Verge employees in and around New York City are reporting that some carriers' networks are spotty today — in particular, T-Mobile and AT&T have confirmed outages in certain areas, and it's likely that the severe weather, flooding, and extended power outages brought about by Hurricane Sandy have knocked out others as well. "Verizon isn't holding up well," reads an email we just received from our own Lorien Olsen who's currently in lower Manhattan. The outages appear to be tower-by-tower; service may work in one neighborhood and not in the next.
"Verizon isn't holding up well."
Under normal circumstances, backup generators at cell sites are expected to keep the towers (and the network) alive in the event of a power disruption. Clearly, Sandy is anything but normal — but it's good to remember that the cellular networks are not impervious as a failsafe when power and landline internet services go down.
We're awaiting responses to requests for network status updates from several carriers at the moment, but AT&T has provided this:
As we continue to closely monitor our wireline and wireless networks for service disruptions, we are experiencing some issues in areas heavily impacted by the storm. We are in the initial stages of performing an on-the-ground assessment of our network for damage and crews will be working around the clock to restore service. We are deploying personnel and equipment as soon as it is safe to do so.
If you're in the tri-state area, let us know how the network's holding up in your neck of the woods.
Update: T-Mobile's statement mostly mirror's AT&T's; the carrier is "assessing the situation" and gearing up for repairs.
Severe high winds and weather conditions continue to affect many areas. Due to the impacts of Sandy, T-Mobile customers may be experiencing service disruptions or an inability to access service in some areas, especially those that were hardest hit by the storm. T-Mobile rapid response engineering teams are assessing the situation and we are moving as quickly as possible.
And from Sprint:
Sprint is experiencing service impacts in the states affected by Hurricane Sandy and the concurrent winter weather conditions, particularly in the New York tri-state area, parts of Pennsylvania, and parts of New England. These impacts are due to loss of commercial power, flooding, loss of cell site backhaul connections, site access and damaging debris. Weather and safety conditions are still dire in some areas, but our technicians are assessing the damage and servicing sites as they become known to us and as the areas are deemed safe to enter. Given the on-going weather conditions, we cannot provide a specific number of impacted customers, but we ask that they remain patient at this time and exercise caution in the aftermath of the recent events.
Update 2: As of Tuesday evening, T-Mobile is saying that its network is "more than 80 percent operational" in New York City and more than 90 percent in Washington DC.