For more than 10 hours Tuesday, business customers of Cox Communications in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas, Ohio, Oklahoma and the New England region were left scrambling to make and take calls from clients and customers.
The outage, which began around 10 a.m., according to a Cox representative, was due to a lost network link, meaning that Cox’s infrastructure was physically disrupted.
Roughly 40 percent of Cox’s business customers in the Omaha Metropolitan area were without service during the outage, the company confirmed Wednesday.
Residential customers were not affected by the outage, Cox officials said.
Cox, which declined to offer specifics about the outage Tuesday, said technical support workers were working to find a solution much of the day but were unable to restore service to all business customers until Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, a number of businesses were left without reliable phone service, forcing them to rely on other options, such as cellphones, Internet-based services like Google Voice and other services to communicate with their customers.
At Anytime Fitness Downtown, 1027 Jones St., employees were unable to make calls to members or receive calls from potential customers inquiring about memberships, said Lisa Nordin, the marketing and sales director for the Old Market gym.
“We're heading into the busy season, so since we can't answer the phone or call members, we've been using cellphones and social media,” she said, noting that the gym was unable to process any credit card transactions because their payment portal is connected through a telephone landline.
For other businesses, the issue was more serious.
On a typical day, OneWorld Community Health Center at 4920 S. 30th St. accepts roughly 600 phone calls, typically to make, change or cancel appointments, said Joel Dougherty, OneWorld's chief operating officer. Tuesday, the company had to go to backup systems, including using Google Voice and employee cellphones to return calls.
“We're still receiving some phone calls,” he said, “although it's been slower and less reliable than normal.”
Other companies and organizations left without sevice included NP Dodge Real Estate, Futureware Inc. and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands.
Service for some customers was restored Tuesday afternoon, a Cox spokeswoman said, but many remained without service into Tuesday evening.
“Our technical support teams are working diligently to restore service as soon as possible,” said Gail Graeve, the Cox spokeswoman.
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