Morons Minding the Store

I’ve read any number of things worth commenting on today but the FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski, gets the heads up for his ridiculous statement about the damage from hurricane Irene.

“The good news, based on these initial reports, is that there hasn’t been major damage to our communications infrastructure, except for damage along coastal regions hit hard by the storm,” he said in a statement.

How’s that? Everything is fine. Except where the hurricane hit. OK.
LINK

The extent of the damage wreaked on the East Coast’s communications infrastructure became more apparent on Monday as new reports trickled in to the Federal Communications Commission.

As of Monday afternoon, as the storm moved north, the commission reported that 44 percent of the cell tower sites in Vermont are out of service, more than a third are out in Connecticut, 31 percent are out in Rhode island, and a quarter are out of service in Virginia.

Meanwhile, the percentage of cell sites that are out of service in North Carolina declined slightly to 11 percent from 14 percent.

So far, Hurricane Irene has put 6,500 cell phone sites out of service, knocked out 210,700 landline phones, crippled two television stations, affected a million cable customers and taken 10 radio stations off line.

These numbers are larger than the ones reported Sunday afternoon by the commission, which at the time said 1,398 cell sites were not operational. That could be because many of the cell sites at the time were operating on back-up power.

But it also appears that the number of cable subscribers whose cable service has gone down has doubled from 500,000 on Sunday.

Nevertheless, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Sunday that in his opinion, the damage to the communications infrastructure wasn’t “major,” and that first responders were not impeded in their emergency communications.

“The good news, based on these initial reports, is that there hasn’t been major damage to our communications infrastructure, except for damage along coastal regions hit hard by the storm,” he said in a statement.

“The FCC remains on active watch around-the-clock to assess and respond to outages where necessary,” he said. “I have also spoken directly to the CEOs of wireless, telco and cable companies, and we are working to ensure continuation of service, and that service is restored quickly where needed.”

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