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Cell phone service restored to Metro stations

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Local,Transportation,Kytja Weir

 

Metro riders with iPhones or other AT&T-fueled products may have had trouble surfing the Web while riding the transit system’s trains over the weekend.

But the problem should be resolved. It was fixed early Monday afternoon.

Still, don't lay your blame on Metro, according to the transit agency. “We don’t own, operate or maintain any of that equipment,” Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said.

Instead it was AT&T that had an outage in the Metro system over the weekend. The service was knocked out in the 20 underground stations that are supposed to have cell phone signals, said AT&T spokeswoman Audrey Chang. Other providers should have been unaffected. [Update: Customers on other services, such as Sprint, said they had problems, as well. But some carriers were unaffected.]

The transit system is supposed to add full cell phone service on the major carriers throughout its underground subway system as part of a federal funding agreement. In turn, a coalition of the major cell phone service providers have agreed to pay Metro more than $50 million over 25 years to run their equipment underground.

As part of the deal, Metro had to have service in the 20 busiest underground stations by October 2009. But the remaining 27 stations and connecting tunnels are not due to come on line until  October. Sometimes riders report intermittent signals as crews test equipment, though.

Chang said she had no additional information about when the remaining stations would get service.

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