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Radio News: Transmissions on Puerto Rico still intermittent

Dec 13, 2017 10:50 pm
As of Dec. 13, the Federal Communications Commission reports that 17.6 percent of cell phone service is still out in Puerto Rico, since Hurricane Maria hit the island in late September. In the Virgin Islands, 21.4 percent of cell phone service is still out. So a fifth of the island, roughly, is still without personal communication. The public communication situation is worse. Just five television stations are working, according to the FCC, while two stations "are suspected to be out of service," and "70 TV stations have been issued Special Temporary Authority to be offline" and "30 TV stations have unconfirmed status." In the U.S. Virgin Islands, no television stations are broadcasting. On the radio just "42 AM radio stations are confirmed operational," in Puerto Rico while 32 AM stations are not broadcasting. On FM, 55 stations are working, while 56 are off the air or have an unknown status to the FCC. The ones that are on the air are struggling, Radio World reports. Because of constant electrical outages, many stations are running on backup generators, and are spending a lot of money on fuel. And since the entire island is devastated, there aren't a lot of advertising dollars coming in to pay for that fuel, and other costs. “There’s no business for radio stations, and when there’s no business there’s no money,” said Jose Ribas Dominicci, executive director of the Puerto Rico Radio Broadcasters Association. The National Association of Broadcasters has sent 10,000 portable radios for listeners on the island, but they might be getting a lot of static.
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