A technician cutting the wrong cables interrupted telephone service Thursday for some customers in Utah and Salt Lake counties.

"Sometime around 11:15 a.m., technicians were involved in rewiring equipment on a manual DSX (digital cross-connect frame)," said Don Tolman, manager in network operations for US WEST. "As they were rewiring that equipment a technician involved read the cross-connect block incorrectly and cut the wrong cable."That took service away from 384 circuits. The loss of power affected several areas. "All different kinds of circuits were affected," Tolman said. "Provo-to-Salt Lake calls, E911 traffic was affected at the US WEST (Salt Lake City) eastside offices and data circuits at our west and south offices."

It took a while before workers found what caused the failure. "The cutting of that cable wasn't determined for about an hour," he said. "We thought we had a cable cut out in the field and thought we may have major service problems."

All systems were working by 4:45 p.m. after technicians determined they had to resplice the cable and rewire it to terminal blocks from where it was removed.