A network failure wiped out phone service at multiple state agencies in Salem, Keizer, Dallas and Woodburn Tuesday.

The failure was due to a CenturyLink internet outage, said Elizabeth Craig, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Administrative Services. The state’s new phone system needs internet to operate. The system uses voice over internet protocol technology, or VOIP.

Phones lost service at about 1:15 p.m. Tuesday and were still down just before the end of the business day.

Century Link has dispatched a technician to troubleshoot the outage, Craig said.

State workers have experienced multiple phone failures since IBM built and installed the new phone system known as Project MUSIC (mobilizing unified systems and integrated communications) about two years ago, as first reported by Willamette Week in March.

“The network failure is related to an issue with Century Link (one of our vendors), not IBM. However, If the impacted sites use Voice over IP (VOIP) phones, those won’t work until network connectivity is restored,” Craig wrote in an email to the Pamplin/EO Capital Bureau.

The state spent about $46 million on the new phone system for more than 30,000 state employees, according to WW.

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