The road to the recovery of cellular service facilities in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico continues long and the progress is slow. More than 75 percent of the cell sites are out of service. A dozen of of the 78 counties have 100 percent of their cell sites out of service. However, carriers have gotten creative in their efforts to push connectivity to everyone on the island.
“The four major wireless companies have opened up roaming on the islands so that they, collectively, can serve the maximum population of the islands with the current coverage available,” the FCC said. “They are coordinating and prioritizing the recovery of cell sites and placement of temporary assets with the other carriers to maximize the coverage for all subscribers.”
Carriers are deploying satellite Cells on Light Trucks (COLTs) have been in Aguadilla, Arecibo, Cayey, Caomo Sur, Fajardo, Guayama, Manati, Mayaguez Mesa, San German, Vega Baja, and Yauco. Terrestrial Cells on Wheels (COWs)/COLTs have been placed in Humacao, Quebradillas, Rio Grande, and Utuado. Such deployments have been integral to getting service to around 61 percent of the population was reported to be covered by the wireless carriers in Puerto Rico.
Meanwhile, in the U.S. Virgin Islands 55.4 percent of cell sites are out of service, and 88.9 percent of cell sites in St. John are out of service. However, nearly 90 percent of the population was reported to be covered by the wireless carriers in the U.S. Virgin Islands.