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Severe weather causing cellular and internet outages in Austin area

Matthew Odam Peter Blackstock
Austin American-Statesman
Customers of the major cellular and internet providers are reporting outages in the Austin area.

The winter storm has caused cellular and internet service interruptions for users of some major carriers and providers, according to DownDetector.com, which tracks self-reported outages and social media posts. The site showed spikes in outages for Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile as of Monday morning.

The numbers for Verizon, for example, showed that six of its nine markets experiencing the biggest service issues were in Texas on Monday. 

Austin appears on the list, along with San Antonio, Houston and several cities in the Metroplex. Reports of Verizon service outages in the Austin area started spiking at 8:30 a.m. Monday and reached a high of 57 reports at 10:30 a.m., according to the Verizon outage map on DownDetector.com, before lowering to 37 at 11:30 a.m.. 

Cases spiked nationally Sunday night around 8 p.m., with 451 reports, and rose again to about 400 at 11:15 a.m. Monday. The outage maps update at the bottom of each hour. 

Landline internet outages accounted for 41% of the reports at 11:30 a.m., according to DownDetector, with mobile phone  (31%) and mobile internet (27%) services close behind. 

A representative for Verizon said Monday that the Verizon network is working well in the Austin area despite outages throughout Texas. 

"Our backup generators and redundant fiber rings for cell sites and switching centers are serving their intended purpose and keeping the vast majority of the network running and customers and first responders connected," a spokesperson said Monday afternoon. "For the sites that are impacted throughout Austin, including a cluster of sites south of the Colorado river along I-290, our engineers and vendor partners are working quickly to restore service."

On Monday, Spectrum tweeted that the winter storm is impacting their services as well: "Spectrum customers in Texas are experiencing service interruptions related to winter weather causing commercial power outages and downed lines. As conditions allow we will be working to restore services. We apologize and thank you for your patience."

A representative for AT&T on Monday said ice and snow from the storm might be affecting service for some customers: "Technicians are deploying generators as needed, and are working to restore service as quickly and as safely as conditions allow. Our Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) team is on standby and prepared to deploy additional assets if needed."

The representative added that AT prepared for the storm by "topping off fuel generators, testing high-capacity back-up batteries at cell sites and protecting physical facilities against flooding."

A representative for T-Mobile responded Monday afternoon that the company is "continuing to monitor the situation closely. This afternoon, we are seeing restoration progress in the Austin market, with some sites coming back online. Our teams will continue to work around the clock to restore further in markets impacted by winter storm conditions." 

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