Hurricane Sandy Crisis Update – Day 4

After four days, the majority of our clients now have at least partial telephone service.

This storm caused the unthinkable- complete failure of telecommunication services.  Even the “last resort” option of forwarding incoming calls directly through the “telephone company” switch to a cellular telephone was no longer an option.  Put in the simplest terms: The “telephone company” switches themselves had failed.  All of the years of planning took into consideration back-up generators, batteries and fuel reserves.  But they did not take one simple thing into consideration: Fuel pumps.  The fuel pumps play a vital role of delivering the fuel from tanks located in or under basements up to the floors in the data centers where the generators are located.  These fuel pumps failed when basements were flooded.

As of today, many carriers are running on emergency generator power.  Switches are not completely operational- they are running in “emergency mode” and we will still have issues of incomplete inbound and outbound calls due to the overwhelming demand being placed on equipment.

As for cellular service, many providers have been overwhelmed by the volume of calls going over their networks.  Also, many of the towers were damaged or knocked out of alignment during the hurricane.  Some providers are doing better than others.  My service, Sprint, has done quite poorly.  Only now am I starting to receive the majority of calls to my cellular.

 

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