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Phones out in Oxford area



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March 09, 2011 - The Oxford area experienced a major communication breakdown Tuesday, March 8 as a large number of homes, businesses and schools lost their landline phone service and internet access.

According to an AT&T worker, a main fiber-optic cable, located underground near the Oxford Mills shopping center, was accidentally cut by a contractor working around there.

The worker indicated it would be "a few more hours" before service was restored. He said that around 4 p.m.

It was around 10 a.m. when Oxford Fire Chief Pete Scholz said he first noticed the phone and internet services were off-line at Station #1 in the village.

Oxford Village Police Dispatch lost its ability to receive 9-1-1 emergency calls as well its 10-digit phone service.

As a result, all of Oxford's landline 9-1-1 calls were routed to the Lake Orion Village Police Dispatch Center, while 9-1-1 cellular calls were split between Lake Orion and the Oakland County Sheriff's Dispatch Center in Pontiac.

According to Scholz, the loss of service interfered with the county's ability to dispatch Addison and Brandon's fire calls through its dedicated lines to their respective main stations.

The county had to dispatch Addison and Brandon's fire/EMS calls via the radio system and cell phones, Scholz said. Editor C.J. Carnacchio

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