DETCOG looking into answers on why backup systems failed during multi-county 911 outage

DETCOG looking into answers on why backup systems failed during multi-county 911 outage

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A follow up report was drafted Monday by DETCOG'S 911 Regional Network director following Friday evening's shutdown of 911 call centers in nine Deep East Texas counties.

His question is why did backup service fail when a contractor's backhoe destroyed a 200-foot. section of AT&T cable near Corrigan?

Fortunately, the consolidated dispatch center in Nacogdoches went unscathed by the emergency. An information technologist has a theory how dispatch survived the communication breakdown.

Information Technology manager Michael Donnell had a quiet Friday evening, unlike his counterparts.

"Since it was working no need to call me," Donnell said.

It wasn't until Saturday morning that Donnell learned the Nacogdoches 911 system was partially down, but the backup system worked accordingly.

"The thing I heard it was just for Nacogdoches County," Donnell said. "After seeing KTRE, I find out it's multiple counties, but they said our 911, however, and others were rerouted currently through our non-emergency lines because they were still working."

Even though they were AT&T lines. Donnell is glad that happened, but isn't 100-percent sure why. He has a theory that ultimately could help other dispatch centers avoid future interruptions in service.

"The only thing initially, without a lot of studying with our local AT&T engineers that could possibly allude to why we stayed up when the rest of 911 was down, a lot of our communication lines here in Nacogdoches are actually coming from multiple sources," Donnell said. "We've got some that come from Dallas, and then we've got some that come from Houston. My initial suspicion is probably whatever affected 911 is coming out of one direction, but our service was coming out of the other direction."

In addition, the communication center is using a much newer AT&T service. Plus, a backup is available at the recreation center.

Internet service is still down for some customers. AT&T says it should be repaired by 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Medical devices, banking services and more people dropping their landlines have increased dependency on the internet.

Call 811 before you dig, or click this link.

Copyright 2017 KTRE. All rights reserved.