Verizon will credit cell phone accounts for service disruption

David Yochum

Can you hear me now?

If Verizon Wireless customers in the Kent area had trouble placing or receiving calls last Saturday night, a faulty Verizon tower in the Tallmadge area may have been the reason why.

Laura Merritt, Verizon public relations representative, said Verizon’s Tallmadge site experienced problems last weekend, but was unsure of the exact cause as of yesterday.

While Verizon’s Kent towers showed no signs of disruption, Merritt said calls from Kent could go to towers in Tallmadge because the sites are a short distance apart. She added that students who experienced problems Saturday night can contact Verizon to credit minutes to their phone service accounts.

“(Verizon) is still looking at all the sites in the area to see if they can figure this out,” Merritt said. “We are constantly monitoring for any alarms or unusual activity, such as dropping lots of calls or people’s inability to make calls.”

Explaining that factors such as weather or sliced cables can cause regular service disruption, Merritt said emergency 911 service should not be affected by a single tower failure.

“911 will work as long as you have a signal,” she said. “You don’t even have to have a cell phone plan for 911 to work. As long as the phone is charged, it will do a search for the nearest cell tower to process a 911 call. That is an FCC rule.”

Other Verizon representatives also said there were slight cellular disruptions in the Canton and Mansfield areas Saturday night, but those problems would not affect the Kent area unless there was a broad outage.

Verizon could not reveal the exact number of cellular towers in the Kent area due to safety precautions.

Contact public affairs reporter David Yochum at [email protected].