Hurricane Maria: Summary of communication status - and lack of

Sean Donelan sean at
Tue Sep 26 04:52:29 CST 2017

It looks like someone kicked the cellular carriers public relations people 
into gear. Today, instead of the normal "we care" messages; they released 
statements providing more concrete details about their restoration 
activity in PR and USVI.

Overall, 91.2% cell sites out of service in Puerto Rico. 34 of 78 counties 
have 100% cell sites out of service.  This will continue to change up and 
down, as sites are restored and circuits are damaged by cleanup activity.

There are over 2,671 cell sites on Puerto Rico and 106 cell sites in U.S. 
Virgin Islands.  As carriers bring in tens of generators and repair 
equipment at a time, gives you some idea how long restoration will take.

In alphabetical order...

"We continue to send aircraft with essential supplies and network 
resources as we help the people of Puerto Rico. These flights include 
portable temporary cell sites, high capacity generators to provide 
temporary power, and other larger network equipment on cargo planes and 
barges to help restore services on the island. We planning to set up a 
number of portable cell sites in the San Juan area as soon as possible.

So far, we’ve sent multiple flights carrying the following supplies:
More than 30 generators
5,000+ gallons of water
We are also focused on network restoration in the U.S. Virgin Islands are 
bringing additional resources there."

Claro (google translate from Spanish):
They reported that in the metropolitan area specifically, Claro's signal 
was already reaching 31 percent of customers in San Juan, 22 percent in 
Guaynabo and 18 percent in Carolina and Bayamón.

At the island level, the Claro signal is up in 14 municipalities today, 
covering an average of 20 percent of the clients in Aguada, Manatí, 
Mayaguez, San Germán, Cabo Rojo, Trujillo Alto, Dorado, Camuy, 
Quebradillas, Humacao, Juncos , Caguas, Aguadilla and Toa Baja.

That number will increase in the coming days.

"A vessel has already arrived in Puerto Rico with the generators and parts 
required to begin the work. In turn, a body of over 40 Sprint engineers 
and technicians in the United States were sent to the Island to join the 
local technical staff, coordinate the delivery of the equipment received 
and continue work to speed up the communication.
A second shipment will arrive on the island this Wednesday, September 27 
with additional spare parts and materials."

"The damage to the infrastructure is unprecedented, but equally it is the 
support we are receiving from T-Mobile US. Between Saturday and Sunday, 
six MD11 cargo planes and one AM124 (second largest cargo plane in the 
world) arrived with 80 generators, 16 trucks, equipment to build 100 
communication facilities. More cargo planes will arrive today with more 
equipment and personnel."

T-Mobile also mentions while T-Mobile's field engineering crew was at the 
Luis Muñoz Marín Airport, they were drafted to help install a generator 
for the FAA Control Tower. That's one way to help get your supplies on the 

If you have information about other telecommunication providers in Puerto 
Rico or U.S. Virgin Islands, let me know.

Due to damage to the FAA communications and guidance systems, only a 
dozen or so commercial flights can land during daylight hours each day. 
Airlines report over 20,000 people on standby lists, and nearly 1,000 
people waiting at the airport for any flight.

The Port of San Juan is open, daylight hours only, and receiving freight 
barges. While there is a plenty of fuel, food and supplies at the port; 
getting truck drivers to the port and damage/blocked roads is slowing 
distribution of supplies to the rest of the island. U.S. Mail and other 
express delivery companies still do not have service in Puerto Rico. 
Limited U.S. Mail hand-out service is available at a few post offices in 
U.S. Virgin Islands.

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