Phone chaos: from the desk of the engineer 

May 17, 2023
Access Tech: What is your role in fixing an issue for a client?

This blog is in reference to this case study.

Dave Giller is the Lead Engineer at Access Tech. 

When their phone outage first happened, our client wasn’t sure whether it was telco-related or a problem with their own network or equipment, so I was called in to help investigate the network.  

The client’s staff of 300 relied on telephone service every day for vital operations, and had come to assume phone service just works. When they noticed problems making calls earlier in the day, they assumed it was in-house maintenance on the company phone system that would be resolved quickly, and raised no red flags or concerns. 

But there was nothing wrong with the network of the phone system.  The phone service was simply down. 

By the time I was called in, they had been down for an entire day.  I was shocked that telco services had deteriorated so dramatically.  

The telco’s had a total, casual lack of concern for their situation, which made the client feel completely betrayed. I witnessed many slow incredulous shaking of heads in the last couple of weeks, including my own. 

This situation has stalled work on other critical projects because client technical staff simply doesn’t have time in their day to fight this fire without neglecting other responsibilities. 

This incident has shattered a certain assumed faith in the telcos. What was once one of the most trustworthy kinds of service is now completely unreliable. 

Standards of reliability among the telcos are in shambles. Previously, we have all been able to expect that when an established service experienced a major interruption, the telcos would move mountains to restore service in minutes or hours. No longer. We must adjust our own expectations accordingly.  

This is a hard pill to swallow.  

As an old-timer in this industry, this is one of the most disappointing shifts I can recall. I feel that the telcos involved in this event have made a mockery of themselves; they certainly can no longer be trusted to avoid the embarrassment of long-term service interruption to a marquee customer. We can hardly take them seriously in the future. At the very least, we will all need to more carefully scrutinize telco contracts before signing and be prepared to measure and document shortcomings ourselves and come at service providers aggressively when they fail to perform. 

Disclaimer: This blog is written on behalf of Dave Giller by the Marketing Administrator of Access Tech. The Marketing Administrator had no personal involvement in the situation. This blog is based on Engineer’s personal accounts and opinions. 

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