AT&T cell phone service is back online for more than 82% of Louisiana residents after Monday’s blackout, but Cox Communications is still assessing damage and making repairs to bring back internet and cable.
Cell phone service was down for a majority of AT&T customers in southeast Louisiana during and after Hurricane Ida passed through the state Sunday evening. At the same time, Cox Communications internet services went down as well, meaning even residents with electricity might have been cut off from the world outside the state.
AT&T’s problems were blamed for 911 service problems in the New Orleans area, The Washington Post reports, and was criticized by residents and family and friends who could not reach each other while service was down. Some people took to other forms of communication to connect with and check on family members, including Facebook and Twitter, while others posted numbers for official parish contacts and The Cajun Navy.
AT&T’s teams navigated storm damage to gain access to network locations and are deploying additional resources to assist with recovery. The company also has additional generators in the region and are deploying them as needed. Commercial power may not be restored soon, their website says, but they are maintaining and refueling generators until commercial power is restored.
The company has seven mobile satellite cell towers on air, and planned to deploy 12 additional ones as of Monday.
Internet service may take a bit longer to be restored, according to the Cox website, because it involves walking and surveying to check on hundreds of lines and pieces of equipment that could be below, on or above the ground on the power lines. Cox says its bringing in 500 additional technicians to the region to help restore connectivity.