California 911 glitch caused by computer problem : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

911 glitch caused by computer problem

By Troy Anderson Staff Writer

A statewide computer data line problem Friday morning caused a glitch for 911 emergency systems, financial institutions and some Internet service providers, officials said.

From 8:08 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., Pacific Bell experienced a frame relay outage that caused a disruption on data lines, including some that link credit card terminals at stores and automated teller machines at banks.

One of the biggest impacts was on hundreds of the state's 911 emergency systems, where dispatchers could receive calls but their computers did not automatically display the address of the caller.

"This is the first time it has ever happened on this scale where the entire state was affected," said Daphne Rhoe, manager of the state Department of General Services' Telecommunications 911 Program office.

Rhoe said there were no reports of people calling 911 who did not receive help.

"That's not to say that tomorrow we might get some information like that," she said. "As far as we know, there was no impact."

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Deputy Rich Pena said 911 dispatchers could receive calls Friday morning, but their computers didn't show them the callers' addresses.

"The 911 call was getting through, but dispatchers had to type in the name and address of where the call originated," Pena said.

Los Angeles police and fire officials said their 911 systems were not affected.

Pacific Bell spokeswoman Jennifer Langan said the frame relay outage affected 22,000 circuits that transport data.

"Customers impacted include large and small businesses, some Internet service providers and 911 dispatch agencies," she said.

She said the cause of the outage is under investigation and service was expected to be restored by Friday evening.

Pacific Bell's regular telephone service uses a separate voice network and was not affected. The outage was limited to Pacific Bell's territory, which involves about three-fourths of the state.

-- Martin Thompson (, May 26, 2001

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