AZ - Phone problem disrupts Qwest service in Prescott : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

AZ - Phone problem disrupts Qwest service in Prescott By JOANNA DODDER The Daily Courier PRESCOTT – A breakdown of Qwest phone company fans in Prescott caused some residents in town to lose phone service from Tuesday evening to about 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

The fans blow through manholes where cable lines cross, to keep them dry because of constant groundwater infiltration, explained Qwest spokesman Mark Genrich of Phoe-nix. The main fan system as well as the back-up system near the Arizona Public Service office in Prescott failed, he said, allowing moisture to get into cable lines.

The company had to fly in new fans and install them. In the meantime, more and more people lost phone service Tuesday and Wednes-day, until crews restored it bit by bit.

The problem probably affected the Yavapai County government the worst, because it uses its phone lines for Internet service based at its Fair Street administration complex in Prescott. That site lost phone service, so county government employees all over the county were unable to use their e-mail service. People who tried to call the Fair Street offices on the phone just heard continuous ringing, so they wondered why the county wasn’t answering.

“It was nice because it was peaceful – but now we’re inundated,” said Vicki Gray, who works in the county supervisors office where the phone usually rings more than 40 times a day. Some county officials got around the problem somewhat by using cell phones, but it just wasn’t the same.

“We were living on our cell phones here and it was frustrating for everyone, including our constituents,” Management Information Systems Director Steven Welch said. His department was moving toward a contingency plan when the Qwest finally restored the lines.

Some county officials have emergency back-up systems on their Internet service, such as Emergency Management Director Nick Angiolillo, who can get off the county network and use local access.

He figured if this would have happened last year about this time, people would have concluded that it was a Y2K nightmare. That idea came to mind for Kathy Hernandez, an administrative aide for the county Facilities Department.

“Everybody gets so reliant on it,” she said of the phone and computer system. Early Thursday, she was wondering what meetings she may have missed. She was getting more paperwork done, but pondering how badly she’d pay later.

-- Doris (, December 10, 2000

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