Communications Workers of America: AT&T outclassed Verizon in hurricane response, and it wasn’t close

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After Hurricane Michael wreaked havoc on Florida in 2018, AT&T restored wireless service more quickly than Verizon because it relied on well-trained employees while Verizon instead used contractors that "did not have the proper credentials," according to the Communications Workers of America, a union that represents workers from both telecoms. The Federal Communications Commission recently found that carriers' mistakes prolonged outages caused by the hurricane. Many customers had to go without cellular service for more than a week. It's not surprising for a union to argue that union workers are preferable to contractors, of course, but it seems clear that AT&T did a better job than Verizon after the storm. 

The FCC's Hurricane Michael investigation found that carriers failed to follow their own previous voluntary roaming commitments, unnecessarily prolonging outages. Despite that, the FCC is still relying entirely on voluntary measures to prevent recurrences. The CWA argues that the industry's voluntary commitments aren't enough. In addition to proposed pre-credentialing requirements, the union said that permitting agencies "should require that lead companies identify their subcontractors when applying for work permits."

AT&T outclassed Verizon in hurricane response, and it wasn’t close, union says