The loss of telephone communications experienced by Jefferson County’s 911 Center Sunday was blamed on an outage by AT&T, and not any problems with MECA (Metropolitan Emergency Communications Center) itself.

Karen Blevins, the Director of the Office of Emergency Management who oversees MECA said when the loss occurred about 11 a.m., AT&T was immediately notified to put MECA’s emergency plan into place.

That plan transfers all calls to another County’s 911 Center, but AT&T reported there was a problem with a switch and other counties were also experiencing a problem. Some of the 911 calls were able to be rerouted to North Little Rock and Lonoke County, and the call information was then sent to MECA via a computer terminal message.

“At no time was this outage due to a problem with MECA,” Blevins said. “This was an AT&T network outage which affected telecommunication services of 15 counties in South Arkansas.”

She said MECA has been in contact with state officials and AT&T to find the root cause of the outage and to work out solutions if an outage of this nature occurs again.