2000+ seniors cannot reach the internet, text or call during power outages
Enthusiast - Level 1

I live in a rural area of Northern California.  Our Verizon service is generally adequate.  However, when we have a local power outage, it is basically impossible to get to the internet on cellular.  Also texting is often not working and frequently cannot even make a voice call.  I saw the SOS label on my phone several times (meaning I may only call 911 service) adds to the stress level at a difficult time.  I also had zero confidence that the 911 call would actually work if needed.

This is not just my local issue.  I live in a 55+ active adult community of 3000 homes, about 5500 people and likely about as many cell phones.  We have been experiencing terrible storms the past week.  On New Year's Eve at about 8 p.m. we lost power and it was not restored until 10:30 a.m. on  Sunday. Over 14 hours without power.

I am going to estimate we have 25% Verizon customers, so around 1400 cell phones  in this community.  And likely a lot of iPad's or other tablets using Verizon cell service.   While only reading from a small audience here on social media, I am seeing a remarkable failure of Verizon customers having the exact same issue.  No access to the internet on cellular, little if any texting was working and many who could not make or receive phone calls.  Also, with Xfinity being prevalent here and using Verizon towers, this might add another 800-1000 cell users having the same exact problem.

This is highly unacceptable and it is a personal safety concern that MUST be addressed.  Even more of a concern is when we are already in a heightened state of concern with a power outage,  record rain and winds, localized flooding, inability to travel freely, with 2000+ seniors who cannot;

Using cellular, trying to reach the internet to determine the depth of the weather concern and safety updates.

Cannot reach our utility to assess the depth of the outage or the estimated time to repair.

Cannot make phone calls or receive phone calls.

Cannot text as it fails 85% of the time.

See the SOS label on their cell phone screen, no LTE, etc.

Being a retired Computer IT professional for 30 years, I sense the following scenario is happening;

Without a power outage, I can reach the web with two bars and surf fairly well, certainly adequately, anywhere in this community of 3000 homes.  Often times the signal is better around the community.

Of course, when inside my new-construction home, I am using Wi-Fi assist all of the time, as do most of my neighbors.  This indicates the poor signal level to begin with, which is LTE.  I have heard a few people indicate they receive 5G.

When there is a power outage, I am occasionally seeing two bars, but all of the above issues happen.  No internet, mostly server timeouts, mostly no texting, very few if any phone calls in or out.

This is looking like a data transport problem more than it does a cell signal issue.  When a million neighboring users outside of our area are also seeing power outages, I suspect everyone no longer has access to their personal internet provider and all jump on their phones an basically bury the cell transport.

AT&T users in our community ARE NOT having these issues and we have just about full 5G coverage in our community.   Some on other services are not seeing these issues.  It is only Verizon users. 

Verizon has highly over-sold their towers to other MVNO's.  Verizon customers are supposed to have priority, which does not seem to be happening.

We are going to start a local out-reach program to 3000 homeowners to suggest Verizon customers.  Upper management needs to reach out to us.

2 Replies

I would like to know why,  Verizon doesn't answer this question it only answers with a question...                    

"What is your zip code?", and quietly the thread disappears.

please answer  the question Verizon with some solutions as to why this is happening.... if the tower doesn't have power backup....  I doubt is true since people have had cellular internet before when the power goes out but not now. this is a reduction in service and is a valid complaint that has to be fixed due to the emergency issues that it  causes when you don't have internet.



Customer Service Rep

Hi, stifflersmom!
Thanks for rising this up. 
Could you please contact us by private message, so we can analyze your particular case and look for the best way to help you. 
We are available 24/7.