Cell service slowly being restored following power outages, storm damage

By Jeff Tavss - Executive Producer

MIAMI - While more and more stores opening and other signs of "normal life" coming back online following Hurricane Irma, many residents are upset about the service -- or lack of service -- from their cell provider.

Cell connectivity remains an issue throughout South Florida, frustrating people looking to contact loved ones, friends or businesses.

All of the major carriers say they are working nonstop to bring full service back to all customers.

Power outages and flooding issues in the area are slowing efforts, but technicians remain on the job and connectivity should improve each day.

While 75 percent of Sprint's Florida network is operational, the company says South Florida was one of the hardest hit areas, directly impacting cell sites.

Sprint says users should expect to see ongoing improvements in the coming days as power is restored and more cell sites come back on.

Verizon claims 90 percent of their facilities in the state are in service, but many of them are working on backup power. The company says 40 percent of their stores are open and residents are invited to come in to charge their devices, regardless of provider.

AT&T has dispatched more than 20 pieces of recovery equipment, including portable cell sites, in the Florida Keys to help service in Monroe County.

Verizon is also sending two SPOT's (satellite pico-cell trucks) to the Keys to provide connectivity via satellite.

To help Florida Keys residents currently sheltered in Miami, AT&T has set up a charging station and Wi-Fi hotspot to let evacuees file FEMA claims and take care of any business they may have.


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