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FCC Believes Radio Is Recuperating From Sandy

Not many stations are off the air, according to agency’s DIRS stats

The FCC says a handful of radio stations remain off the air due to Sandy and that number is not increasing.

A spokesman told Radio World that three STAs have been issued for radio, one to move a station and the others to allow them to operate on daytime power levels at night

Overall, there’s a small number of radio station outages and the commission hasn’t seen that grow.

The commission is keeping an eye on the status of communications in a core area that stretches from Virginia to Massachusetts. The core is comprised of 158 counties across 10 states.

Some 25% of cell sites for wireless transmission in the core area are out of service; that figure was down “a few percentage points” on Wednesday, according to the official.

The agency’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau is getting the outage information from its Disaster Information Reporting System. DIRS is a voluntary, web-based system that broadcasters and other communications providers can use to report communications infrastructure status and situational awareness information during a crisis.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski later expressed the agency’s condolences for those who lost loved ones in the storm. He thanked first responders especially “and other emergency teams who are working tirelessly in the recovery efforts.”

The commission continues to assess and respond to Sandy’s impact, he said, noting that while overall, the condition of our communications networks is improving, but serious outages remain, singling out the New York, New Jersey areas.

“We are continuing to work closely with FEMA and our other federal, state, and local partners — as well as communications companies — in response efforts,” said Genachowski. “The crisis is not over. We’ll continue to be intensely focused on helping with the full recovery of wired and wireless communications infrastructure.”