3. NE Ohio Phone outage

Shortly after 6 PM on Tuesday, January 13th Columbiana, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit Counties in northeast Ohio experienced an AT&T service failure. Part of this story has been published at www.arrl.org , but I had access to some other tidbits of information that did not make it into that article.

Internet, data and telephone services were lost, including 911 lines. Around 7 PM the Columbiana County Emergency Management Agency, using a cell phone, requested the Ohio Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to activate Columbiana County’s Emergency Alert System (EAS). The Ohio EOC was unable to accomplish this, so the request was fulfilled by the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Cleveland.

At 9:20 PM Time Warner Cable in Stark County reached an Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) dispatcher in another county to report that they were receiving 911 calls via their Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) lines that they could no longer forward to the local 911 center or to the Stark County OSHP post.

Communications between the affected county emergency managers and the Ohio EOC was gradually reestablished using the MARCS ECOMM-1 talk group. AT&T reported that most of their customers were back in service by 4 AM Wednesday. Again, to get the ARES side of this failure of technology story visit the ARRL website.