East Coast Earthquake Causes Connection Problems For Cell Phone Users

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The earthquake that shook the East Coast also caused connection problems for Tri-State cell phone customers.

Verizon Wireless and AT&T say their networks were congested as the quake sent people scrambling for the phones.

Verizon Wireless spokesman Tom Pica said there was no damage to the company’s equipment. He said the crush of phone calls made it hard for some customers to get through for about 20 minutes after the quake but he said the congestion appeared to be clearing.

Police and rescue workers now have priority phones that can get through even when there’s a flurry of calls. Though, the Federal Emergency Management Agency asked people to use text messaging or email for a few hours after the Tuesday quake to keep lines open for emergency responders.

Sprint said some customers might be experiencing delays, but spokesman John Taylor said the company had received no reports of problems from emergency personnel.

Did you have issues with your cell phone following the Earthquake? Let us know

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. snowdog says:

    Are you serious: “Police and rescue workers now have priority phones that can get through even when there’s a flurry of calls.”

    Is it true that during an emergency our rescue workers (police/firefighters) were using . . . and are STILL using the SAME methods of communication that everyone else in Manhattan uses, the same cell pone towers that the public uses!? Preposterous! I’d be fuming mad if I was a police officer or Firefighter. As soon as there is an emergency, cell phone are almost useless in Manhattan as the earthquake quickly demonstrated.

    I hope that these “priority” phones work otherwise the last laugh is on us because everything works the way it’s supposed to, right?

  2. TomNJ says:

    “Federal Emergency Management Agency asked people to use text messaging or email for a few hours after the Tuesday quake” – After all the money I spend to have cell service, when I really need to use it for some emergency, they want me to use email or text? – How about verizon upgrading their system to handle all users, or how about a credit on my bill then for the time I cannot use it? Ha, that would be crazy, right?

  3. TechJoe says:

    “Landlines are the way to go”…..but Verizon didn’t want to pay their employees their benefits citing it was an old technology & not profitable….go figure!

    Maybe they will be really happy they got their employees back when the hurricane hits NY on Sunday & they won’t look like jerks with their replacement people!

    And STOP with the full page ads already…we know you’re sorry!

  4. TRACK says:

    Please keep or get back your landline, your cell was useless…TRACK

  5. Kat says:

    Mine worked but its a little slower now and I keep getting an error message about the service(Sprint)

  6. Diva Diarhea says:

    mine wouldnot work either im a sprint customer
    http://ethicalfutures.wordpress.com

    1. Andrew says:

      Whereabouts were you guys in NYC? I was in Brooklyn and had no cell service issues with Sprint.

    2. MikeJennings says:

      Hi Diva. Next time you have issues with cell. COntact people online via Textmessages at http://www.sehwah.com

      You can send messages. But if you join you will be able to see what they reply aswell.

      Hope all is well
      Mike

  7. Yvette Rivera says:

    my phone did not work at all!!! Sprint customer

    1. MikeJennings says:

      Yvette. Next time send a text online to who ever you need to. I sent text to my daughters through http://www.sehwah.com

      When my daughters reply i am able to view it online.

      I am also a sprint customer and of course no service as well.

  8. jac says:

    Time to do some research ……..look up and read about H.A.A.R.P ….it is a control device controls weather, is also used for mind control which is something out of space movies but all true and has been proven……….

  9. ProFromDover says:

    People overreacting and clogging the network needlessly, methinks.

    You want noteworthy quakes, move to California, Chicken Little! (one of two things I don’t miss from Cali are the quakes… “PC” is the other.)

  10. Rudy Gu lee annie says:

    I had no problem using the pay phone except for the gum stuck on the
    mouthpiece and the stinky smell.

  11. Rev Alheartbern says:

    I’m Moving,I’m getting out of here anyone wish to buy my 4 million dollar
    condo,first?

  12. Geneva Forte says:

    So nothing has changed since the 9-11 attacks ,your cellphone becomes
    a piece of expensive junk when you really need it, cool .

    1. doc in NJ says:

      exactly. Landlines are the way to go. I had no trouble reaching anyone I called today, or on 9/11.

      If I knew someone was out and about today and not near a land line, I’d wait till they called me back – truth be told, if I got through to a loved one and found they were trapped in rubble 75 miles from me, what could I do? Call EMS, worry and wait. Having a working cell phone would not help the situation in the slightest, except maybe talk with them for comfort. But anyone who’s been in that position knows that’s not good enough….

      1. TechJoe says:

        “Landlines are the way to go”…..but Verizon didn’t want to pay their employees their benefits citing it was an old technology & not profitable….go figure!

        Maybe they will be really happy they got their employees back when the hurricane hits NY on Sunday & they won’t look like jerks with their replacement people!

        And STOP with the full page ads already…we know you’re sorry!

  13. Mila says:

    Sprint does not work (((

  14. Chicken Little says:

    The sky is falling…I don’t see what the emergency was that every body had to grab their cell phone. The Government would not tell you if Indian Point Nuclear facility blew up. The Gov’t would tell it is safe and go back to work. Sound familiar?

    I expect to see Chuck Shumer propose new legislation, by week’s end, that would make an early warning Agency that would alert NYC by a series of gongs and flashing lights to alert us of an upcoming tremor

  15. Ellen says:

    One reason why I won’t give up my land phone.

  16. NYer says:

    After 9/11, and the blackout, it was revealed that cellphone companies only maintain certain % (75% or 85%? I forgot)of full capacity at all times. Let’s say it has 1 million subscribers, and they keep 75% of full capacity, if there are 800000 people making calls at the same time, that’s why network is busy, and congestion. That’s why when we had 9/11, blackout and today’s earthquake, we wouldn’t get our calls getting through. Cellphone companies wants to save money, they will never keep 100% of line capacity available at all times.

    1. joey from B'hurst says:

      Your Wrong. When an emergency strikes, certain agencies override the system with a special access code assigned. The cellular operator would simply deny channels to everyone but the emergency personnel.

      1. ProFromDover says:

        Yep! It’s called “Essential Service” so if you are not important (which most of aren’t) you will get a denial of service in an emergency if the network gets overwhelmed. Works the same on the wired (landline) network, has since forever. Sorry bucky…

  17. Vince says:

    This is unacceptable. First 9/11, then the black out of 2003 and now this?

  18. Todd Goodwin says:

    Not a great experience to loose connection during an emergency. The primary reason I carry a cell phone is for emergencies. Hopefully the carriers can learn from this incident and improve.

    1. MikeJennings says:

      Hi Todd. Next time you lose service and have access to a computer use http://www.sehwah.com to send text messages to friends and family.

      When my daughters reply to the text i send, i am able to view it online.
      l.

  19. Sprint says:

    Those striking Verizon workers caused this cell problem.

    1. Hip Hop Harry says:

      Verizon workers are already back at work, and so should you.

    2. Supporter says:

      Verizon workers did not cause the cell problem. They are back to work now. It was down because everyone was trying to make a call at the same time because of the earthquake and aftershock. I suppose Verizon workers caused the earthquake too. Please……

      1. Sarah says:

        Wow…can you take a joke? Sprint was joking….get it?

  20. James Olcott says:

    AT&T always has connection issues, earthquake or no earthquake. Really terrible service.

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