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Vonage Hit by Nationwide Calling Disruption
[August 03, 2004]

Vonage Hit by Nationwide Calling Disruption

Subscribers to telephone services over high-speed Internet connections provided by privately held Vonage suffered widespread outages across the United States on Monday due to a routing problem with network carrier Global Crossing, a Vonage spokeswoman said.

Edison, New Jersey-based Vonage, which has over 200,000 customer lines, told subscribers on their account Web pages the problem lasted for about 90 minutes and attributed the outage to an error in Global Crossing's network that had data being routed to the wrong places.

"We had an issue with Global Crossing, one of our carrier partners," spokeswoman Brooke Schulz told Reuters, adding the problem primarily affected outgoing calls.

But Global Crossing (GLBCE.O: Quote, Profile, Research) denied any problems on their end.

"Global Crossing's technicians and operations management worked with Vonage technicians to review the situation," the company said in a statement. "Global Crossing's investigation revealed no outages or routing issues on the Global Crossing network."

Schulz said the outage was the first such incident in more than a year. Though services were largely restored by midday, some people were still having difficulty across the country making and receiving calls.

"Some customers were affected more than others," she said.

Vonage is the highest-profile of a number of companies looking to make a business of Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, services. Such companies generally offer subscribers a low monthly fee for nationwide calls and discount rates for international connections.

Major traditional carriers like Verizon Communications (VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and AT&T Corp. (T.N: Quote, Profile, Research) have launched their own voice-over- Internet offerings and market research firm Gartner Inc. has forecast that, by 2008, about 17 percent of North American phone lines will be replaced with VoIP lines.

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