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Phone network and 999 calls go down

PUBLISHED: 11:48 23 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:14 03 March 2010

THE telephone network in Suffolk was left in disarray last night after a major fault left 999 services out of action and tens of thousands of customers without a service.

THE telephone network in Suffolk was left in disarray last night after a major fault left 999 services out of action and tens of thousands of customers without a service.

Police confirmed emergency 999 lines went out of action for around 20 minutes in parts of Suffolk, but the cause of the fault was not known.

A spokesman for BT said a total of 91,000 customers within Suffolk were reported to have experienced problems.

A spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary said the emergency number was restored at about midnight, less than half an hour after the problem was first reported.

Police said the lines went down in the Felixstowe and Woodbridge areas, as well as the Whitton area of Ipswich at around 11pm. There were also reports of lines going down in the Aldeburgh area, as well as some in north Essex.

A police spokesman said if the fault had been protracted, it is possible patrol cars would have been sent to telephone kiosks in the areas affected to assist anyone who may have wanted to call 999.

"There is nothing else we can do. This is only the second one I have known in the last few months," he added, explaining the problems were usually rectified within minutes.

BT informed all emergency services in the region of the problem at around 11.30pm that the 999 number was not working and engineers were urgently trying to fix the problem.

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