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GrandCentral: What happens when your phone company is in beta?

GrandCentral Mailbox
Internet telephony company GrandCentral was down for several hours this morning. That wouldn't be so bad if GrandCentral's business model didn't depend on telling users to give out their GrandCentral phone numbers instead of their cellphone, work, home, and other numbers. GrandCentral, which is owned by Google, provides a single number that can ring through to each of your phones. And most of the time it works brilliantly.

But GrandCentral is still in beta. And while we've grown used to Google's beta products being more stable than many companies' final release products, we probably shouldn't be surprised when a beta product goes down. And this morning, a lot of people were probably worried about missing phone calls because of the outage.

The service was restored by noon, Pacific time. But the fact that a "power issue" at a single facility could knock out GrandCentral phone service across the country is going to make us think twice before giving out our GrandCentral phone number from now on. Hopefully one of the things Google will do before taking the beta label off of GrandCentral is build some redundancy into the system to avoid this sort of problem in the future.

Tags: grandcentral, outage, telephone, voip