Long distance,local and cellular phone service interrupted

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Story Filed: Friday, November 12, 1999 6:42 PM EST

Cali, Colombia, Nov 12, 1999 (EFE via COMTEX) -- Close to 60 percent of long distance calling and all cellular telephone calls were interrupted for about an hour Friday due to an error during attempts to prepare the local telecommunications company's system for the new millenium, said Municipal Companies of Cali (EMCALI) manager Alvaro Ortega.

The breakdown occurred around 11:00 a.m. local time (16:00 GMT), more than 12 hours after the local telephone company and the multinational Ericson tested new software in the city's central communications system.

"We chose to abandon the new software and continue with what we already had," said Ortega, who added that what happened was an isolated incident in the communications service program.

The telecommunications plant where the incident occurred controls 60 percent of the city's local and long distance calls and all of the cellular service, he said.

Ortega added that this was the first such incident, after five successful tests, since the beginning of the systems updates in preparation for the millennium.

EMCALI is investigating the cause of the interruption, which Ortega said should never have happened.

Cali is Colombia's third largest city with 2.1 million residents. EFE


Copyright (c) 1999. Agencia EFE S.A.

-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), November 16, 1999


"We chose to abandon the new software and continue with what we had."

DUH that's the spirit, if at first you don't succeed screw it and throw in the towel. Nothings going to work after the rollover anyway, nobody's gonna need them stinking phones.

-- Nikoli Krushev (doomsday@y2000.com), November 16, 1999.

"We chose to abandon the new software and continue with what we already had ... this was the first such incident, after five successful tests, since the beginning of the systems updates in preparation for the millennium ... should never have happened ..."

not much longer

-- no more tricks (soon@very.soon), November 16, 1999.

I guess what I find fishy is that a lot of companies who think they are compliant are finding out that they still have more testing to be done. Isn't that why everyone was supposed to be done at the end of 1998 for a full year of testing?

It is also kind of funny that the government's line has always been that the big companies are doing fine, and it is the smaller ones that will experience problems. I have always thought that it would be the smaller companies that come out better in the end.

Here's why - I work for a computer consulting firm/reseller and the many small companies just now inquiring about upgrading their computers for this "Y2K thing" still have a good chance of being compliant by 12/31/99. If they only use 1 or 2 computers or maybe have a small network, it is relatively easy to upgrade their system. It takes about 3 weeks, on average, to get the new hardware and software installed and configured. But the larger, more specialized companies, are the ones finding it hard to get all of their systems compliant. Their hands are effectively tied if the specialized software they are using is not compliant, and they are at the mercy of the company in charge of the upgrade. Too many of these software companies are really backed up and end up stringing the companies along. We can't help them either because our part has been done.

In the end, I think that if any company, large or small, waits until the beginning of December to realize they need to upgrade, it will really be too late. I am already having supply chain problems because all of the big name brands like Sony are giving their product to retail outlets in anticipation of xmas sales (my opinion only). One example is the Sony Mavica camera. It was so heavily allocated that I had an ETA of early December but Circuit City had plenty in stock. Very strange lately in the purchasing department, a lot more stressful than it was a few months ago.

Sorry for the long rant, but sometimes a person just has to vent!!

-- Darla (dnice@hgo.net), November 16, 1999.

Cell phones were out of service all day Sunday, my two phones lines at home (in Caracas) are out of order more than a month with numbers assigned that are not my numbers.

Water billings are a mess. My bill for October came up to about $2.000 when I normally pay $27.

Electricity comes and goes frecuently.

And the Goverments continues saying that everything in "VENEZUELA IS Y2K FINE"

Should I move up to Florida?

-- Scared in Caracas Venezuela (Venezuela@mess.com), November 16, 1999.

could be solar flares or coronal mass ejections.

-- RZN (robinsun@netscape.net), November 17, 1999.

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