Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Gustav Aftermath: Wireless Providers 1, Power Grid 0

From Yahoo's article title (Gustav Brings Down Cell, Internet Service), you'd think all of wireless services in the areas affected by Gustav were knocked out. I had an image of wide-spread disruption and it'll take hundreds of millions of dollars to repair everything.

Well, it turns out that most of the disruption was due to power outage.  Of course, we wouldn't know that from the title of an article (more and more individuals simply scan the header and avoid reading the article these days).  So, what was the gist of the wireless outage from the hurricane affected areas?

  • Verizon Wireless saw 1% of towers affected due to power outpage.
  • ATT reports most towers still working.  2,000 Workers on the ground to survey damage.
  • Nextel:  "Power is the only critical issue affecting our network"
  • T-Mobile also report issues due to lack of electricity.
  • AP office had phone and cell disruptions affected for hours.
  • Wireless Week reports Verizon sent vehicles and generators to affected areas to backup towers.
Perhaps, things are more widespread than the wireless providers let on but it doesn't seem to be something they can't get things back up and running once power is restored in the area.  All in all, we dodged a bullet with Gustav and hope we learn additional lessons from this.  

Note:  There are three more storms forming off in the Atlantic.  Florida has already declared a state of emergency.  Early in August, Fay hit Florida.

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