WASHINGTON—More than a month after Hurricane Maria hit, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are still feeling the effects on their broadcast and communication systems. Since the last DIRS update TV Technology covered, there has been improvement on the operation status of some Puerto Rico TV stations.
According to the DIRS report from Oct. 29, five TV stations—WKAQ, WIPR, WNJX, WTIN and WORO—in Puerto Rico are confirmed as operational. There are still two stations that are suspected to be out of service, WIPM and WELU. In addition, there are 67 TV stations that have been issued Special Temporary Authority to be offline and 33 TV stations that have unconfirmed status.
In the U.S. Virgin Islands, 14 stations have been issued Special Temporary Authority to be offline, while two stations have unconfirmed status.
Cell site service is also improving. Reports still show that Puerto Rico has 57.4 percent of its cell sites out of service, but all but 16 counties on the island have more than 50 percent of cell site service. The report also says that for the first time since Hurricane Maria hit no county in Puerto Rico has 100 percent of its cell sites down. Wireless companies have also opened up roaming on the island to boost access. As a result, approximately 64 percent of the population is reportedly covered by wireless carriers.
For the U.S. Virgin Islands, 36.4 percent of cell sites are still down, though St. John still has 100 percent of its cell sites out of service. DIRS reports that 93 percent of the population is covered.
DIRS is still activated for all counties in both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Read the full report here.