The Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, has announced a settlement with AT&T, Verizon, and others over failed 911 calls. As reported by The Verge, the carriers will pay a total of $6 million combined as part of the settlement.
The settlement was reached between the FCC and AT&T, Verizon, Intrado, and CenturyLink (now known as Lumen Technologies). The investigation was opened following network outages that impacted the ability for customers to reach 911:
AT&T will pay $460,000 to settle two different investigations regarding network outages that took place on September 28th, 2020. Both Lumen Technologies and Intrado agreed to resolve investigations into outages that occurred on that same day, with Lumen Technologies paying $3.8 million and Intrado paying $1.7 million. Verizon settled with the FCC over an investigation of an outage that took place on May 7th, 2020, paying $274,000 as a result.
Furthermore, AT&T, Lumen Technologies, and Intrado were also probed over failure to report outages to the affected 911 call centers in a timely manner. AT&T was also investigated for failure to “deliver number and location information” during the outage.
“The most important phone call you ever make may be a call to 911,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “Sunny day outages can be especially troubling because they occur when the public and 911 call centers least expect it. It’s vital that phone companies prevent these outages wherever possible and provide prompt and sufficient notification to 911 call centers when they do occur. I thank the Enforcement Bureau and the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau for their work on these investigations.”
You can find more details on the settlement between these four companies and the FCC on the FCC website right here.
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