Published: Oct 31, 2012 4:07 PM EDT
Updated: Nov 01, 2012 6:31 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) - Federal regulators say that wireless networks are slowly coming back to life after Hurricane Sandy, with about 1 in 5 cell towers still being out of service Wednesday in a storm-hit area stretching from Virginia to Massachusetts.

That compares with 1 in 4 cell towers that were out of service Tuesday, the day after the storm made landfall.

David Turetsky, head of public safety and homeland security at the Federal Communications Commission, says the situation has improved more rapidly for cable customers. On Tuesday, about 25 percent of them lacked service, but that has declined to "well under" 20 percent. He doesn't have a good count of how landline phone service holding up, but anecdotal reports suggested it was available in more areas than cellphone service.