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    Verizon Says Phone Service Restored After Major Phone Outage Hits LB & 562 Area, Traced To Computer Problem In Downtown LB Office

    (Oct. 18, 2005, updated 9:15 p.m. after multiple updates) -- At a midafternoon news conference held at LB's Emergency Communications and Operations Center and attended by, a Verizon spokesman said service has been restored to all Verizon offices following a major telephone outage affecting LB and much of the 562 area code from about 2:30 a.m. until roughly noon today (Oct. 18).

    Areas affected stretched from parts of southbay to Huntington Beach, and included Signal Hill, Lakewood and several other cities.

    Phone out Oct 18/05Verizon External Affairs Dir. for the LB area, Mike Murray, said the problem has been traced to Verizon's central LB switching office downtown on Elm Ave. near 6th St. and spread to other offices. He said it resulted from some type of computer malfunction, either a hardware or a software problem or a combination of both.

    Mr. Murray said that as of 1:30 p.m., the problem had been rectified. He likened the immediate cure to the task of replacing a major hard drive and all the data on it. He said that as of 1:30 p.m., the problem was no longer affecting other central offices.

    In response to multiple questions from reporters, Mr. Murray said there is redundancy built into the system and technicians are working to find out exactly went wrong. In response to a reporter's question -- "could this happen again?" -- Mr. Murray indicated it could [in context: until the problem is pinpointed.]

    Mr. Murray later reported at tonight's City Council meeting, which included a detailed report by LBPD and LBFD. [ coverage click here.]

    Phone out Oct 18/05City management, LBPD and LBFD officials said additional resources were reployed on the street to respond to calls for service. There were no injuries reported.

    There were mixed reports on the extent to which 911 calls went through (to CHP). [Obviously, we didn't check this in real time]. LBPD said they couldn't be sure all cell phone 911 calls got through, but they were getting some routed from CHP, and even sporadic ones directly. LBPD confirmed that some calls for service were answered by officers being "flagged down" in the field by residents.

    For hours, LB residents and businesses had dial tone but hard-wired phones didn't reach numbers much beyond one's neighborhood. Dialing across town or outside the area produced a "fast busy." Incoming calls from outside one's neighborhood also didn't work.

    The outage continued into the the work day, affecting some businesses.

    And no, cell phones didn't work consistently either. Some 562 area Cingular cell phones received the "fast busy" in parts of LB, but seemed to work in other areas...and some people reported their cell phones worked OK.

    One reader reported his Verizon DSL service was working.

    The outage reportedly began about 2:30 a.m...and by the predawn hours, LB's Emergency Communications & Operations Center was fired up and operating. was on scene before dawn...but unable to post by the Verizon phone failure until our service was partially restored at about 11:30 a.m.

    [Comment: is taking steps to ensure redundancy in this in the future.]

    LBPD and LBFD shifts were extended with increased deployments to increase visibility.

    Phone out Oct 18/05L.A. area media came to LB to cover the story. LBFD Public Information Officer Jeff Reeb talks live with Fox11/KTTV.

    Phone out Walk Oct 18/05Coupled with a steady rain, it was a miserable morning.

    ABC7 reporter Sid Garcia waits for his next live shot.

    At midday, LBPD Sgt. David Cannan updated

    We've held over our graveyard shifts, we have all of our day shift officers out there, we've also uniformed all of our detectives and they're out there, mainly on the main boulevards. They're going to talk to anybody that waves 'em down. Same response as the Fire Department where they put all their rolling stock out with firefighters on it, and if people need emergency service we're going to get them the service as best we can.

    ...Our hand held radios are working so we're communicating with transit, with fires and the hospitals...and with [other] local cities.

    ...You won't find any more presence out there on the street than you're going find today...

    ...This has always been a scenario that we've looked at and we have talked about, and some of this is our opportunity to actually work it...

  • Related coverage: Verizon Tells Council Company President Vows To Find Cause Of LB/562 Phone Outage & Will Provide Report To City Mgm't.; LBPD & LBFD Say Communication Was Maintained Between Emergency Personnel Via Radio Links

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