updated 04:26 pm EDT, Wed October 31, 2012
Networks will allow cross-carrier calling without roaming
AT&T and T-Mobile have announced today that, in the wake of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, each carrier will allow customers to place calls from the other's coverage area without incurring roaming fees. The no-roaming agreement applies to AT&T and T-Mobile customers living in areas heavily affected by the hurricane, and where capacity is available for subscribers with a compatible device.
Customers of the two carriers will be able to place calls as they normally would, but the calls will be carried by whichever network is stronger in the area of the call. No rate changes or service agreement changes will be necessary, even when a device notes it is attached to another carrier's network.
Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the northeastern United States earlier this week, with the related weather damage totaling in the tens of billions. As of today, a quarter of cell towers are down across 10 states. The Federal Communications Commission has claimed that, as the storm continues along its path, further damage to the communications infrastructure is likely to occur. The FCC recommends that the public rely on text messaging, social media, and other means to contact friends and family, rather than use the cell network for calls. It also advises that residents of the affected areas use 911 services only in the case of a critical emergency.