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thisismyusername's avatar

Why is it that when we lose power, we also lose Verizon 4G internet?

Asked by thisismyusername (2940points) March 12th, 2018

I live in a suburb north of Boston, and we lose power fairly frequently due to storms. Last year we lost power for almost 5 days. We lost it last week for 36 hours, and we’re expecting another storm in a few hours with possible power outages.

Every time we lose power, our Verizon internet service on our phones no longer works. How is this possible? This happens on every phone in my house and others in my neighborhood. We also have spoken with others in towns near us with the same experience. Verizon is of no help.

Note: We actually have the same level of 4G signal – it’s just that the internet is not working. It will occasionally (rarely) load a website or refresh email, but then it won’t for the next hour or more.

Does anyone know how 4G signals and internet works and how it might be affected by power outages?

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6 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Verizon lost power – – - – - – - – - – – -


Sorry for the obvious – - – cable, 4g and most internet need power too

thisismyusername's avatar

^ But phone calls/texting works fine.

Plus, I’d assume that a major carrier would have some kind of power backup. Is this a thing? When power goes out, so does wireless internet? I could have sworn that this didn’t happen back in the 3G days. We had hurricanes that took power for days but we always had 3G service.

zenvelo's avatar

Wireless internet packets are larger than voice or data, plus when things get reduced because of power outages, voice and text take precedence, and there is also congestion as more people fight for scarce access.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The phone company use their OWN power.
It goes over their telephone wires. At about 90 volts for ringing voltage and about 15 volts for voice communication, on their wires. . . not Eversource; when Eversource goes down so does your cable, wireless and wifi.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

It likely has to do with how cheap they are in setting up battery backups on equipment. Most communication rooms/towers run on a -48 volt system floating on a battery bank. Sometimes equipment that is not essential will just be on station power and not backed. If any networking link component is just on station power you’ll lose internet but not regular cellular service.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

If you lose your modem you lose internet. Your cell uses your modem for wifi. Phone calls and text use the cell towers.

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