Cell phone service disappears, leaves students disconnected

Photo illustration by Kory Savage/The News A student holds up her cell phone while searching for a cell phone signal after service went out through the city.
Photo illustration by Kory Savage/The News A student holds up her cell phone while searching for a cell phone signal after service went out through the city.

Photo illustration by Kory Savage/The News
A student holds up her cell phone while searching for a cell phone signal after service went out through the city.

For many people in Murray, Sept. 8 was a step back in time.

Students and community members were forced to resort to home phones and word-of-mouth to communicate.

Cathy Lewandowski, senior public relations manager for AT&T, said AT&T customers in Calloway County may have experienced issues with wireless and wireline services Sept. 8 and Sept. 9.

“(The service was down) due to a (fiber line) that was damaged during a severe storm,” Lewandowski said.

AT&T, Sprint and Verizon customers in Murray were all affected by the service outages.

“It’s like everything died that day,” said Miranda Bivins, senior from Hopkinsville, Ky.

Bivins said her service was out for about seven hours.

While Bivin’s cellphone service was out she said she tried to find Wi-Fi, but it wasn’t working either.

“It was annoying,” Bivins said. “I was having car troubles and I couldn’t get in touch with anyone.”

Abbie Oliver, senior from Flintshire, U.K., said her service was out from 1:30 p.m. until midnight. This is her fourth year at Murray State and she said she had not experienced problems with AT&T before.

“I didn’t receive a courtesy text or call like I would have in the United Kingdom,” Oliver said.

Oliver lives at Campus Evolution Village South and she didn’t have Internet either.

“We were stuck with no communication,” Oliver said.

She said she didn’t worry as much about the service outage because all her friends were having similar problems.

Kathy Girgis, senior from Louisville, Ky., said she knew it wasn’t the end of the world when her cell phone stopped working on Sept 9. Girgis said she was working in the library when she stopped being able to send text messages.

“At first, I thought it was because I was in the library, but then everyone kept talking about the problems they were having,” Girgis said.

She remembers being frustrated, but she used Wi-Fi on campus to continue talking to people instead. Girgis said the reason why service was out was not made clear to her. “There was a post on Facebook I think, but I don’t remember what it said,” Girgis said. “I just wish someone had been able to tell me what was going on.”

On Oct. 8, 2013, Murray experienced similar service outages that were resolved within 24 hours.

Mark Ventura, freshman from Stanton, Ky., said he lives on campus so he still had Wi-Fi even when his phone wasn’t working.

“I just figured it would get solved eventually,” he said.

Ventura said once he realized everyone was having cellphone problems he knew it must have been Verizon and not him. His service was out for a full day on Sept. 9.

Lewandowski said, “Service was fully restored (Sept. 9). We apologize for any inconvenience,” Lewandowski said.

 

Story by Mari-Alice Jasper, Staff writer