Irma Hammers Cell Sites

Hurricane Irma has done a number on cell sites in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the 44 counties reporting to the FCC's Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS), and that number is 55.2% of those sites out of service.

DIRS is the system through which providers voluntarily report on the status of communications.

Irma is a category 5 hurricane and one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record.

The FCC said that based on limited input there are no broadcast stations off the air. The FCC also said that based on the widespread power outages, it has received reports that "large percentages" of consumers in the affected areas are without cable or wireline service.

Late Thursday the FCC expanded the request for DIRS reports to all counties in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

(Photo via Official U.S. Navy Page's Flickr. Image taken on Sept. 7, 2017 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 16x9 aspect ratio.)

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.