Union County investigating communications failure
By Charles Duncan
Union County Government is investigating the cause of a communications failure that left two counties without cable, phone service and cell phone service.
The massive communications outage occurred at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Monday.
All land telephone lines of Windstream, cell phone coverage by Verizon and AT&T and Union County's E- 911 system went dark on Monday evening, Union County Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris said.
“It was in Towns and Union that we know of so far,” Paris said. “There will be a serious investigation of what happened and why. This is naturally of major concern to all counties involved. Fortunately during the outage of more than an hour, we were very fortunate that no emergencies of a serious nature took place in our county.
Though the investigation continues, apparently there was a large equipment malfunction at a major switching center that caused the outage.
“It is of grave concern to Union County emergency services that such a catastrophic communications failure like this could occur,” Paris said. “We will work with those involved to determine exactly what happened and more importantly, what can be done to see that it does not repeat.
“At the same time, Union County government must adopt additional strategies to minimize the damage from such a communication failure, by having additional backup steps in place,” he said. “We are all very fortunate that this happened without serious consequences and is giving us all a second chance to try to make sure this problem is not repeated.
“At this point, it is a little early to start blaming anyone until we know all of the details,” Paris said. “Once we have fully investigated this outage, we will make sure that the public is fully informed as to what happened, how and why, and what will be done in the future to prevent another similar occurrence.”