It is among four providers who have agreed to settle FCC investigations into outages that led to 911 calls failure. (Now Lumen Technologies) and Intrado will also push the settlements and enact measures to ensure they comply with the agency’s 911 rules.
Verizon (the former parent company of Engadget) will pay $274,000, the smallest settlement of the four, to resolve a service outage investigation on May 7, 2020. All other investigations related to the outage on September 28, 2020. AT&T will settle two investigations with 460,000 payments dollars, while CenturyLink and Intrado will pay $3.8 million and $1.75 million, respectively.
In addition to the failed 911 calls, the FCC says investigations into AT&T, CenturyLink and Intrado are interested in whether these companies gave 911 call centers timely notice about the outages. A second AT&T investigation concerns whether the provider violated FCC rules by not providing number and location information during the outage.
“Perhaps the most important phone call you’ll ever make is to call 911,” FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworsel said in a statement. “Outages on sunny days can be particularly annoying because they happen when the public and 911 call centers do not expect them. It is imperative that phone companies prevent such outages where possible and provide prompt and adequate notice to 911 call centers when they occur.”
The settlements pale in comparison to the $19.5 million T-Mobile agreed to pay to resolve an investigation into A in June 2020. However, it should at least serve as a reminder that the FCC doesn’t take outages affecting 911 calls lightly. .
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