It wasn’t just power that went out for hundreds of thousands of people across the northeast. Cell reception — even in areas with power — has been spotty at best, and frequently entirely absent.
Verizon Wireless issued a statement saying that 6 percent of its cell sites remained down in storm-affected areas. T-Mobile said roughly 20 percent of its New York City network and 10 percent of its Washington, D.C. network was down. When asked by reporters about its service, AT&T declined to even specify the just how much had gone out.
Nancy Scola, correspondent at The Atlantic, covers politics and technology.