Montana telephones out : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Tower or computer glitch? Take your pick.

Long distance service out in Central Montana

Long distance phone service was out Thursday in widespread parts of central Montana served by Triangle Telephone Cooperative and its subsidiary, Central Montana Communications.

Sheriff's Department dispatchers in Wheatland, Meagher, Sweetgrass and Golden Valley counties said long distance phone service was cut at about 11 p.m. Tuesday. As of Wednesday evening, these counties could receive incoming long distance calls, but could not make outgoing calls.

There was no phone service - not even 911 - for about three hours beginning Tuesday at 11 p.m. in Sweetgrass County, said Kerry O'Connell, county public information officer.

"There was absolutely no service last night for about three hours," she said. "We had police officers and firefighters out with radios, just for some kind of communications relay. Even the hospital could not make calls. Without 911 it was kind of panicky."

Local phone service was restored at about 2 a.m. but most parts of the county could not make calls outside of Sweetgrass county on Wednesday, she said.

O'Connell said no one had a clear idea of what caused the outage. "We heard it was a computer glitch," she said.

A dispatcher in Wheatland County said she was told interruption occurred after a tower in Big Timber had been damaged.

Repeated calls from The Gazette to Triangle Telephone Cooperative and Central Montana Communications were not answered.

The cooperatives serve 15 counties in central Montana, according to the Triangle Telephone Cooperative Web site

-- Martin Thompson (, February 03, 2000

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