outage affect other telecoms in Wyoming
By BOB MOEN, AP
Friday, August 4, 2006
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The outage that left much of Wyoming
without 911 service for hours earlier this week affected the
emergency dispatch systems of other telecommunications
companies in the state besides Qwest Communications
International Inc., a state regulatory official said Friday.
It is unclear why other companies were affected when a Qwest
fiber-optic line was cut in Cheyenne, Stephen Oxley,
secretary and chief counsel for the state Public Service
"We need to dig into that," Oxley said.
The PSC has four of its 23 staff members investigating
Tuesday's outage, which cut long-distance and 911 service to
residents across the state, including the major cities of
Casper, Gillette and Cody.
Qwest and the PSC are still trying to determine the extent
of the outage, which stretched from Jackson in northwest
Wyoming to Lusk in the far eastern part of the state.
"This is a very, very serious public safety issue," Oxley
said. "The commission takes it very, very seriously."
Michael Dunne, spokesman for Qwest, said the company was
still investigating the outage, which he earlier attributed
to a "boring operation," and how many people lost service.
While people where unable to summon police, fire and medical
personnel on the 911 system, they were able to dial the
local 10-digit numbers for help during the outage, Dunne
The outage occurred at about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, and all
long-distance and 911 service was restored by midnight,
although the larger cities and towns had 911 service
restored within several hours of the outage.
Oxley said the fiber-optic line was cut near Qwest's offices
in Cheyenne. Despite that, Cheyenne, the largest city in
Wyoming, was not affected.
Oxley said the agency is working to find out how many other
911 systems were affected and why there was no backup system
"It's all bound up together, but the fact that 911 went down
for a lot of people is very, very troubling," he said.