As Florida Power & Light continues to restore power to its 4.9 million accounts around the state of Florida after Hurricane Irma, other utilities such as cable TV, internet and cell phones are starting to come back online.
At 3 p.m. Friday, nearly 242,000 homes and businesses in Miami-Dade County did not have electricity — roughly one out of five of FPL’s 1.1 million customers in the area.
In Broward, 145,940 clients out of 933,300 were still in the dark. In Palm Beach, 85,110 out of 739,000 were still longing for air conditioning.
FPL has promised to restore service to all its customers in South Florida by late Sunday evening, with the exception of properties that suffered severe damage from flooding or tornadoes.
According to Thursday’s Federal Communication Commission status report on areas impacted by Hurricane Irma, 13.4 percent of cell sites across the state are out of service, down from 18.1 percent on Wednesday.
In Miami-Dade, 355 out of 1,435 cell sites (25 percent) were down. In Broward, 175 out of 924 sites (19 percent) were down. In Palm Beach, 136 out of 726 sites (19 percent) were dark.
In Monroe county, where Hurricane Irma caused the most damage, 83 out of 108 cell sites (77 percent) were still out of service.
Verizon’s southeast market president Russ Preite said 97 percent of the company’s network facilities and all but three of the company-owned stores around Florida were operational Friday.
Sprint spokesperson Roni Singleton said their cell phone service has been fully restored to 80 percent of Florida customers.
Comcast spokesperson Mindy Kramer said the company had deployed crews from Michigan and Indiana to South Florida to help with restoration efforts and had already repaired more than 5,000 downed drops — the line connection from the pole to the home.
“In the past 24 hours we have restored Xfinity [cable and internet] services to another nearly 70,000 people in South Florida,” she said. “In areas where power is not yet restored, then Xfinity services won’t be able to function. We are also seeing pocket outages in places where power is back but our local plant sustained some damage in the area.”
Atlantic Broadband president and CEO Richard Shea said that as of noon Friday, 64 percent of the company’s Florida customers were back online.
“Atlantic Broadband’s network is fully functional and we are able to turn customers’ services back on quickly once power is restored,” he said.
Representatives for T-Mobile and AT&T could not offer specifics but claimed service was being brought back as quickly as possible.