Verizon Wireless customers across the Charlottesville area were without service for much of Thursday afternoon after a fiber cable was accidentally cut.
Verizon did not say where, how or why the fiber was cut, but said that after it had been alerted it had sent crews to “fix the fiber and restore service.”
The outage affected more than 1,500 customers, according to real-time outage monitoring website Downdetector.
The real number of those affected is likely much higher, as Downdetector is powered by user reports.
Verizon did not answer any questions regarding the scope of the outage on Thursday.
During the outage, the joint emergency communications center for the city, Albemarle County and the University of Virginia urged residents attempting to contact 911 to keep calling or texting.
“We may be unable to call you back,” the center tweeted from its official account.
Verizon spokesman Steve Van Dinter told The Daily Progress that customers who are experiencing service outages should enable Wi-Fi calling to ensure they are able to make and receive calls until service is restored. More information on Wi-Fi calling is available at https://www.verizon.com/support/wifi-calling-faqs/.
With a 31% market share, Verizon is the second-largest telecommunications company and provider of mobile phone services in the U.S. after AT&T, based on subscriber data from the companies’ quarterly earnings reports.
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