AUSTIN -- Austin leaders met with the operators of the city's 911 system late Tuesday afternoon. They're trying to learn more about what caused Monday's 911 failure.
Around noon Monday workers at the Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) were troubleshooting a problem in the backup 911 system. When the main system went down about two hours later, they still had the back up system offline.
That's when Austin activated the next level of backup: sending emergency calls to Pflugerville, Round Rock and Williamson County. For about six hours Monday, Austin and Travis county emergency calls were redirected to those three centers.
The director of communications for the Capital Area Emergency Communications District, Gregg Obuch, said no one hacked the system. He said the backup plan they developed worked well.
"Redirecting the calls to the backup agencies worked exactly as planned and was quickly implemented," said Obuch. "Those agencies answered the calls and then transferred the callers via administrative telephone lines."
What was the average wait time on calls during the crisis?
"The three agencies that were answering the calls answered over 95 percent of the incoming calls in less than 10 seconds during the event," Obuch said.
When asked how CAPCOG will prevent this in the future, he said, "We are very close to testing a next generation 911 solution, which will provide more options for call routing and diversity."
While Obuch said the current plan worked as designed, he also pointed out one of the first actions of the new 911 district was to establish a strategic advisory committee. Its first meeting is next month. Committee members will be looking at several long term upgrades to the 911 system.