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South Florida Company Providing Much-Needed Satellite Phones To Puerto Rico

South Florida Company Providing Much-Needed Satellite Phones To Puerto Rico


HOSPITAL SHIP USS COMFORT IS EXPECTED TO LEAVE SATURDAY. IT COULD TAKE UP TO FIVE DAYS TO GET. PUERTO RICO ALSO NEEDS COMMUNICATION. THE HURRICANE DESTROYED MOST IF NOT ALL OF ITS CELL TOWERS. BUT TONIGHT, A SMALL SOUTH FLORIDA COMPANY IS COMING TO THE RESCUE. HANK IS LIVE WITH THE DETAILS. REPORTER: THE WAY YOU CAN COMMUNICATE IS BY SATELLITE PHONE. THE FOLKS HERE AT ATLANTA RADIO TELEPHONE, THEY’VE GOT THEM. THEY SELL THEM, AND THEY SENT A REPRESENTATIVE DOWN TO SAN JUAN, AND LO AND BEHOLD, HE WOUND UP GETTING THE AIRPORT BACK INTO ACTION JUST AFTER THE HURRICANE. LET’S TAKE A LOOK. HOPEFULLY SHE GOT AN ANSWER. PUERT RUCO, HURRICANE MARIA BLEW OUT MOST LOCATIONS. ASK ANYONE WITH LOVED ONES ON THE ISLAND, GETTING INFORMATION ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE BY CELL PHONE. 95% OF THE CELL TOWERS INOPERATIVE, LAND LINES DOWN. RIGHT THIS IS THE LIFELINE FOR PEOPLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH THEIR FAMILIES. REPORTER: C.J. WEBER IS TALKING ABOUT SATELLITE PHONES. THEY ARE THE GLUE HOLDING THE ISLAND COMMUNICATIONS TOGETHER. HERE YOU SEE PUETO RECAN NATIONAL GUARDSMEN. SATELLITE ORDERS ARE POURING IN. THEY’RE NOT CHEAP. FIVE HUNDRED TO $1,500 EACH. BUT THEY WORK. HOW TO GET THOSE PHONES THE ISLAND TO LOVED ONES? I’VE HEARD PEOPLE GOING IN BOATS, COMMERCIAL FLIGHT, HOWEVER THEY CAN GET THERE. ATLANTA TELEPHONES SENT A REPRESENTATIVE ON ONE OF THE FIRST PRIVATE EDUCATES TO GET ON THE ISLAND, TO LAND AT SAN JUAN AIRPORT, TO HELP FEMA WITH COMMUNICATIONS. NICK PEREZ DID MUCH MORE. HE ENCOUNTERED THIS SCENE AT THE AIRPORT. FEMA COULD WAIT. THE NEXT THING WE KNOW WE’RE AT THE AIRPORT, GIVING THEM COMMUNICATIONS SO THEY CAN CALL AND GET FLIGHTS IN, PROVIDING THE TOWER WITH COMMUNICATIONS. SO, YEAH, WE PLAYED A PIVOTAL ROLE IN GETTING THAT AIRPORT UP AND RUNNING. REPORTER: WELL, HOW SOON BEFORE CELL PHONE SERVICE CAN RETURN TO THE ISLAND? IT COULD BE MONTHS. THERE’S TALKS OF IMPORTING CELL PHONE TOWERS ON BARGES, ALSO FLYING IN PORTABLE UNITS. THAT’S THE VERY LATEST.

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