Cable Tech

Hurricane Ida knocks out service to almost 500K cable/broadband subs

Nearly half a million customers still do not have cable/broadband service in the areas that were hit hardest by Hurricane Ida earlier this week, according to the latest report from the FCC.

The September 1 hurricane status report from the FCC revealed that more than 480,000 homes in three Southern states lack wireline TV, Internet or phone service or a combination of them. Not surprisingly, Louisiana accounts for nearly all the disrupted households, with 468,674, followed by 10,909 in Mississippi and 1,125 in Alabama.

But the actual number of customers who can't access service is undoubtedly even higher than that because more than a million households have lost electrical power, according to news reports.

The affected areas are served by such major cable operators as Comcast, Charter Communications, Cox Communications and Cable One, with Cox probably having the largest exposure because it serves New Orleans. Spokespeople for all four companies told Multichannel News that they now have teams in the field assessing the damage from high winds, flooding and electrical power outages.

On the wireless side, the FCC reported that nearly 787 cell sites in Louisiana, about 29% of the state's 2,759 total cell sites, still remained out of service as of Wednesday morning. Most of the outages were due to a lack of power.

In Mississippi and Alabama, which were not hit as hard by Ida, the damage was far less. Alabama reported just five cell sites, or 0.5% of its total number, down as of yesterday morning, while Mississippi reported only 31 cell sites, or 1.1% of its total, out of service at that point.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

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