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Hurricane Fiona Knocks Out Cable, Wireline Service to 1 Million-Plus Subs

Hurricane Fiona approaching Puerto Rico on the morning of September 18, 2022.
(Image credit: NASA/Terra-MODIS, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Federal Communications Commission said that more than 1 million subscribers in the path of Hurricane Fiona — in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands — are without cable or wireline phone, TV or internet service.

About 7% of cell sites were out of service in the affected areas, but the FCC pointed out those disruptions do not necessarily equate to outages, as wireless networks are designed often with numerous overlapping sites to help provide continuity of service. Plus, wireless companies often use temporary sites, including mobile ones, or initiate roaming agreements.

By contrast, no TV or radio stations reported being out of service.

That is as of Sunday, the most recent update via the FCC’s voluntary Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS).

The National Hurricane Center says that catastrophic flooding continues across much of Puerto Rico. ▪️

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.