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Cellular outage reaches county


March 15, 2018

Usually when news hits on a national level, Sanders County is not involved. But, according to Verizon Wireless’s map of downed service areas, parts of the county joined other major cities in the U.S. in an outage of service.

New York, Los Angeles and Portland were some of the areas reporting service problems similar to customers in Plains and parts of Thompson Falls, as of Sunday. The outages continued sporadically throughout Monday and Tuesday.

Many county cell phone users go through the no-contract service, Straight Talk. Most of these customers did not notice any interruption of service, even though the service is said to piggyback on Verizon towers for coverage in the area.

One customer called Verizon from a landline to report the outage. Verizon responded saying it was the first they had heard of it and that no one had called. The customer informed the Verizon agent that no calls had been made because cell phones were not working.

Erika Lawyer said Clark Fork Valley Hospital put in a work ticket with Verizon about the outage, adding that EMTs and law enforcement were operating without cell service.

When there is a suspected Verizon outage, those with internet access can visit the website to view a map and see comments from other customers experiencing the same problem.


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