Verizon wireless power outage jolts Hampton U. campus

By Ashley Bayton and Ayanna Wilson

“Do you hear me now?” the Verizon Wireless campaign from 2004 was ringing truer than ever with Verizon customers Monday on the Hampton University campus.

Many students reported recognizing a network power outage approximately 1 p.m.

Officials from Verizon Wireless confirmed the power outage, but said they were not sure how many customers were affected or which of the Virginian regions were also experiencing service issues.

An official reached at an 800 number said the outage could last anywhere from one hour to one day.

Brittany Deskins, a sophomore nursing major, said that she and fellow nursing student, Stephanie Evans recognized their phones were not able to send or receive calls or text messages as they exited the School of Nursing.

“ I was trying to text my mom, and I couldn’t,” said Deskins. “Then I tried to call home, and that didn’t work either. It wasn’t until I looked at my phone and saw the SOS message that I realized there was something wrong with the network.”

Verzion subscribers around Hampton University’s campus said they were frustrated, and the outages reached everyone from broadcast journalism and public relations, to finance and economics majors.

But some HU students said they were frustrated but just trying to consider possible causes for the outage.

Imani Smith, a 5-year Masters in Business Administration major and AT&T customer, suggested that the outage may be due to construction to the Verizon tower in downtown Hampton.

Verizon Wireless officials could not offer a reason for the outage. They do not know when the network will be running again; however, the cellular company is offering airtime credit as compensation to customers for inconvenience.

Verizon customers are not the only customers experiencing outages. The Daily Press reported that over 2,000 Dominion Power customers were also without power.

It was unclear whether or not the two outages are related.

Fellow seniors Benjamin Gibson, Shantel Hanley, Jamar Johnson, Kendra Smith, Alanna Winns and Lindsay Watson contributed to this report.