People in Mower, Dodge, Freeborn, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha and Winona Counties experienced issues when attempting to call 911 between 12:56 p.m. and 8:08 p.m. Monday. Callers could speak to a dispatcher and heard the dispatcher speak, but the dispatcher could not hear the caller.
To work around the issue, the public safety answering points, or 911 dispatch centers, used caller information from their display screens to contact each caller using their administrative lines. In addition, PSAPs encouraged people who needed help to use their 10-digit, 24-hour, non-emergency numbers until service was restored. Text-to-911 service was also operational at that time.
CenturyLink, now Lumen Technologies is the state’s 911 service provider. Representatives now say that a bad card that supports a large national fiber in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is to blame for the issue, and not a fiber line cut as they previously indicated. Engineers rebooted the equipment, which resolved the issue and fully restored service. Lumen Technologies is still investigating and will provide a Reason for Outage (RFO) in three to five business days as required by its contract with DPS-ECN.