BOSTON (WHDH/AP) – A nationwide outage affecting CenturyLink customers impacted 911 calling capability for cellphones across the country and in Massachusetts, state police said.

The outage began early in the day but by late Thursday night, the company tweeted that its engineers had identified a “network element” that was affecting services and expected to fully restore services within hours.

Monroe, Louisiana-based CenturyLink didn’t provide details of the problem and it didn’t indicate how many customers were affected.

Jessica Rosenworcel, a member of the Federal Communications Commission, said via Twitter it was a nationwide outage and her agency needed to investigate.

State police spokesperson Dave Procopio said early Friday morning that the department believed the outage knocked out 911 emergency call services for wireless users in the Bay State.

He urged residents using cell phones to contact emergency first responders to use the full 10-digit number of a public safety answering point emergency call center (PSAP) or call the local police department if calling 911 does not work.

Mass. State police operate three regional PSAPs and a fourth is staffed by State 911 at the state police headquarters in Framingham. The direct numbers for these centers are:

  • Shelburne Control PSAP 413-625-8200
  • New Braintree Control PSAP 508-867-1170
  • Northampton Control PSAP 413-586-1508
  • Framingham PSAP 508-350-7005

As of 8 a.m., most technical issues with the 911 system were resolved, Procopio said; however, some problems still remained as of noon.

Cellphone 911 services in parts of western Washington state were also impacted. KOMO reports that some CenturyLink customers reported receiving busy signals when dialing 911. Other areas of the country also experiencing 911 outages included parts of Missouri, Idaho and Arizona.

In Idaho, the internet problems caused the temporary shutdown of phone services at the Idaho Department of Correction and the state’s Department of Education, The Idaho Statesman reported.

Some ATM machines weren’t working in Idaho and Montana.

At North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, Colorado, doctors and nurses for a time had difficulty accessing patient records. Rather than using digital devices, they had to take notes with pencil and paper, according to the Greeley Tribune .

WyoLotto officials said they would postpone announcing Wyoming’s winning state lottery numbers and winnings for the day until after the outage was over.

Verizon said it had service interruptions in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and parts of Montana as a result of issues with CenturyLink. Verizon said CenturyLink helps handle wireless network data traffic for Verizon and other wireless providers.

(Copyright (c) 2021 Sunbeam Television. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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