Contract issue knocks out Verizon service in parts of rural Montana

MADISON COUNTY

POSTED: 2:09 PM Jun 27 2013
Space for cell tower approved, but Verizon has hurdles in way
VIRGINIA CITY, Mont. -

A contract issue between AT&T and Verizon leaves some southwest Montana customers stranded without emergency service.

We dug into this issue today after folks in rural areas reached out to us.

We found Verizon service went dead to areas like Virginia City, Jackson, and Lima at midnight on Sunday.

That means o calls in, no calls out and no 9-1-1 service.

Representatives from AT&T and Verizon tell us it happened because a three year roaming contract expired. And AT&T shut down the technology that Verizon phones use to communicate.

Verizon tells us they are working to put up temporary cell towers or boost the ranges of existing towers.

We learned service should be returned to Jackson Thursday and Virginia city by the end of the weekend.

Verizon says they hope  to have permanent towers up by the end of summer. But caution some could face zoning or regulatory approval, potentially delaying construction.

Verizon has set up special 800 numbers for folks affected. 

Prepaid customers should call 888-294-6804.

Contract customers should call 800-922-0204.

Again, Verizon stresses these numbers are only for folks in the affected areas.