Cell phones, landlines stand up to Irene
From the New York Times: As cleanup crews and homeowners began to assess the scope of the damage on Sunday from Hurricane Irene, wireless phone companies were reporting that the storm’s effect on their networks was minimal and that most customers did not experience cellular disruptions, despite the high winds and ferocious rains. The providers said the full extent might not be known until after the storm moved offshore.
The Federal Communications Commission, which activated the Disaster Information Reporting System, an online tool that helps the agency gather information and assess the breadth of damage to the communications networks, is still gauging the extent of the disruptions. It said Sunday that no 911 center was without service and that it had received no reports of public safety communications disruptions.
Late Sunday afternoon, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that a handful of radio sites and thousands of wirelines went down during the storm, leaving 132,000 landline subscribers without service. The majority of those were concentrated in North Carolina and Virginia. The FCC said that 1,400 cell sites along the coast were down, and several hundred were running on backup power.