Why Did Hurricane Sandy Knock Out My Virgin Mobile Broadband For Almost 2 Weeks?

Towers.

Last week, Hurricane Sandy flooded and took out power in many areas of the Northeast. Compared to the devastation in other areas, damage in Philadelphia was pretty minimal. Dorothy is lucky, considering. What she can’t understand, though, is why her mobile broadband device from Virgin Mobile will be down until Saturday, November 10.

Just wanted to raise something for your attention. Was told last night that Virgin’s broadband2go service is down in Philadelphia until November 10 (went offline on the October 29). This is an area that had high winds and flooding in some suburban areas, but the vast vast majority of power remained online.

Of course, in light of the tragedy of Sandy, this is not a big deal. But I couldn’t get Virgin to explain to me how the service is down when the area is (relatively) unaffected and their 4G/3G signals are otherwise accessible.

So, if possible, could you help explain how service can be down for that long in an unaffected time? And is this really a problem or I am just being told this as an excuse? It would be helpful to understand how this works as I reassess my mobile broadband options for the future.

We contacted Virgin Mobile’s PR team, who looked into the situation. They’re New York-based and had intermittent power, and we’re grateful that they were able to answer Dorothy’s question. Well, sort of.

Here’s the statement they gave us last week:

Wanted to let you know that some customers are being impacted by a combination of hurricane consequences and our ongoing network build initiative, Network Vision, a scheduled service upgrade going on in the area. Here’s an update for the Philly area.

3G Browsing, EVDO Connection and Voice – 11/10/2012 11PM Central Time.

The “Network Vision” upgrade is part of Sprint’s network overhaul