WASHINGTON — On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission deactivated the Disaster Information Reporting System for Alabama and Georgia it put into place after Hurricane Michael made landfall.
The FCC noted improvements in the communications services in Georgia but said “the percentage of cell sites out of service remains more significant in Bay, Gadsden, Gulf and Washington Counties.”
DIRS remains active in the Florida Panhandle, where 12 FM and two AM radio stations were reported down as of Oct. 18 at 11 a.m. One FM station is also down but transmitting its programming via another station.
The commission also said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai would visit Florida to get “an on-the-ground assessment” of the situation and check on the restoration of communication services in the area.
Earlier this week, Pai described “the slow progress in restoring wireless service” as “completely unacceptable.” Because of this, he called on “wireless carriers to waive the bills of Floridians in these affected areas for the month of October and to allow them to change carriers without penalty,” as well as “immediately disclose publicly to Floridians how they will quickly restore service.” Because of this, he also directed the Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau to initiate an investigation.
Read more about the FCC’s Hurricane Michael recovery efforts here.