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KT to Upgrade Systems to Prevent Telephone Outage
KT, South Korea's dominant fixed-line operator, said Thursday that it would invest 20 billion won in upgrading its systems to prevent a recurrence of the telephone disruption earlier this week.
The announcement was made by KT president Lee Yong-kyung during a breakfast meeting yesterday with Information-Communication Minister Chin Dae-je and other telecom heads.
On Monday, some KT users were not able to make phone calls to Pusan, Taegu, Suwon and Anyang in Kyonggi Province for hours as KT's phone switches were overloaded.
The outage caused an uproar and to make matters worse, the mishap occurred on the last day of the month, the day that many people pay their credit card bills by phone banking.
"We plan to add a switch in the four regions to increase our capacity. With the facility investment, the telephone outage should not occur again," KT spokesman Cho Chul-je said.
On top of the facility upgrade, KT looks to introduce an early warning system that sets off an alarm when telephone traffic reaches a pre-set mark.
The Ministry of Information and Communication will spearhead an investigation team and Minister Chin has vowed to get to the bottom of the telephone disruption.
"If operational miscues caused the accident, we will ask KT to take punitive measures against those who were responsible," Chin said.
KT, the former state monopoly that was fully privatized in 2002, currently retains about 94 percent of the nation's total 22 million wireline market with runner-up player Hanaro Telecom accounting for the remaining 6 percent.