Why did my cell phone take me to a different 811 center?
The way your cell phone reaches the One Call center is through a tower to which the phone transmits a signal. When you place an outbound call the cell phone transmits signals to that tower, and in return, the tower transmits signals back to the cell phone. The tower has a line which runs into a service box at the bottom. If calling someone on a landline, the service box sends the call to a central office which routes the call to the correct destination. A central office (CO) is the physical building used to house plant equipment including telephone switches, which make telephone calls “work” in the sense of making connections and relaying the speech information.Cell phones generally look for a tower with the strongest signal. These towers are located all over the place, creating a blanket of coverage within most of the United States. If you go into certain rural or isolated areas you may not have really good coverage due to fewer towers being in the vicinity. Therefore, depending on your location, the tower with the strongest signal may be in another county or state. An example of this would be when you’re in North Carolina near the border of Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia or South Carolina and you dial 811 from your cell phone. It is quite possible that the tower picking up your phone call is in the neighboring state which will cause the 811 telephone call to be directed to that state’s 811 center instead of NC811. Fortunately the centers will forward your call to the correct center when this happens.
What if I am nowhere near a bordering state?
If you dial 811 from a cell phone and you are not in a county that borders one of North Carolina’s neighboring states and your call is sent to an 811 call center other than NC811, then either the cell tower or the local central office that your cell phone connected to is programmed incorrectly and you will need to notify your telephone carrier of the problem. You should do this in the location where you attempted to reach 811 as your provider will need to note which tower was reached to identify the correct CO. Dial 6-1-1 on your phone to reach your wireless carrier. If you dial 811 from a landline and your call is sent to an 811 call center that is not the one you intended, then the local central office located in your area is programmed incorrectly and you will need to notify your telephone carrier of the problem.