Phone outage traced to Qwest switch

PNT Staff Report

According to a Yucca Telecom official, last week’s problem with phone service in Portales originated at the Qwest switch in Clovis.

“What happened is Qwest turned off a valuable piece of information going into our system,” said Scott Arnold, Yucca Telecom general manager.

Qwest public relations representative Gary Younger told the PNT Monday that he couldn’t confirm that information because the person involved with the problem from his company was off sick. Younger hadn’t responded at press time Tuesday.

Arnold said the problem occurred around 10:30 a.m. Thursday and service was restored to normal by 6:45 p.m. that day. He said it caused Qwest customers in Portales and Clovis to be unable to dial a Yucca Telecom number or numbers that had been ported (service transferred without change of phone number) from Qwest to Yucca Telecom. He said cell service and service between Yucca numbers were not affected.

Arnold said that when his technicians began checking equipment in Portales they realized they did not have the handshake signature that allows the two systems to communicate.

Arnold said the issue was eventually traced back to the master switch for Qwest in Clovis.

Arnold, who acknowledged his company’s problems in getting the fiber optic phone and Internet service set up in Portales, said he wanted residents to know that last week’s problem was not something Yucca had any control over.