Verizon and AT&T confirm cell service back to normal after Sandy

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As America’s East Coast continues to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, Verizon Wireless and AT&T shared some positive news on Friday: their wireless networks are back in full swing.

“As of today, we’re pretty much back to normal,” AT&T said to the Associated Press. T-Mobile announced on Thursday that its cell network is essentially restored as well, and Verizon said that its network is functioning just as it did before the storm hit on Oct. 29. 

Other carriers, however, are still experiencing difficulties. Some of Sprint’s towers are still dysfunctional because the companies that connect its cell towers to switching centers have not finished their restoration efforts. Verizon Wireless’ parent company Verizon Communications Inc. serves many local cell towers in the New York City area and is also still recovering from the storm. During Hurricane Sandy, a crucial switching station in downtown Manhattan was severely flooded.

About 25 percent of cell towers belonging to all carriers in a coastal area that spanned across 10 states were knocked out during Sandy, federal regulators said. Verizon did manage to fare better than most, the AP reports, as only six percent of its towers were knocked out immediately following the storm. AT&T and T-Mobile both claim to have given their subscribers an “unprecedented” break, as both networks let customers roam for free to compensate for gaps in coverage.

Hurricane Sandy was projected to be the worst storm in 100 years when it swept across the East Coast. The so-called “Frankenstorm” has claimed 121 lives in total, 43 being from New York City, according to Reuters.

When the storm hit on Oct. 29, more than 7.9 million East Coast habitants were left without power. About 120,000 residents in New York and New Jersey remained without power as of this weekend.

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