Minnesota state government unable to take calls for 3 hours

  • Updated: January 19, 2012 - 8:07 PM

Minnesotans may sometimes wonder if they are being heard by their state government. On Thursday afternoon, the state confirmed, they were not.

The state telephone system crashed at 12:48 p.m., meaning that about 20,000 employees could not make or get calls from anyone outside the state system.

"Twenty-thousand phones out is obviously a very serious problem," said Cathy de Moll, a spokeswoman with the Office of Enterprise Technology. The outage shut down Voice Over Internet Protocol phones, which are managed through CenturyLink, to determine what caused the problem.

The problem shut off service to state agencies and included the governor's office.

De Moll said a similar outage two years ago was not as disruptive. The phones worked 99.9 percent of the time last year, she said.

By 1:27 p.m., a state fix allowed employees to again make calls. By 3:30 p.m., the employees were once again taking calls.

RACHEL E. STASSEN-BERGER AND BRAD SCHRADE

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