UPDATE: Verizon Service Restored

Those affected include: Toms River, Brick, Bay Head, Mantoloking, Berkeley, Waretown, Point Pleasant Beach and Boro, Manchester and Lacey

Patch file
Patch file

Ocean County Verizon customers are back up and running, and officials with the company are investigating whether their fiber optic cables "broke, or got cut," leading to an outage that started yesterday afternoon and lasted into this morning, according to a company spokesman.

The disruption took place on very same day that local legislators asked the Board of Public Utilities to look into a decision by Verizon to require Ocean County-area residents to use a wireless alternative called Voice Link.

The disruption occurred around 3 p.m. Thursday, and continued for hours, with many customers heading to local Verizon stores under the belief that their phones were broken. 

Those affected include: Toms River, Brick, Bay Head, Mantoloking, Berkeley, Waretown, Point Pleasant Beach and Boro, Lakewood, Manchester, Lacey and Beachwood.

The Verizon outage map shows who continues to be affected: downdetector.com/status/verizon-wireless/map/ shows many without wireless communication and data.

At the Toms River Verizon location on Hooper Avenue, an employee was addressing people's concerns about the outage. He said 38 towers were out in Ocean County.

The outage seemed to highlight a statement issued earlier in the day by Sen. Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin, stressing the importance of alternative lines in these communities. 

Earlier this year, residents in Brick Township, Bay Head and Mantoloking were informed by Verizon that their traditional land-line phone connection was being discontinued and customers would be required to use its new wireless alternative called Voice Link.

The company explained that the copper wiring damaged by Sandy was too costly to replace. Last week, Verizon reversed a similar stance it had taken with residents of Fire Island, N.Y. after receiving negative feedback from the community.

“My husband and I use Verizon Wireless and have not had service since this afternoon. We were in Atlantic City when it went out mid-afternoon. It’s now 9:45 p.m. and still no service,” said Barbara Miller of the Ortley Beach section of Toms River.

Holzapfel, Wolfe and McGuckin issued a statement noting that they "do not agree with the company’s change of position for Fire Island but not for these affected towns in New Jersey.

In a letter to the Board of Public Utilities, the District 10 legislators asked the BPU to look into the matter as well as explore the option of requiring Verizon to wire these communities with fiber optics in order to ensure that all residents have adequate telephone services.

McGuckin and Wolfe are sponsors of recently introduced legislation (A-4359) that establishes a one-year moratorium on the replacement of copper-based, landline telephone service with wireless telephone service. 

The bill also requires BPU to conduct a study of the issue during the moratorium and issue a report to the governor and Legislature.

jack smith September 20, 2013 at 01:47 AM
"So, in New Jersey, one of the states I know best, here is the sequence of events: Verizon (in 1993) get changes in state law that allows them to collect billions of dollars in extra charges and tax perks in exchange for upgrading the utilities. Then, Verizon doesn't roll out the fiber optic network until 2006 -- which is a cable service, but which uses the same construction budgets that were allocated to do the utility upgrades. Then Verizon cancels FiOS, and does not upgrade the utility, leaving no upgrades of the current infrastructure in the state to compete with cable. Instead, Verizon now has its local-service customers paying for wireless upgrades, while more or less abandoning the wires and stranding millions of customers in New Jersey. So what, at the end of the day, did all that ratepayer money actually pay for? Well, the massive excess profits were used to increase executive pay, pay for investments and losses overseas in hundreds of subsidiary companies, create massive foundations that try to buy off non-profits, and to fill war chests used for lobbying and campaign contribution. It's clear the money didn't go into upgrading the Public Switched Telephone Networks, where it was supposed to bring everyone a fiber optic future." - Bruce Kushnick, The Great Verizon FiOS Ripoff. 05/19/12
jack smith September 20, 2013 at 07:06 AM
"In the 1992 presidential campaign, then-senator Al Gore proposed that America's communications be rewired with fiber optics, and he dubbed it the Information Superhighway. Verizon and AT&T jumped in and said they'd rewire their entire territories with a completion date of 2010. They went state-to state to get changes in state laws, known as "alternative regulations," that gave them excess profits to use the money for construction to give 45 megabytes per second (Mbps) services in both directions to everyone. While every state is different, Pacific Bell of California stated they would spend $16 billion by 2000 on 5.5 million homes. Bell Atlantic claimed it would spend $11 billion on 8.75 million homes. Verizon New Jersey claimed it would have 100 percent of the state completed by 2010 with 45 Mbps; Massachusetts was to have 330,000 lines by 2000. None of these commitments were met, even though the companies collected billions per state. We estimate that in New Jersey alone, Verizon collected over $13 billion in excess profits and tax breaks, while putting down only enough cable to serve an estimated 57 percent of the households in its territories. Right now Verizon and AT&T not only aren't upgrading the existing phone network, they've stopped expanding FiOS and U-Verse, even though they keep getting money for these upgrades. Every municipality and every person in those municipalities that were never upgraded should be up in arms." - Bruce Kushnick, Please, Sir, May I Have Another?, 04/18/12
trishmontenegro September 20, 2013 at 09:28 AM
What? What about the older people who don't have a cell nor how to use one. What about a fax? I thought all the increases in our phone bills were to upgrade to fiber optics. I agree with the 2 previous statements.
Old Guy September 20, 2013 at 05:04 PM
Funny... I thought the phone company had a fiber ring network, just so that if the cable was cut, the redundancy would back feed and keep the service up and running.


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