June 8, 2010

Severed cable blamed for phone outage in Portland area

Time Warner Cable and some smaller providers were without land line phone service for about two hours.

By Dennis Hoey dhoey@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

9:20 p.m.

PORTLAND — A severed cable is the most likely cause of a telephone service
outage that affected thousands of customers in Maine this evening.

Rob Souza, Vice President of Operations for OTT Communications in
Bangor, said the two-hour-long outage, which started at 4:55 p.m.,
affected Time Warner Cable digital phone customers as well as customers
served by small telephone company carriers including Mid-Maine
Communications and Pine Tree Networks.

Souza said the cable problem caused OTT Communications – the parent
company of Mid-Maine and Pine Tree – to lose its connection to the
company's signaling hubs, which disabled phone service to customers in
Bangor, Augusta and the Portland area. Souza did not know how many
customers lost phone service.

Souza said the company's backup system did not activate after the outage
occurred. Souza does not know why.

"We are still looking for a root cause of this problem at this time,"
Souza said.

Fairpoint was unaffected by the outage, according to state officials,
who were monitoring the situation.

Telephone service was restored around 6:50 p.m.

5:45 p.m

PORTLAND — Police agencies are reporting a late afternoon telephone service outage, which seems to be largely confined to land line phones in the Portland area.

Portland Police and Maine State Police dispatchers confirmed that they have been receiving reports of people unable to call out from their land line telephones.

That was the case at the Portland Press Herald where reporters and editors were unable to make outgoing calls.

Jeff Nevins, spokesman for FairPoint, said he was unaware of any problems, but others said the outage is affecting all major carriers including Mid Maine Communications, MCI, Verizon and FairPoint.

Land line callers were greeted with a recording that said, "We're sorry, due to the high volume of heavy calling we can not complete your call at this time."


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