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Verizon's "Higher Level Outage" in Maryland and Pennsylvania Impacting WCPS Phone System

Posted September 12, 2018

HAGERSTOWN, MD (September 12, 2018) - Verizon Network Management and Control-Transport is currently addressing what it is calling a “higher level outage” that is affecting phone systems in Maryland and Pennsylvania, including Washington County Public Schools (WCPS). Incoming calls are not being received and staff cannot make outgoing calls. WCPS staff is using alternate methods of communication, such as cell phones, email and mobile applications to communicate with parents and community members when necessary.

According to the phone carrier, field operations teams confirm the outage is a result of damaged fiber owned by a third party, from which Verizon leases the fiber. The damage has been traced to an area along Market Street in Philadelphia within the South Eastern Pennsylvania Transport Association (SEPTA) subway/manhole system. This area also houses electrical power space. Verizon reports these repairs could be significant and challenging, as the work may require obtaining permission and permits to access SEPTA areas and/or closing lanes of traffic in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia.

WCPS encourages parents and guardians to use alternate methods of communication to reach school staff. A complete email directory can be found on the WCPS website at WCPS Technology staff continues to monitor the progress of these repairs with Verizon contacts.