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2,000 have phone problems

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By Jesef Williams

If you had trouble trying to place calls Monday, you weren't the only one.

Some Lancaster County and Fort Lawn residents weren't able to place calls from their land-line phones. About 2,000 lines were affected Monday, said Glenn McFadden, Comporium Communications' executive vice president of operations.

The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office reported that some residents were unable to make 911 calls because of the problem.

The problem was directly related to line upgrades and network rearrangements Comporium did early Saturday morning, McFadden said.

Comporium relocates lines all the time to provide the most efficient service possible. The procedure typically yields no serious problems.

On Saturday morning, all the lines were turned off and back on within 25 minutes, McFadden said. He didn't learn of any problems until he came to work Monday morning.

McFadden said residents throughout the county – including the downtown Lancaster area and the town of Heath Springs – as well as Fort Lawn in Chester County, were affected.

Those residents had trouble originating calls, but were able to receive them, he said.

Lancaster County Sheriff Johnny Cauthen said the communication breakdown caused problems for the sheriff's office. Officers had problems calling into the office on land lines.

Cauthen said he started hearing about the problems about 7 p.m. Sunday, and it started again Monday morning. On Monday, a Shiloh Unity Road resident wasn't able to call 911 with a medical problem and instead called Lancaster County Emergency Medical Services directly for help.

The problems appeared to have been resolved by Monday afternoon.

McFadden said Comporium hasn't pinpointed exactly what caused the problem, but knows it was directly related to computer programming and software issues that stemmed from the upgrades.

The company has since added a memory card to the computer system.

"We never had an outage. It was an interment problem," McFadden said. "We are truly sorry for any inconvenience."

Contact Jesef Williams

at 283-1152 or

jwilliams@thelancasternews.com