CenturyLink reported the disruption Thursday morning and later identified a "network element that was impacting customer services". The late-night response to the Portland outage was especially jarring for some, considering they received loud, late-night mobile phone messages explaining that their 911 services were out.
That statement was followed up with a Facebook post around 8:45 a.m. Friday morning.
According to a CenturyLink status page, the outage began at around 12pm ET on December 27, and work started on resolving the issue at around 7am ET today, although not all services have been restored just yet. The Federal Communications Commission was investigating the CenturyLink outage, Chairman Ajit Pai announced Friday.
The Clark County Emergency Services Agency sent the first of two alerts Thursday evening at around 11:22 p.m., warning that "911 lines are down in our area". Other areas of the country also experiencing 911 outages included parts of Missouri, Idaho and Arizona.
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The shutdown affected some state agencies in Idaho, including the Department of Education's office phones and the Department of Correction's inmate phone system.
"We continue to make good progress with our recovery efforts and we are working tirelessly until restoration is complete", CenturyLink said.
The effect on people's ability to reach 911 emergency services is "completely unacceptable", he said.
Monroe, Louisiana-based CenturyLink didn't provide details of the problem and it didn't indicate how many customers were affected.