Feds fine Verizon $3.4 million over 911 service outage issues

750,000 California residents were unable to call 911 during an outage last year, the FCC said

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has fined Verizon US$3.4 million over its failure to notify police and fire departments during a 911 service outage last year.

Under the commission's rules, Verizon and other carriers were required to notify emergency call centers of a six-hour outage that occurred in April. The outage involved multiple carriers and affected over 11 million people in seven states.

Verizon's portion affected 750,000 California residents who were unable to call 911 to reach an emergency operator at 13 call centers in northern California. The outage was the result of a coding error at a large 911 routing center.

"Americans must have confidence that they will be able to reach 911 in an emergency," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement Wednesday.

Under terms of the settlement, Verizon also has to identify and protect against risks that could lead to 911 service disruptions.

"We take the safety of our customers and the service we provide to 911 centers and first responders very seriously," a Verizon spokesman said in an emailed statement. "We will continue to work with our partners to meet the standards our customers expect from Verizon," he said.

The problems started just before midnight Pacific Time on April 9 and affected 911 callers seven states -- California, Florida, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington. Over 6,600 911 calls never reached a call center.

"Although, fortunately, it appears that no one died as a result, the incident -- and the flaws it revealed -- is simply unacceptable. Americans rely on 911 as a reliable way to communicate in an emergency, and lapses like this cannot be permitted," the FCC said in a report on the incident in October..

Late last year, the FCC began work on new rules to improve consumer choice and access to emergency call services as the U.S. shifts from copper-based networks to IP networks.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags legaltelecommunication4gverizonCarriers

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?