Internet problem fouls phone service to city offices
Callers to the City of Marion may have been tripped up Tuesday by a technological snafu that repeatedly redirected them to voicemail rather than a person.
The city switched its office phones in August to a voice-over IP system using the Internet. If the system failed, calls would be redirected to employee cell phones.
“We’re in a world where we’ve become critically dependent on technology, and you have to look for redundancies to keep things moving,” city administrator Roger Holter said.
A problem Tuesday with an incoming Eagle Communications server line affected the phones, and calls to the VoIP system were redirected to cell phones, except for calls directed to city treasurer Becky Makovec’s station.
“The general number is the one that rolls through, and because Becky is off today, it didn’t go to her city-issued cell phone,” Holter said. “I’m sure it created inconveniences for some of our customers. Coming off a holiday weekend, we always have elevated requests.”
When Holter discovered the problem, he used a special emergency number to contact Eagle.
“I’ve never had to use it until this morning,” he said.
Eagle technicians fixed the problem, and the phones were operating normally again by afternoon.
“As far as the main office, it’s the first time it’s occurred,” Holter said.