Updated: May 13
We have heard from Senator Sullivan's office that both he and Senator Murkowski are, "staying engaged with the Coast Guard regarding VHF outages. On December 2, 11 radio towers were not working for various reasons. The Coast Guard has plans to repair 8 of them as soon as the end of this month, but that will be dependent on weather conditions among other challenges.
"Additionally, the Coast Guard has committed to increasing their public outreach to ensure that people have up to date information on the outages. They are also adding a new contract to increase their capability to service more towers. Lastly, they are looking at ways to accelerate the major renovations of the older towers that are currently scheduled to continue through 2024. In short, the issue is not resolved but there is traction toward increased coverage."
In the video clip above, Sen. Sullivan discusses the Coast Guard's response to the comms outage with Admiral Charles Ray, in the Senate Commerce Committee meeting, December 12. In their exchange, Adm. Ray explains that, "80% of the problem is with power generation...if you get good power generation to these sites, they're gonna work." To that end, the Adm. Ray explains that the Coast Guard recently changed maintenance contractors and that they will reallocate resources from other projects to get the VHF repeaters back up and running.