The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau settled investigations into carriers’ adherence to the agency’s 911 reliability rules. The probes concerned network outages that occurred last year.
To resolve the cases, each company — AT&T, CenturyLink (now Lumen Technologies), Intrado Safety Communications, and Verizon — agreed to make a settlement payment and implement a compliance plan. The combined settlement payments total more than $6 million.
“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.”
Intrado Safety Communications will pay $1.75 million, resolving a probe into whether an outage on the same day impacted its ability to deliver 911 calls.
“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,” she said.
CenturyLink (now Lumen Technologies) will pay the most money, $3.8 million, resolving an investigation into whether it didn’t transmit 911 calls and timely notify 911 call centers during an outage on September 28, 2020.
AT&T will pay a total of $460,000 to settle two investigations. First, $160,000 resolves an investigation into whether AT&T failed to deliver 911 calls to 911 call centers and not notify potentially affected call centers in a timely way during an outage on September 28, 2020.
The second case concerns a separate outage that also occurred on September 28, 2020. AT&T will pay $300,000 to resolve an investigation into whether it failed to pass on 911 calls and deliver number and location information.
Verizon Wireless will pay $274,000, resolving a probe concerning failed 911 calls during an outage on May 7, 2020.
The differences in settlement payments reflect the amount of 911 calls and call centers impacted.