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Cell phone service still suffering around the state

Cell phone companies are working to get all towers operational again.Zack Wittman  |  Times
Cell phone companies are working to get all towers operational again.Zack Wittman | Times
Published Sep. 13, 2017

Wireless providers are continuing to assess cell tower damage across the state from Hurricane Irma while customers grapple with service outages.

About 20 percent of T-Mobile customers in Florida are experiencing disruptions as of Tuesday, including in the Tampa Bay region.

Some service loss is the result of power outages, and some towers are still unable to be restored because of blocked roads or flooding, according to an official T-Mobile statement.

About 10 percent of Verizon Wireless' network facilities statewide are out of service, according to spokeswoman Katie Jay. Many of the functioning cell sites are running on backup power.

Sprint spokesperson Roni Singleton estimated there would be significant progress over the next few days for its customers as crews continue to assess damages, refuel generators and work to restore service.

Singleton said 75 percent of cellular sites in the Tampa Bay market are operational and many of those are working off generators.

Customers can assist the process by using text messaging instead of voice calling to relieve network resources, Singleton said.

AT&T customers in Florida are also affected by storm damage and power outages, but the company did not provide an estimate of how many were still affected as of Tuesday.

The company has a network disaster recovery team deploying portable cell sites to the Florida Keys, Miami and Tallahassee, and is deploying an electronic communication vehicle, command center and hazmat team in Miami, said spokeswoman Karen McAllister.

The bright side: Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile are waiving overage charges for affected customers through Friday, AT&T through Sunday.


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