Hurricane Maria: Summary of communication status - and lack of
sean at donelan.com
Sat Sep 30 03:07:47 CST 2017
The situation reports from Puerto Rico seems to be getting passed
through public relations, so I'll try to add some context.
Primary Public Safety Answering Point (9-1-1) center generator
ran out of diesel fuel. Switched to alternate PSAP.
San Juan Police Department has restored its radio repeaters and
police radio communications metro-wide. (translated from spanish, so I
think I understood the technical translation).
Landline Central Offices
813,546 subscribers (CIA World Factbook)
390,000 subscribers in 52 municipalities with voice, data and long
Repaired fiber optic cable conntecting CO's in Fajardo and Rio
65% of inter-office Central Office connections restored island-wide.
Remaining CO's have only local voice calling.
Optico Fiber reports most of its infrastructure is intact, and has
open WiFi hotspots outside its offices.
3,227,281 subscribers (CIA World Factbook)
29 municipalities have 0% working cell sites. It appears carriers are
repairing one tower in each county/municipality to improve island-wide
coverage. Several municipalities going from 0 to 1 cell site working.
310,000 subscribers in 28 municipalities with working cell towers (Claro)
34% of San Juan has working cell tower coverage (Claro)
Cell on Wheels in Ponce (4 mile radius) serving 6,000 calls per hour,
35,000 texts per hour (AT&T)
Dorado, Tao Baja and Toa Alta have T-Mobile service (T-Mobile)
I don't know what FCC and PRTRB are counting:
286 working cell sites out of 2671 (according to FCC report)
96 working cell sites out of 1600 (according to PR Telecommunications
Regulatory Board report)
For context, the number of cell sites repaired each day since
the end of Hurricane Maria is improving slowly - average less than 20
sites a day, but some days its negative, i.e. more cell towers failing
On U.S. Virigin Islands, the number of cell sites out of service
decreased initially, but has slowly increased for the last 5 days.
I created a spreadsheet of the FCC wirelss outage data from hurricane
Harvey, Irma and Maria.
There is no consistent pattern between states, territories or hurricanes.
Florida had the fatest wireless restoration, average 500 cell sites
restored a day; while U.S. Virgin Islands averaged less than 1
cell site restored. But Florida was mostly restoring the electrical grid,
which restored lots of cell sites. Harvey was slow to start restoring
cell sites, the tropical storm lasted for days; but less than 6% of cell
sites were out of service.
First official report from Liberty Cable Puerto Rico
Most cable headends or in good condition, with backup generators.
Internet connection to international circuits reconnected. Main fiber
trunk between San Juan and Luquillo completed. Working to repair
infrastructure and primary services such as physical plant, main
repeater bases, fiber optic ring and fiber to distribution stations in
Satellite Services and Satellite Phones
As more satellite phones are distributed, social media and news
reporters are saying satellite capacity is getting worse. It may be user
issues and lack of training, or running out of satellite bandwidth in the
American Red Cross driving a VSAT station between shelters, and
setting up temporary hotspots for an hour at each shelter so people can
contact family members.
More information about the NANOG