Report finds faults with Hurricane Michael wireless outages

James Whiddon looks over damage caused by Hurricane Michael on October 19, 2018 in Mexico Beach, Florida. Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle on October 10, as a category 4 storm causing massive damage and claiming over 30 lives.
Posted at 7:51 AM, May 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-13 07:51:09-04

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — A Federal Communications Commission report says wireless carriers' poor preparation and coordination lengthened communication outages in the Florida Panhandle after Hurricane Michael.

The Panama City News Herald reports that the FCC report makes several recommendations for improvement in the future, such as wireless providers having pre-storm roaming agreements, mutual restoration deals and cooperation with local utilities.

Michael roared ashore in the Panhandle as a Category 5 storm in October and caused widespread devastation, including communications problems for thousands of people. Most power poles, cell and radio towers were knocked out of commission.

The News Herald reports that Verizon is investing $25 million to install its latest 5G wireless service in Panama City later this year, making it one of just 30 U.S. cities to get the new technology.