Landline 911 service restored in Homer

Feb 21, 2020

Credit Mcheath, Public Domain

Some landline phone users lost the ability to reach 911 dispatchers in Homer yesterday. Homer Police Department issued a statement yesterday saying that cell phones were the only reliable way to reach local 911 dispatch. That issue has now been resolved.

911 calls made from a landline are now routing properly and connecting to local dispatch.
Lt. Ryan Browning of the Homer Police Department says the department is completely confident that it is now OK to call 911 from any phone, cell or landline.
According to Josh Edge, GCI Media Relations Specialist, a system glitch affected two of Homer Police Department’s voice circuits, which compromised their ability to handle multiple, simultaneous incoming landline calls.

Edge says the problem is not related to the widespread phone service interruptions that have been happening all over the peninsula.

A few weeks ago, a fiber optic cable off the coast of Kenai was damaged, affecting cell and landline service.
Brad Bryant is a Network Administrator for CGI. He spoke with KBBI’s Kathleen Gustafson about degraded phone service in the Homer area.

Transcript:

GCI Bryant:
 There was an undersea fiber cut. There's been a break in a pretty major. fiber cable. There is a repair effort ongoing right now. Currently we have a repair vessel en route from Seattle. The last I heard they were going to wait until they were able to get out there and pull the cable up and examine it before they made a, a hard determination (about what caused the damage).

KBBI:
So the vessel is on the way to pull that cable and make repairs?

GCI Bryant:
Yes.

KBBI:
Do you know when the vessel is scheduled to arrive or work is scheduled to begin on the cable?

GCI Bryant:
It's still going to be several weeks, last I heard

KBBI:
 It is the cause of the connectivity issues for landlines?
GCI Bryant:
Correct. To my understanding, that fiber break has introduced issues into the central Homer call switch and that’s what these landline connection issues are stemming from.

KBBI:
And that's the fiber optic cable that's between Kenai and Homer.

GCI Bryant:
Yes. It's about seven miles off the coast of Kenai in the water.

The Homer Police Department reminds everyone that it is, once again, safe to call 911 from a landline.