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Widespread Minnesota 911 Malfunction Blamed on ‘Bad Card’

A more than seven-hour long 911 malfunction was a result of a "bad card that supports a large national fiber in Green Bay, Wis.," and not a fiber line cut, public safety officials reported Tuesday.

by Post-Bulletin / January 13, 2021

(TNS) — A more than seven-hour long 911 malfunction was a result of a "bad card that supports a large national fiber in Green Bay, Wis.," and not a fiber line cut, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Emergency Communication Networks division reported Tuesday.

People in DodgeFreebornMowerOlmstedRiceSteeleWabasha and Winona counties were able to call 911 Tuesday but dispatchers on the other end could not hear them. The issues began at 12:56 p.m. and ran until 8:08 p.m., according to the division.

The state's 911 service provider, CenturyLink, which was rebranded as Lumen Technologies in September, reported that a "bad card that supports a large national fiber in Green Bay, Wisc., is to blame for the issue — and not a fiber line cut as they previously indicated," the division wrote in a news release.

Engineers rebooted the equipment, which resolved the issue and fully restored service.

The division reported that no 911 calls went unanswered during the seven-hour long issue. Many dispatch centers were able to use caller information on their display screens to call back callers from an administrative line. Many counties took to social media to alert residents of the issue and urged them to make reports via their county's non-emergency number.

Text-to-911 service was not affected.

"911 is still a number Minnesotans can trust and should always be the first thing you try, but there are alternatives you can use in an emergency during a disruption," DPS-ECN Director  Dana Wahlberg  said in a news release. "We encourage people to save the non-emergency numbers for (dispatch centers) located in the counties where they live, work and frequently visit."

(c)2021 the Post-Bulletin. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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