By Shane Nicholson
If you’re reading this in the Rockford area there’s a good chance your cell phone isn’t working properly.
Both Verizon and U.S. Cellular are reporting outages across the north-central part of the state this afternoon, affecting Rockford and surrounding communities and stretching down through the Sycamore and DeKalb areas.
“We’re aware of at least two towers that have been impacted,” said a U.S. Cellular representative reached for comment. “That’s all we know for right now. We’re trying to figure it out and work on a solution.”
Verizon’s most recent outage map shows an area covering the central portion of the state from the Wisconsin border down to the I-88 corridor being blacked out of service.
A spokesman from Verizon declined to say what had caused the outage but said they suspect a severed fiber optic cable may be to blame.
In the meantime, cell phone customers impacted by the outage are encouraged to use alternate forms of communication such as internet-based messaging apps.
Update, 7:45 p.m. – Verizon and U.S. Cellular say service is restored.