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Oakland County Phone Outages Hit Birmingham Schools, City Offices

Business lines for Oakland County government offices, including the city of Birmingham, were disrupted Wednesday. Little Rock, Ark.-based Windstream is working to correct the problem, a spokesman said.

Phone service throughout Oakland County experienced sporadic interruptions Wednesday morning though the service provider was working to make repairs.

The disruptions began at approximately 9 a.m. and technicians were working to correct the problems, said David Avery, a spokesman for Little Rock, Ark.-based Windstream.

Avery said the disruptions appeared to be caused by a cut fiber optic cable in Indiana and an equipment malfunction in Wisconsin. He could not provide an estimated time for service restoration. Avery said Windstream also was working to determine the exact scope of the problem in Michigan.

Windstream provides "high-speed broadband Internet, phone service and Digital TV packages to residential customers as well as products and services for small, medium and large businesses, and government agencies," according to its website.

In Birmingham, the city's business lines were impacted by the service disruptions, with service cut off to City Hall and the Birmingham Police Department. The city's 911 system was working as usual and those looking to reach any city offices are encouraged to email manager@bhamgov.org.

Service to the majority of Birmingham schools was also impacted by the outage. Callers weren't able to call the district's administrative building all morning, and several school buildings — including Quarton Elementary, Pembroke Elementary and Bingham Farms Elementary — also lost phone service.

According to Birmingham Schools spokeswoman Marcia Wilkinson, parents looking to contact their child's school while the phones are down should email mm02bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us or mg01bps@birmingham.k12.mi.us.

Meanwhile, Oakland County government lines were impacted, according to a press release, and callers with critical needs were advised to dial the county’s switchboard at 1-888-350-0900 and ask to be transferred to the appropriate department or division.

"Callers whose issues are not urgent are asked to call back after regular service has been restored," the press release said. "At this time, it is not clear when that will be. Incoming and outgoing long distance calls are not affected because they are handled by another service provider."

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