County set to launch new numbers for government offices
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MARQUEZ “BLINDLY LOOKING” FOR NEW LINES AFTER SERVICE TRANSITION TROUBLES
Three months after a technology company allegedly began wreaking havoc with Frio County phone lines and internet services, commissioners have agreed to activate new numbers for local government offices.
County officials reported earlier this month that they believed Helifox Technology, whose contract ended in July 2022, had hindered the process of transition to services provided by Spectrum.
Helifox still had not ported the county’s numbers to Spectrum by January 3, and the county lost all internet and phone services. County phone lines were disrupted again in mid-February and on March 3.
“On March 3, the judge talked with Helifox, and then they disconnected us,” Frio County Auditor Crystal Marquez told commissioners during a Tuesday, March 14, meeting.
“In the meantime, I was trying to find out where our phone numbers were,” the auditor said.
Marquez said that of 46 phone numbers, she was able to locate 24 with a sole carrier. She added that she has continued to reach out to a second company by phone and email, inquiring if that company had the other 22 phone numbers.
“Spectrum has been working with us to come up with a resolution to figure out what we are going to do next,” the auditor said. “The solution is doing native numbers, basically brand new phone numbers.”
Marquez expressed her concerns with implementing new numbers because the existing phone numbers have been in effect for several years.
“All our business cards have those numbers,” the auditor said. “We have hundreds, even thousands of vendors who have these numbers. What basically is happening is they are moving our numbers to different carriers so I am blindly looking for phone numbers. At this point, they are confusing the public. Spectrum is on standby. They already sent me a spreadsheet with new numbers.”
Commissioners voted unanimously to have Spectrum provide native numbers, a process that is slated to start immediately and take up to three weeks.