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Two separate fiber cuts cause Oklahoma Verizon outage

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Verizon Wireless customers in Oklahoma woke up Wednesday morning and realized something was missing — their service.

The statewide outage was caused by two separate fiber cuts, a Verizon spokesperson said, and lasted about six hours, but many customers remained angry on social media after.

“Verizon Wireless experienced an interruption in service for customers in Oklahoma today,” said Jeannine Brew, Verizon's public relations manager. “It was caused by the rare occurrence of two separate fiber cuts on different lines, impacting the redundancy built into our network.”

In regard to compensating customers who were without service, Brew said “we are still investigating the outage.” As of late Wednesday, Brew had not updated this statement.

Oklahoma residents and businesses took to social media to voice their frustrations with the statewide outage. Verizon was a trending topic on Twitter, where more than 10,000 Verizon-related tweets had been posted by the time service was restored, though not all of these tweets pertained to the outage.

Lawton resident Jason Austin, who has been a Verizon customer for eight years, tweeted that he could not make or receive calls, text or use data services. He said that in addition to being an inconvenience, not having a phone in case of emergency is a “bit scary.”

Amanda Burnside, a Blanchard resident traveling for work Wednesday morning, said that a Verizon employee at the Tulsa Southroads store yelled at her for taking a photo of a sign posted outside the store explaining the outage and apologizing for the inconvenience.

“I understand that things like this happen, but the fact that the lady was so rude about it and also the fact that if the signs are posted on the sidewalk, there's really nothing that she can do to tell us we can't take pictures of it,” she said. “I didn't even bother going in the store to ask any further questions.”

Burnside said that she was one of the lucky ones, though, because she has a work phone with a different carrier.

Tyrone Ivey, on the other hand, a Tulsa resident and owner of Amhara Electric, said he had to run back and forth to his house to use his landline and Wi-Fi.

“I may have to get another carrier and phone as backup after this,” Ivey said.

The outage began in the morning around 8 a.m., and engineers resolved the issue as of 2 p.m.

Verizon responded to many users on Twitter, asking them to direct message its account for assistance. Some users thanked the account for its help, while some complained that it did not make a statement or provide enough details.

Others were more lighthearted in response to the outage, with one user tweeting an image suggesting that Verizon had to use a carrier pigeon to contact its customers.

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Hannah Pike

Hannah Pike is a professional writing and economics junior at the University of Oklahoma and was a news reporter at the OU Daily for three semesters. She’s from Houston, Texas, but also loves all... Read more ›

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