Time Warner Cable steps up Sandy repairs in NYC; Comcast offers free WiFi

Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) said Wednesday that it has assigned 98 percent of its technical teams in the New York area to repair damage to its network from Hurricane Sandy, but that much of its work is tied to the ability of utility company Con Edison to restore power in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.

"We have to wait until ConEd is finished restoring power and can guarantee the safety of an area before we can begin our repair work," Time Warner Cable director of digital communications Jeff Simmermon wrote in a blog post.

Time Warner Cable said most of its customers that have lost pay TV, high-speed Internet and phone service are in Manhattan, where an estimated 400,000 residents that live below 38th Street remain without power on Wednesday. Simmermon said that a "small percentage" of Brooklyn customers are experiencing service interruptions in parts of Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Redhook.

In Queens, Time Warner Cable subscribers are experiencing "scattered service outages," Simmermon said. And most of the outages in Staten Island have been in low-lying coastal areas that are still without power, he added.

Meanwhile, Cox Communications said it is working to restore service for subscribers in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Ohio that were impacted by the storm. "Fallen trees, downed power lines and other obstacles may limit Cox technicians' ability to repair downed wires. We are partnering with numerous emergency management agencies for our recovery efforts," the company said in a statement.

Cox has succeeded in restoring service to all hospitals and the facilities used by first responders, the company added.

And Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) said in a statement that it is helping residents and emergency personnel deal with the aftermath from Sandy by opening access to its Xfinity WiFi hotpots on the East coast to all Web surfers, "even if they are not customers."

For more:
- see the Time Warner Cable blog
- see the Cox release

Special Coverage: Hurricane Sandy's aftermath

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