Service restored at 1Num Technologies

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By Norm Heikens

A nightmarish debacle for an Anderson telephone company has ended after some of its customers were disconnected for nearly a week.

1Num Technologies Inc. restored service this morning, said Brian K. Merrill, cofounder and chief operating officer of the 4-year-old company.

The firm sells a service that allows customers to use one telephone number for land lines, cell phones and other uses.

Last Thursday, the company discovered that 1,005 of its customers suddenly couldn’t receive calls. 1Num learned that its supplier, Colorado-based Level 3 Communications Inc., had removed the telephone numbers from its switches.

1Num and Level 3 recently negotiated a new contract, but the Level 3 sales representative who worked on the deal moved to another job within Level 3, and the deal fell through the cracks, Merrill said.

Making matters worse, phone numbers and customer names had been separated in Level 3’s database. As a result, 1Num customers couldn’t take their existing phone numbers to a competing service because a new service wouldn’t have been able to confirm the numbers and names went together, Merrill said.

Level 3 didn’t respond to a request for an interview.

1Num is a small customer for the much-larger Level 3, Merrill acknowledged, but it had paid all of its bills. Merrill said 1Num is looking for a new supplier.

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