UK - Businesses Blighted by Switchboard Bug : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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April 24, 2000

Title: Businesses Blighted by Switchboard Bug Businesses opening up again after the Easter break could find that they have been hit by a telephone switchboard bug caused by recent number changes.

Hundreds of offices in areas affected by the changes may be unable to receive or make telephone calls as the country returns to work after the holiday.

The bug can affect businesses which use Alternative Network Routing - a facility which allows switchboards to choose between different phone companies for local, national and international calls.

If the switchboard has not been re-programmed to handle the new local numbers, staff or customers using the new eight-digit local numbers without the 02 area code, will not be able to get through.

"This is not a network issue. It is an equipment issue which the phone companies cannot control," said Ed Townsend of The Big Number campaign.

"Nevertheless, we have been alerting businesses to this and other equipment issues for 18 months. We know that many have taken action but fear that some have not."

It is estimated that 60 to 70 per cent of medium and large businesses use ANR-type switchboards.

Michael Dixon, chairman of the Telecoms Managers Association's numbering group, said: "Switched-on businesses, especially those with telecoms managers, should have eliminated the switchboard bug before or during Easter.

"The trouble is, not every business has a telecoms manager. If they haven't re-programmed their equipment, they could face baffled staff and must contact their equipment maintainer as soon as possible."

Local numbers changed in London, Cardiff, Coventry, Portsmouth, Southampton and Northern Ireland.


-- (, April 24, 2000

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