Cell phone service may blackout during eclipse


HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The sky is not the only thing that could blackout during the eclipse. Cell providers are reporting that a connection jam is possible during Monday’s event. The eclipse itself will not affect cell service, but tech experts explain thousands of people attempting to share their excitement online could severely degrade your cell phone connection.

“If a lot of users are using at the same time it makes sense that it will get really congested in one area,” said Eric Gonella of CityMac.

Many destinations to view the eclipse are in rural areas, and Gonella explains that the network in those areas is not always able to handle huge crowds

Employees at places such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are working to make sure their sites do not crash, as thousands of users will most likely be posting during the few hours of the eclipse.

“Facebook is going to have to keep up with their servers. Depending on how much is going to their server at a time it’s going to depend on that company whether there servers are going to be able to handle the traffic going to it or not,” said Gonella.

Cell phone networks are also preparing. A spokesperson for AT&T says the company is taking special precautions in popular eclipse viewing areas to avoid network outages. Some experts are asking people to avoid making unnecessary calls that could congest the network and potentially get in the way of emergency calls. Many cell phone carriers are asking customers to disable automatic app updates that day to help reduce data usage.

“I think a lot of people are going to be posting and calling and it won’t work. I think since it won’t work I’ll probably try to experience and put my phone down for a little while,” said Mary Zabian.

Copyright 2017 WMBF News. All rights reserved.