Widespread outage for AT&T's digital phone lines

May 25, 2010 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- AT&T's new digital home phone service failed across the country Tuesday, illustrating continuing reliability issues with Internet-based phone service.

Customers of AT&T Inc.'s U-Verse Voice said their landline phones have had no dial tones since the morning. Reached by cell phone, the customers said those who call them get a message that the line has been disconnected. Support personnel are telling customers that a server crash brought down U-Verse Voice in AT&T's entire 22-state local-phone service area.

AT&T spokeswoman Mari Melguizo said the started at about 10:30 a.m., and service was restored to most subscribers at 2:45 p.m. She said the extent the outage was unknown.

AT&T has 1.15 million U-Verse Voice customers. The service sends calls over subscriber's Internet connections, making it technically similar to independent Internet phone services such as Vonage. The technology, known as Voice over Internet Protocol, has a spotty reliability record compared with standard , though it has been improving. U-Verse Internet and TV services weren't affected by the Voice outage.

Charles Tillman, a bank employee working from his home in Jupiter, Fla., said the outage was "infuriating."

"If you have a client calling and they get message saying it's a non-working number, they don't know it's a service outage," he said. "Thankfully, I have my cell phone."

Kimberly Dotseth, a real-estate broker in San Diego, was also upset that clients were unable to reach her.

"It's a big deal to me to just have the calls go off into the ether somewhere," she said. She has been a U-Verse only for a month and now wants to switch back to a regular landline.

U-Verse voice is only available in areas where AT&T has upgraded the local phone network to support TV service over phone lines.

Explore further: Millions without mobile phone service in Argentina

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Britain's BT in talks to buy mobile operator EE

Dec 15, 2014

BT Group PLC said Monday it is in exclusive talks to buy mobile phone operator EE from Germany's Deutsche Telekom and France's Orange for 12.5 billion pounds ($20 billion) in cash and shares.

Re-imagining the network

Dec 12, 2014

Communication networks are evolving to keep pace with increasing consumer needs and business demands. We've already experienced the progressive jumps from 1G to 4G wireless networks and 5G is looming in the not-too-distant ...

High-speed Internet on its way to more schools

Dec 11, 2014

The Federal Communications Commission agreed Thursday to dramatically boost spending to bring high-speed Internet access to schools and libraries in poor or rural areas, a move that would likely increase Americans' phone ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.