result, today’s report does not contain data for Delaware, Massachusetts, and Rhode
Island, where service has been largely restored. Our report covers 146 counties in the remaining seven
states and Washington D.C., down from an earlier total of 158 counties. This remains a fluid situation,
and we consider the data supplied each morning by communications providers to be preliminary but
“As of 10 a.m. this morning, our assessment indicates continued steady improvements in wireline and
wireless communications networks throughout the affected area. As before, however, restoration efforts
in the hardest hit areas – including New York and New Jersey – are more difficult. While
communications providers are still working hard to replenish fuel supplies for generators, they tell us that
the fuel situation is beginning to improve.
“Our latest data still indicate that calls throughout the affected area can be received at 9-1-1 call centers,
but there are still limited cases where calls are being re-routed to another center or do not contain location
information. We are staying in contact with the affected 911 centers, state and local authorities, and
communications providers to help ensure that 9-1-1 remains operational while full capabilities are
“Now that we are collecting DIRS information for a smaller geographic area, our network outage
estimates do not provide a direct comparison with past figures. But as of 10 a.m. this morning, the data
indicate that the number of cell site outages has declined to 15 percent overall. This is down from
approximately 25 percent on Tuesday morning and 19 percent yesterday morning for the earlier, larger
reporting area. As before, this figure includes many cases where cell sites that are otherwise operational
are effectively inoperable because of outages in other parts of the communications infrastructure, which is
highly interdependent.

“With regard to cable services, it appears that outages for today’s smaller geographic are at 17 percent.
Today’s estimate includes, for the first time, data from a company that serves many areas that have been
severely affected by the storm and widespread power outages. Excluding the additional reporting, the
percentage of cable outages would have shown a continued decline from yesterday’s estimate of 12-14
percent of subscribers.
“The FCC has issued four more special temporary authorizations, which will assist with restoration
activities and help radio stations in reaching their communities. Our staff at headquarters and at field
offices will continue working around the clock to support FEMA’s efforts, and respond to requests for
support from state and local teams, as well as communications companies.”
-- FCC --

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