UPDATED: Verizon customers without service after fiber cutPublished 3:47pm Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Many Verizon Wireless customers were without cell service Tuesday afternoon after an AT&T fiber optics cable was cut south of Sylacauga, Ala.
According to Tallapoosa County E 9-1-1, Verizon Wireless Emergency Contact line informed them at about 2p.m. that a fiber optics cable cut south of Sylacauga resulted in 22 cell towers going out of service in the area, leaving Verizon Wireless and Windstream customers without mobile service.
“We found out there was no Verizon cell service, which not only affects people not being able to call each other from their cell phone – they also were not able to call 9-1-1,” said Tallapoosa County E 9-1-1 coordinator Anita Haggerty. “We talked to the Verizon emergency contact who informed us of the fiber cut.”
Haggerty said Tallapoosa County E 9-1-1 alerted the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department, Alexander City Police and Alexander City Fire departments of the outage.
At about 4:48 p.m. Verizon released a statement stating that they were working to resolve the issue.
“We are currently experiencing a disruption in service due to a third-party fiber cut,” the statement read. “We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate our customers’ patience while our network team works closely with the affected vendor to resolve the issue.”
AT&T, which reportedly operates the cable, attributed the loss of service to recent storms causing damage to their network.
“I have learned that some AT&T customers in the Alexander City area may be experiencing issues with their wireless and/or U-verse services due to storm-related damage to our network,” said Lance Skelly, director of media relations for AT&T corporate communication. “Technicians are onsite and in the process of assessing the damage. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope to have service back up and running normally as soon as possible.”
At about 4:55 p.m., Haggerty said she was informed by Verizon that the issue was being resolved, but no timetable was set for when service would return.
The cell service outage is the second in about nine months, after a similar situation struck the area in October of 2013 when a fiber cable cut left Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and AT&T mobile and Internet customers in the Lake Martin area without service.