Northern Suburbs News
Connecticut police: Cable outage not 911-worthy
FAIRFIELD -- When a cable television outage hit Connecticut shoreline communities during prime-time Sunday night viewing, viewers jumped to action.
Some residents reached out to their state senator. Others called police. One even called 911 in Fairfield.
The calls to police in Fairfield prompted a warning from the local police department: Such an outage is "neither an emergency or a police-related concern," it wrote on Facebook. The post warned that 911 should be used for life-threatening emergencies only and misuse of the 911 system may result in an arrest.
The panic over missing "Breaking Bad" or the Yankees-Red Sox game brought ridicule on social media, with some users needling Fairfield County, one of the most affluent counties in America.
But in the town of Fairfield, those who called the routine lines may have been concerned about losing phone service, said Sgt. Suzanne Lussier.
Some people also lost both phone and Internet service, said state Sen. Bob Duff of Norwalk. He said he received hundreds of inquiries through Facebook and Twitter and that with retweets and Facebook sharing, the conversation reached into the thousands.
Excerpts have been released from the person who called 911:
Dispatcher: "Fairfield 911. What's your emergency? "
Caller: "Hi. I'm just trying to find out what's going on. We have no TV."
Dispatcher: "Ma'am, 911 is for life threatening emergencies."
Caller: "I know. I know that."
Dispatcher: "Do you have a life threatening emergency?"
Caller: "'No. We're just trying to find out what's going on. Is this a life-threatening time?' "
Dispatcher: "I suggest you call Cablevision or whoever your provider is. Have a good night."
Cablevision said Sunday night there was a commercial power failure in its Norwalk facility and that "the power matter has been resolved and service has been restored to our customers."
Duff said he received an initial tweet that service was out in Norwalk and the tweeter couldn't get through to Cablevision. Seconds later, he began receiving more comments that the problem went beyond Norwalk to surrounding towns.
Duff said many people have bundled services including cable, phone and Internet and some were worried especially about losing phone service. One person needed Internet access for a final exam.
"It disrupts your day and it gets very frustrating," Duff said, noting that callers had trouble reaching Cablevision.
"I have NOOO channel's yet," a woman posted on Facebook. "My 4yr old is going crazy over her Nick Jr!"
Finally, the ordeal ended.
"Can report that everything is back on in South Norwalk," one woman posted on Facebook. "Very happy Breaking Bad fan and Giants fan here!"
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