Officials want more answers to recent Ameritech outage

A commissioner remains convinced that a computer glitch stemming from a billing matter affected service.
LISBON -- Columbiana County officials and Ameritech representatives are expected to meet in the next week or so to discuss the outage that affected several county telephone lines.
Commissioner Dave Cranmer said Friday he has yet to receive from Ameritech a thorough explanation of Thursday morning's sudden outage, which included shutting down the sheriff department's emergency telephone for several hours.
It appears no emergencies were missed as a result of the interruption, which lasted from about 1:30 a.m. until about 11 a.m., Sheriff Dave Smith said Friday afternoon.
Linked to bill: Cranmer said the outage apparently is connected to a mix-up over a $17,000 overdue bill that the county owed Ameritech for phone service.
The county worked out a payment plan early this month with the company to avert a nonpayment, service shutdown Thursday.
It appears, Cranmer said, that the shutdown was partly implemented anyway, perhaps as the result of a computer glitch.
"I still think the human didn't catch up with the computer," Cranmer said.
An Ameritech spokeswoman said Friday the company regrets any inconvenience that may have resulted from the service interruption.
As for what caused it, the spokeswoman said without elaborating that the company is still investigating.

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