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7.6 Million Floridians Without Internet/Phone Service After Hurricane Irma

Phillip Dampier September 12, 2017 Consumer News, Public Policy & Gov't No Comments

At least 7,597,945 Floridians are without cable, broadband and phone service after Hurricane Irma left large sections of Florida without power or wired telecommunications service.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, service providers have self-reported multiple large outages including 911 service, cell towers, cable service, and radio and television services. In many cases, the outages are directly tied to power interruptions, and many expect service will resume soon after Florida utilities get electricity service back up and running.


Providers report 390 central switching offices are non functioning across Florida at this time. These offices handle landline calls and wired broadband from AT&T and Frontier Communications, among other telephone companies. Where physical damage from wind or water has occurred, it could take weeks or months before those offices are fully restored, but temporary provisions for restoring basic phone service are likely to be in place within days.

There are also significant 911 outages across Florida:

No 911 Service, Calls Going Unanswered: Big Cypress Indian Reservation, Collier County EOC, Ft. Myers Police Department, Glades County Sheriff, Glades County Sheriff Back Up, Hardee County Back Up, Hendry County Sheriff, Highlands County Sheriff, Lee County Emergency Dispatch Center EOC, Naples PD, Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Department, Homestead Air Force, Marathon SO, and Ocean Reef.

911 Service With No Automatic Caller Location Information (ALI): Hardee County Sheriff and Lee County Sheriff

Re-routed with ALI: Atlantic Beach PD, Belle Glade PD, Indian River SO, Manalapan PD, Miami Beach PD, Neptune Beach PD, and St. Augustine PD

Re-routed without ALI: 4 Clewiston Police Department, Desoto County Sheriff, Lee County Backup, and Sanibel Police Department

Potential Outage: The Broward County South Region 911 Center lost power as of 9/10/17 at 2:28PM EDT. We do not know if 911 calls are being rerouted.

Wireless Service

Overall, 27.4% of cell sites in the disaster area of Florida are out of service. The worst outages are in:

  • Collier County: 160 of 212 cell sites are down. (75.5%)
  • Hendry County: 31 out of 46 cell sites are down. (67.4%)
  • Highlands County: 42 out of 80 cell sites are down. (52.5%)
  • Lee County: 186 out of 343 cell sites are down. (54.2%)
  • Miami-Dade County: 739 out of 1,435 cell sites down. (51.5%)
  • Monroe County: 87 out of 108 cell sites down. (80.6%)


There are two television stations out of service in Florida: WVFW and WZVN. There are 26 radio stations off the air: W227CP, W300CL, W222AW, WROK, WAOA-FM, WHKR, WLZR, WIOD, WOLZ, WINZ, WBTT, WCKT, WRUM, WQOL, WZZR, WSWN, WOTW, WMFQ, WXUS, WYCG, WEAT, WTIR, WMYR, WCNZ, and W294AN.

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