TX - Phone Outage in Richardson; Cable Damage

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Phone Service Cut in Richardson

Cable damage has affected Telecom Corridor businesses since Tuesday


By Steve Quinn / The Dallas Morning News

RICHARDSON  Damage to a cable running under a Richardson intersection has affected as many as 1,400 telephone lines in the Telecom Corridor area, officials said.

Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. repair crews have been working since Tuesday to repair the damage at Arapaho Road and International Parkway.

A contractor working for another local-service provider, Nextlink, damaged the line, city officials said.

"We bored exactly where we were showed to bore in," said Larry Oaks, Nextlink's vice president of marketing. "We were doing exactly what we were told to do via the markings on the ground and according to the survey done prior to the contractor digging in that location."

No residential service was affected, said Southwestern Bell spokeswoman Debra Dekelbaum. The company hoped to have all service restored by Friday morning.

"After service is restored, the situation will be investigated," she said.

Ms. Dekelbaum said she did not know the exact number of companies affected by the outage. She said some are in the area south of Arapaho, east of Executive Drive, west of Presidential Drive and north of Apollo Road, in the core of the Telecom Corridor.

"Because . . . [the cable] was damaged and not cut, the effect varies," she said. "Up to 1,400 lines were damaged, but some weren't affected, some had minor effects and some [businesses] have no service. One section of the cable had to be replaced."

Mayan Networks, a start-up telecommunications company with offices in Richardson, first lost voice service, then data service, and still had no service by Thursday afternoon, company officials said.

"It hurts us a lot," company engineer Brad Shirley said. "It couldn't have come at a worse time. This is a major hit. Time is money, and this is not the time."

Mr. Shirley said he couldn't quantify the losses, but he said losing the data lines has forced Mayan to use overnight delivery services or go as far as boarding a plane to deliver materials by hand to company offices in Arizona and California.

Samsung, which manufactures wireless phones, also found itself in a bind, company officials said. Because its Richardson and Plano phone services are on the same network, both voice services shut down.

Some employees from Richardson worked at the Plano offices, where data services were available. Additionally, the company conducted conference calls on cell phones.

Samsung's service was restored by Thursday afternoon, but the outage made for a couple of hectic workdays, said Janet DeBerardinis, the company's management information systems director.

"The one benefit is the business we are in," she said. "But for the first two days it was kind of tense here. Our sales force [is] remote, and they couldn't dial into our systems. The first few hours, my help desk had a tremendous amount of calls coming in on our cell phones."


-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), July 28, 2000

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