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Verizon makes progress on Maui network restoration

While crews are gaining ground on wildfire containment, Verizon is continuing its efforts to restore service and provide assistance to the people of Maui.

Network Update:
In the aftermath of the most devastating natural disaster in Hawai`i’s history, Verizon engineers are working diligently on network restoration and recovery efforts. Verizon’s primary goal in the immediate aftermath is to restore basic connectivity so residents and first responders can connect with the critical resources they need.

Verizon service has been restored along Hwy-37 in Ulupalakua and Keokea and to the Upcountry (including but not limited to Kula, Pukalani, Makawao, and along the North Shore of Maui). Partial service to a portion of West Maui from Maalaea and the Maui Chin to the South through Lahaina Civic Center to the North.

There is significant structural damage to cell sites serving Lahaina, so Verizon engineers are working to move a mobile cell site to restore partial service in that community.

Verizon engineers are moving tethered drones into the Western area of Maui today that – when fully deployed – will provide cell service from the air for search, rescue and recovery efforts underway.

In the Honokowai area, fiber which connects cell sites to the rest of the network is out of service. Verizon engineers are working to connect those cell sites using a satellite connection instead. Satellite links have far less capacity than the fiber typically used for connecting cell sites to the rest of the network, so customers may experience slower speeds and capacity constraints until fiber connections can be restored.

Additional disaster response engineers landed in Maui yesterday, bringing with them deployment network assets. Verizon’s DIRT team (Dedicated Impact Response Team) and MERIT team (Major Emergency Response Incident Team) are also in Maui and responding as the situation evolves.

Verizon continues to engage local and state EOC contacts to prioritize restoration and arrange for logistics to bring more equipment to Maui. Verizon disaster recovery teams will continue to be on site today to restore prioritized locations.

While Verizon works to restore the network, there may be inconsistent and partial restoration of network coverage. Verizon recommends using text and call and to avoid data-heavy applications.

Customer relief:
Verizon is offering free device charging and bottled water to customers of any carrier at the Pu`unene retail store located at 80 Ho`okele Street, Suite 440, Kahului, HI 96732. Verizon representatives are available to help you with your mobile technology needs – particularly during this difficult time. To find a retail store near you, please visit:

As a reminder, Verizon is offering unlimited calling, texting and data for its prepaid and postpaid customers who live on Maui from August 10 to 23, 2023. This will bring relief to the thousands of consumer and small business customers* who rely on their mobile devices now more than ever.

This includes all prepaid and postpaid consumer and small business customers with Maui billing addresses.

In addition Verizon-owned prepaid brands including Straight Talk, Tracfone, Total by Verizon, Simple Mobile, Safelink, Walmart Family Mobile, Net10, GoSmart, and Page Plus announced today that customers with Maui zip codes reaching their month-end service in the next four days, August 10-13, will have their service extended by another week.

Community assistance:
On August 11, Verizon announced a $100,000 donation to the Hawai`i Community Foundation to support the Maui Strong Fund. The fund is currently being used to support communities affected by the wildfires on Maui.

Text to Give:
Verizon customers can help The Salvation Army in their disaster relief efforts by texting the word WILDFIRES to 52000 and $10 will be added to their Verizon bill and donated to The Salvation Army upon confirmation of the billing zip code. All of the funds raised will provide food, shelter, emotional and spiritual care, and other much-needed services to those affected on the Big Island and Maui.

The American Red Cross was first on the scene and “working with officials and partners to provide evacuees with a safe place to stay, food to eat, and emotional support during these challenging times.” They are helping anyone and everyone in need after this disaster. When it’s safe, Red Cross teams will help with damage assessment and prepare to expand relief efforts when needed.

You can help the people affected recover by texting HAWAII to 90999 for a one-time $10 donation. 100% of the funds will go directly to immediate emergency assistance and long-term community rebuilding efforts.

Supporting our First Responders:
Our Verizon Response and Verizon Frontline Crisis Response teams remain available 24/7 to coordinate with first responders. We have mobilized portable satellite assets, network extenders, charging stations, devices, special equipment, emergency vehicles and more to support local, state and federal agencies during emergency response operations. First responder customers with wireless priority service should utilize *272 when placing calls.

CT Bureau

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