(UPDATED INFO FROM AT&T) Stewardson-Strasburg Residents Still Struggling with Cell Phone Outages Since August Storm


Published on September 26 2012 11:08 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Wayne Moran

According to AT&T, if you live in the Stewardson-Strasburg area, your service issues should be resolved.
We spoke with AT&T spokesperson Erin McGrath Friday afternoon, and she provided more details about this ongoing issue that's left many residents with intermittent and unreliable service for over a month. Many residents thought the damage existed on a tower just north of the Stew-Stras High School, but apparently, the issue originated in Effingham.
Technicians had been aware of the issue for some time, and changed out and optimized a piece of hardware on Thursday. Once the hardware replacement was complete, technicians then travelled throughout the Stewardson-Strasburg area testing the coverage and reliability. 
When we spoke with Erin Friday afternoon, she suggested that if you're still having service issues in this area, you should power off your AT&T wireless devices and reboot it (turn it back on). This will force your wireless device to reconnect to the closest AT&T tower and get updated data. If you continue to have issues regarding your service, you should contact AT&T technical support.
AT&T Spokesperson Erin McGrath also sent us the following statement: "We have completed work on network enhancements in the Stewardson area and voice and data service has been restored.  We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience they experienced.”

Original story: A number of Stewardson-Strasburg residents have reported to us issues surrounding their mobile phone service after damage from a recent storm.
Back in August, we reported from Windsor and shot video from the area, after a severe thunderstorm ripped through the area. The National Weather Service determined that straight-line winds were responsible for the damage to Windsor. While the cleanup and repair to the area has proceeded at a fast pace, another issue has had residents to the south of Windsor steaming mad for over a month.
Dozens of residents in the towns of Stewardson, Strasburg and outlying rural areas say they can't make or receive calls on AT&T's wireless service.
Many area residents have sounded off about this issue on our Facebook page. One user commented, "We have had problems for several weeks. Usually cannot make or receive calls from any of our AT&T phones. We have no land line phones now so if there is an emergency we have no way to call out."
Other customers report that they continually contact AT&T and are given a different explanation for the outage each time they call. Another issue drawing ire is that some customers have been receiving credits to their bill for the issue, and some have not. One area resident states that "Having spent nearly 8 hours on the phone with AT&T over a 10 day period, I have thus far received credits on 4 different occasions for a total of $532".
Several customers are worried about the effect the lack of service has had on their businesses. One such owner said, "I use my phone as my primary business line for my dress shop Ooo La La in Stewardson.  My customers have been understanding but what about the ones I have lost due to the service the last month."

The damaged tower, which is located about a mile north of the Stew-Stras high school, was an Edge Network tower. Some customers tell us that they have been told by AT&T that they will be upgrading this area to 4G service to fix the ongoing issues, while others have been told to download software to their wireless devices to update them. Many customers state they get a different story each time they contact AT&T.