* Flood damages Verizon backup generators in NYC
* AT&T, T-Mobile USA customers say service is spotty
* Cablevision, Sprint see widespread issues
By Sinead Carew
NEW YORK, Oct 30 Power outages and flooding
caused by Hurricane Sandy disrupted telecommunications services
on Tuesday and coverage was spotty for everything from
cellphones and home telephones to Internet services in
Verizon Communications said in the early hours of
Tuesday that its wireline service was suffering as flooding in
its central offices in lower Manhattan affected its back-up
generators and batteries.
The company said that its engineers were on site during the
night and were beginning to assess damage.
"Verizon is discovering that many poles and power
lines/Verizon cables are down throughout the region due to heavy
winds and falling trees," the company said in a statement.
Sprint Nextel, the No. 3 U.S. mobile provider said it
was seeing outages at some cell sites because of the power
outages across all the states in Sandy's path including New
York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Washington DC,
Maryland, North Virginia and New England.
People complained of outages to their cable telephone,
Internet and television services from providers ranging from
Comcast Corp, Cablevision Systems Corp and
Verizon in New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York.
Cablevision said it was experiencing widespread service
interruptions primarily related to loss of power. Comcast had no
Cellphone service also appeared to be spotty for other top
providers AT&T Inc and T-Mobile USA, a unit of Deutsche
Telekom, according to some customers.
AT&T declined to comment on whether it was having network
problems but said that it "will continue to monitor" its
wireline and wireless networks.
"Once we have a clear sense what's happening and where we'll
communicate it," spokesman Mark Siegel said.
Verizon Wireless declined immediate comment expect to say
that it is assessing the situation. A T-Mobile USA
representative was not immediately available for comment.
Several Time Warner Cable customers in Brooklyn said
that their Internet, television and phone services stopped
working Monday night but were back again by Tuesday morning.
Time Warner Cable said that while it has not seen any major
damage to its infrastructure, its customers who do no have
electricity do not have cable services.
Millions of people in the eastern United States awoke on
Tuesday to flooded homes, fallen trees and widespread power
outages caused by Sandy, which swamped New York City's subway
system and submerged streets in Manhattan's financial district.
At least 15 people were reported killed in the United States
by one of the biggest storms to ever hit the country. Sandy
dropped just below hurricane status before making landfall on
Monday night in New Jersey.