Cell phone towers in Connecticut are starting to lose their capabilities following the damage and outages from Tropical Storm Isaias, Governor Ned Lamont wrote to President Trump on Wednesday in a request for a Presidential Emergency Declaration.
In Danbury, Mayor Mark Boughton said the city is working on bringing in a temporary tower because the batteries are running low on existing towers.
Verizon said it had crews working through the night to deploy mobile cell sites to areas in the region, including Danbury.
"Commercial power outages continue, so refueling efforts for permanent generators continue in earnest. Verizon crews have also mobilized portable generators to restore power to areas without commercial power or permanent generator backup," according to Verizon spokesperson. In addition, the company said it has mobilized satellite links on trailers to help with connections for cell sites north of Danbury and Mystic.
T-Mobile said it's system is feeling the most impact in Connecticut and New Jersey.
"Over the coming days, some customers in these areas may experience intermittent impacts in service," T-Mobile said in a statement. "We appreciate our customers’ understanding and reassure them that our teams continue to work quickly to restore service in remaining impacted areas, as safety conditions allow. In addition to working very closely with local power providers, we are also deploying generators in some areas where there is lack of power."
AT&T said its network in the Northeast is operating at 96% of normal, but that some impacts are being felt.
"We have made significant progress restoring wireless service over the past few days but some wireless customers may be experiencing service disruptions caused by storm damage and power outages," AT&T said in a statement. "With extensive commercial power outages, back-up batteries and generators continue to provide power to many of our facilities. Our teams continue work around the clock to restore service as quickly and safely as conditions allow."
Some users have reported a loss of data service on their phones but still being able to make phone calls.
Cell phone providers typically assign voice traffic a higher priority than data traffic and they sacrifice data service first to keep phone calls working, according to Dr. Shengli Zhoi, associate head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Connecticut. Zhoi said in the aftermath of a storm, cell towers do decline in operation and available data capability is reduced.