Phone, Internet service return after Verizon, Time Warner outage
Posted September 21, 2015 4:06 p.m. EDT
Updated September 22, 2015 5:31 a.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Phone and Internet service began returning Monday night to some customers of Verizon and Time Warner after an outage that lasted over six hours.
Verizon said the outage was limited to phone calls on its network in Durham, Wake and Orange counties, but users from Johnston, Lee, Nash, Wayne and Wilson counties also reported being unable to make or receive calls. Some users were able to use their phones to send text messages, but others reported that service was offline as well.
Verizon customers who reside in other states but kept a North Carolina phone number had also reported having trouble receiving calls.
Landline service for customers of Time Warner Cable phone service was also interrupted.
Scott Pryzwansky, a spokesperson for Time Warner, said that the outage was caused after fiber was cut by a third party during construction work near the intersection of Tryon Road and Junction Boulevard.
"Our fiber...that serves customers in the area as well as the Verizon cell tower [was damaged]," said Pryzwansky. "Our crews are on site working to repair the fiber as quickly as possible."
On Monday evening, the Verizon Store was filled with customers whose lives were put on hold by the outage.
"It's really ridiculous," said Verizon customer Tom Moon. "I use my phone for business, so I can't run business without my phone."
For thousands of people, the outage was an inconvenience but the outage had the potential to be more serious since Verizon customers were not able to use their cell phones to dial 911 during the service interruption.
Dominick Nutter, director of the Wake County Emergency Communications Center said, luckily, there were no major issues. He said while some people were not able to make emergency calls, some could still text to 911. Nutter said a few people did that during the outage, but noted that it is not ideal.
"Anytime someone is unable to call by the phone, by all means, text us. But, if you are able to talk, we definitely would prefer you to talk because we can get emergency responders out to you much faster," Nutter said.
The Holly Springs Police Department set up an emergency email account for Verizon customers in the town who did not have landline phones and whose cell phones were their only means of contacting emergency services. Dispatchers monitored the email account until Verizon's network was fully restored.
The outage taught a lot of people how much society has come to rely on their devices.
"You need it today in this world to make anything happen," said Moon.
In a statement, Verizon said that service was fully restored at about 9:30 p.m. Monday and that they appreciated customers' patience during the outage.