Samaritans hit by phone glitch (UK) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread,2478,33793,00.html

Samaritans Hit By Phone Glitch

From the Press Association Friday February 25, 2000 4:37 pm

Telephone services to organisations such as banks, the AA, National Rail Inquiries, and the Samaritans have been severely disrupted.

British Telecom suffered problems with part of its network which affects national numbers charged at a local rate. Virgin, the NHS helpline, and British Gas were also affected.

They include numbers beginning with 0345 and 0845. People began experiencing problems getting through as two of the system's main gateways failed.

A BT spokesman said a third gateway has continued to receive calls, but had been swamped by the number received. Many callers experienced engaged or unobtainable dialling tones.

Internet services where users dial onto the network using 0845 numbers have also been affected.

The spokesman said: "Our engineers are doing everything they can to repair the problem but as yet we do not know what has caused the breakdown.

"It is being treated as a matter of urgency."

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health confirmed that problems with the NHS Direct service were down to BT.

People are being advised to use alternative health services.

The 24-hour-a-day NHS Direct service covers 65% of the country and takes around 8,000 calls a day.

-- Homer Beanfang (, February 25, 2000

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