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Poor Reporting

Most of the stories about the satellite that went out of control have said
that as a result of the problem, 80% of the pagers in the country do not work.
This is not really true.  Most pagers work off a local or regional network of
towers and the satellites only come in to play if you have service outside of
your local area.  It would be fair to say that 80% of SATELLITE pagers do not
work, but most pagers are not satellite pagers.

I suspect what happened was that the original AP story on the problem had the
error on the issue or was ambigous and the error was simply repeated by
everyone else.

The only story that I have heard that got this right was during the noon news
from NPR, but even in that case, the headlines read by the Maine Public Radio
reporter going in to the news said that 80% of pagers nationally were not

Dan Billings
Bowdoinham, Maine