Phone co. to interrupt service

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By The Staff

Lancaster County residents may find themselves without telephone service for a short time late Friday night or early Saturday morning.

According to Lancaster County Emergency Management, there may be a loss of land-based phone service in many areas of the county between midnight Friday and 1:30 a.m. Saturday. This will not affect cellular phone service.

Residents with emergencies may use cell phones to call 911. If a resident does not have a cell phone, he or she may go to the nearest

Lancaster County Emergency Medical Service station or volunteer fire department for assistance. These stations will be staffed from 11:30 p.m. Friday to 1:30 a.m. Saturday for this situation.

"This is something different than we're used to," said Emergency Management Director Morris Russell. But because so many people now have cell phones, with some residents not even having a land-based phone anymore, Russell doesn't foresee any major problems.

"We should be in fairly good condition," he said.

Comporium Communications officials met with all Lancaster city and county emergency services and Springs Memorial Hospital staff about the situation.

Phone service will not be available because Comporium will be upgrading its switches and doing other network rearrangements in the Lancaster area.

"These are planned and necessary changes to ensure that we continue to provide the best quality of service possible for our landline network," said Glenn McFadden, executive vice president of operations, in a press release. "We anticipate only brief periods of service interruptions during the conversion, and it will not affect our wireless service or any dedicated data circuits, such as METS, point-to-point or private line data."

The outage will affect most of Lancaster County, according to the company.

"This work should go very quickly and unnoticed by the majority of our customers during this early morning period," McFadden said. "We just wanted our Lancaster customers to be aware of what's going on."

Contact Jenny Hartley

at 283-1151 or