Faulty equipment in Wisconsin to blame for southeastern Minnesota 911 outages

Brett Bachtle
Updated: January 12, 2021 06:15 PM
Created: January 12, 2021 04:55 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Faulty equipment is to blame for the widespread 911 outages across southeastern Minnesota on Monday.

The preliminary investigation found that a large fiber line was cut near Green Bay. However, representatives for CenturyLink, the state’s 911 service provider, now say that a bad card that supports a large national fiber is responsible for the issues.

The equipment was rebooted and service restored after seven hours.

Eight counties including Dodge, Freeborn, Mower, Olmsted and Steele all experienced issues with their 911 systems.

“We teach kids dial 911 – very easy to remember. In an emergency people will dial 911 and then when it doesn’t work, what do they do? That is the scary aspect of it for me as a chief law enforcement officer is how will we make sure people understand there are other avenues to reach us," said Mower County Sheriff Steve Sandvik.

During the outage, callers could speak to a dispatcher and heard the dispatcher speak, but the dispatcher could not hear the caller.

“I thought about elderly people that don’t have smartphones and things that wouldn’t know to dial any other number but 911,” said Austin resident Jennifer McNally.

No calls for service went unanswered during the incident.

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