What to do if Oakland’s phone lines go down again


Mary Mitchell

There are 125 blue light emergency phones on campus that can be used to reach OUPD.

Tuesday, Oct. 4,  the Oakland University telephone service was in limbo as its telecom provider suffered a nationwide outage.

The outage concerned the Oakland University Police Department (OUPD), as the dispatch was without service.

“Inbound and outbound calling on campus was not functional at the time,” Kenneth R. Kiley, director of police IT said. “That’s why we made the decision to put out the announcement to go to the code-blue emergency phones because we were able to verify at that time those were working . . . they don’t rely on outside telephone provider to work them. It’s a closed telephone network on campus.”

“Campus phones were out, so if someone tried to call our dispatch from a cell phone they weren’t going to get through to us at that time,” Kiley said.

OUPD reacted quickly to the outage and  followed protocol by contacting other dispatch centers across Oakland County so they could provide help to OUPD at the time of the outage.

OUPD used several platforms to notify the campus, including Facebook, Twitter, text, digital signage around campus and announcements on OU’s website and OUPD’s website.

What caused the outage

Level 3 Communications, the telecom provider at Oakland, suffered a technical problem that caused a network outage that affected customers on the  the East Coast, parts of the Midwest and regions on the West side of the United States, according to Network World

The outage also affected the phone services of Verizon and AT&T. Customers reported problems on social media, according to Network World.

The company  fixed the problem within hours, and Oakland and OUPD phone services were back up.

Level 3 has a live feed for people to report outages and monitor the progress.