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Problems believed solved for phone system at county government

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 July 2015 at 12:00 am

ALBION – A series of glitches that on some days prevented Orleans County employees from receiving and placing phone calls appears to be fixed, county officials said.

The phone system for about 200 county employees has been hit with two major problems the past three weeks with issues from Verizon, Time Warner and Windstream. Friday was particularly bad, because county employees didn’t receive incoming calls and couldn’t place outgoing calls.

The county works with Windstream, a phone service provider, and uses Verizon. One problem occurred when county employees used the Verizon network to try to talk with someone on a Time Warner network. The calls weren’t going through and neither company wanted to work on it, said Kevin Doherty, who manages the county’s phone system.

That issue was worked out, and so where the other glitches. Doherty has worked on the county’s phone system for 30 years.

He said telecommunications are much more critical to county employees now than three decades ago.

Phone companies tend to put their resources and energy in more populous areas, and that can lead to service problems in rural areas, Doherty said.

“We’re at the edge of service coverage,” Doherty said. “There’s no incentive to invest in rural areas.”

The issues the past three weeks were particularly challenging because Doherty needed to work with more than one company to pinpoint the problems and get them resolved.

The issues did not affect the county’s 9-1-1 system, he said.