Winter weather affected cellular voice calls
by Daniel Gaddy
dgaddy@annistonstar.com
Jan 28, 2014 | 3699 views |  0 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Help..I'm stuck! A motorist calls for help as his SUV in stuck on Noble St. in Anniston. Photo by Stephen Gross
Help..I'm stuck! A motorist calls for help as his SUV in stuck on Noble St. in Anniston. Photo by Stephen Gross
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Tuesday’s snowstorm snarled wireless communications for many local residents.

A Verizon Wireless representative says cell phone problems experienced by Calhoun County customers Tuesday were due to heavy call volume related to the winter weather, related traffic issues and early school and business closures.

Spokesman Michael Swearingen said that during the time the outage was happening, Verizon typically sees about 700,000 calls. But on Tuesday, that number approached 2 million, he said.

He said the spike in calls resulted in Verizon customers in central Alabama experiencing delayed connection times or incomplete voice connections.

Swearingen said by email Tuesday afternoon that text services were not affected and he encouraged customers to text first during emergencies to leave voice lines open for first responders.

“Verizon's network team is working to resolve these capacity issues,” Swearingen wrote in the message.

Lance Skelly, director of communications for AT&T, said in an email Tuesday that company officials were aware of congestion issues in Atlanta and Birmingham.

He said it was possible Anniston also experienced heavy call volume, but the company had seen no issues related to the local network.

Assistant Metro Editor Daniel Gaddy: 256-235-3560. On Twitter @DGaddy_Star.

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