Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Commications problems along Gulf Coast could worsen

An AP newswire article, via MSNBC, reports that:

Phone service was disrupted along the Gulf Coast for a second day on Tuesday as power outages and flooding from Hurricane Katrina kept call-routing equipment, network cables and cellular transmitters out of commission.

BellSouth Corp., the dominant local phone provider for the areas hit by Monday’s hurricane, said it had confirmed that at least 73,574 customers in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi were without service. It expected the figure would rise.

Most long-distance and cellular providers also reported troubles for a second day, though not all responded to requests for comment or quantified the extent of their problems.

As safety officials let repair crews enter some affected areas, it was possible that disruptions might spread. Backup generators and batteries that initially kept many local phone systems and cellular sites in service were in danger of exhaustion.

Sprint Nextel Corp. said a major call-routing switch in New Orleans remained nonfunctional Tuesday, disrupting wireline phone service as far as Florida.


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