July 911 Outage Explained

On July 15, nearly half of the state’s 911 call centers faced outages that saw outages for hours.

"There was a capacity issue in the system and it caused a drain of memory in the software which ultimately affected the call handling, the 911 handling, component of the system,” said Bill Youell, the Director of the Division of Statewide Emergency Telecommunications.

AT&T is the state contractor tasked with installing what’s known as a NextGen 911 system that allows users to text to 911, and for the call center to know the precise location of where a 911 call was placed.

State sources told NBC Connecticut that AT&T has since the patched the issue and there have been no problems since July 15.

New Britain is one of 56 call centers using the new technology.

"They were able to see 911 calls coming in but they couldn't communicate with the caller so they improvised, they took out their own cell phones and started calling folks back,” said Jim Donnelly, the Director of Public Safety Telecommunications for the City of New Britain.

Donnelly says he thinks the new 911 system will be a great system when it’s fully operational and added that he’s not discouraged by one outage.

"This glitch here was a big one but they are actively and aggressively taking steps to do that."

If you tried calling 911 on that day and couldn't get through, tell us your story: news@nbcconnecticut.com

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