Toll-Free System Failure Back

OTTAWA, Nov. 26, 1997 /CNW/ - Service to Canadian toll-free numbers was restored at approximately 3:00 p.m. EST after an interruption that began at 11:00 a.m. this morning. Stentor continues to monitor the situation to ensure that the system remains stable.

Michael Dunlop, Vice President of Long Distance, says, "In nearly 30 years of toll-free service, we have never had a complete interruption before. We know that this is a rare event but will be diligent in determining the cause in order to prevent any future problems."

Stentor has traced the interruption to software problems on redundant switches in Calgary and Toronto. An initial assessment of the cause is underway to make sure that further interruptions can be avoided. After this initial risk assessment, a more detailed analysis will take place over the next week to determine how to prevent similar problems in the future.

There are approximately 225,000 toll-free numbers in Canada and slightly over one million calls each hour on a normal weekday. The interruption affected the toll-free customers of the Stentor Alliance and also, all other long distance carriers in Canada.

The Stentor alliance was formed in 1992 by Canada's leading providers of telecommunications services. These companies maintain the world's longest, fully digital fibre-optic network.

The members of the alliance are: BC TEL, Bell Canada, Island Tel, Manitoba Telecom Services, Maritime Tel & Tel, NBTel, NewTel Communications, NorthwesTel, QuébecTel, SaskTel and TELUS.