Verizon, AT&T: Cell networks back up after Sandy
Verizon and AT&T said Thursday that their wireless networks are fully back up after Superstorm Sandy blew into New York and New Jersey on Oct. 29.
Verizon Wireless said its network is at pre-storm levels, while AT&T said, "As of today, we're pretty much back to normal."
Sprint Nextel said it still has some towers out because the companies that connect its cell towers to switching centers haven't completed their restoration efforts.
Verizon Communications, the parent of Verizon Wireless, is the dominant local phone company in the area and serves many cell towers. It's still working to recover from the storm, which flooded a vital switching station in downtown Manhattan.
Federal regulators said Sandy knocked out about 25 percent of cell towers belonging to all carriers in a coastal area spread over parts of 10 states.
Verizon appeared to do better than average. The company said 6 percent of its towers were out of action immediately after the storm. AT&T and T-Mobile USA joined in an "unprecedented" arrangement, letting their customers roam for free on both networks to make up for gaps in coverage due to blacked-out cell towers.
T-Mobile said Thursday that its network has largely returned to normal.