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      Widespread outage for AT&T's digital phone lines

      NEW YORK (AP) - Dallas-based AT&T's new digital home phone service has failed across the country, illustrating continuing reliability issues with Internet-based phone service.

      Customers of AT&T's U-Verse Voice said their landline phones have had no dial tones since Tuesday morning. Reached by cell phone, the customers said those who call them get a message that the line has been disconnected.

      Support personnel are telling customers that a server crash brought down U-Verse Voice in AT&T's entire 22-state local-phone service area. AT&T spokeswoman Mari Melguizo says the outage started about 10:30 a.m., and service was restored to most subscribers at 2:45 p.m. She says the extent the outage was unknown.

      AT&T has 1.15 million U-Verse Voice customers. The Voice over Internet Protocol technology has a spotty reliability record compared with standard phone service, but it's been improving.

      U-Verse Internet and TV services weren't affected by the Voice outage.

      (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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