Phone and text services disrupted by Eircom glitch
Phone services for businesses and mobile users suffered major disruption after an outage at an Eircom station.
Technicians were last night still working to restore full services and the company said the network had returned to 'stable' by 8pm.
The problem affected 1800- and 1500- numbers as well as some mobile customers. Dublin Fire Brigade, ambulance services and Gas Networks Ireland all warned customers they might experience some problems.
Eircom said the problem resulted from an incident on its "core telephony network" and said it had an impact on about 5pc of its total call volume.
The incident resulted in an intermittent service that affected businesses using the 1800- and 1500- numbers, as well as some mobile numbers.
Calls and texts from Meteor and eMobile phones were also affected, and some customers received texts outlining the problem. ISDN connections were also disrupted.
"Since the issue arose at 10am, we have made progress to restore service for impacted customers in Dublin and the southern half of the country," Eircom said.
Technicians continued to work to rectify the problem throughout yesterday evening and services were being returned on a phased basis.
There was some restoration of services in the Dublin area first and Eircom said phone traffic was diverted to avoid the problem areas in the network and help restore full traffic.
"We highlighted a number of points on our network that have caused some congestion of traffic and we have now rerouted some of our network traffic away from those areas," Eircom's director of corporate affairs Paul Bradley said.
Among those affected was the popular RTE phone-in radio programme 'Liveline'.
The show was forced to provide alternative contact details to the ones usually used by contributors.
Dublin Fire Brigade tweeted that the 999/112 emergency call system was fully operational - but warned that customers calling from affected landlines and mobiles faced "intermittent problems".
The ambulance service said it had secondary back-up lines and other systems for communicating with hospitals directly, and so no issues had arisen.
The Health Service Executive confirmed all 1890-, 1950-, and 1800- numbers in Dublin, including the medical card line, had been restored last night.
Children's charity Childline reported similar difficulties, as did the ESB Networks, AA Roadwatch and the Central Bank of Ireland.
Investigations were under way last night to determine the cause of the problem. Mr Bradley said it was believed to be more of a technical or software problem as opposed to a mechanical problem. He said Eircom was not expecting further difficulties on the network today.