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FCC: Hurricane Harvey Communications Recovery Is Mixed Message

The status of communications in the wake of Hurricane Harvey is mixed, with fewer cell sites and TV stations off the air, but more radio stations out of service and more cable/broadband subs without service.

That is according to the FCC's latest data gleaned from the networks and stations themselves.

According to the FCC's Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS), which relies on voluntary industry self-reporting, 3.8% of cell cites are out in areas affected by the Hurricane, all in Texas. Late Thursday, the FCC expanded the reporting to nine additional Texas counties per a request from FEMA.

Cable outages are up slightly to 270,139 subs without service compared to 267,426 the day before.

The number of radio stations off the air jumped from five to nine, with one back on air but another five knocked off.

Two TV stations remain off the air, KFDM and KBTV, down from three the day before with the restoration of KUQI, the first stations to be knocked out of service by the devastating storm.

Those figures are as of 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 30.

(Photo via theNASA Goddard Space Flight’s flickrand taken by Astronaut Randy Bresnik on Aug. 28, 2017. Image used per aCreative Commons 2.0 license. The image was cropped to fit the 16x9 aspect ratio.)

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.