The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reached settlements with AT&T, Verizon, Intrado and CenturyLink (now used by Lumen Technologies) over investigations into failed 911 calls that occurred during network outages in 2020. The companies will pay a total of $6 million. combined and also agreed to ensure compliance with the FCC’s 911 availability rules going forward.
AT&T will pay $460,000 to settle two separate investigations into network outages that occurred on September 28, 2020. Both Lumen Technologies and Intrado agreed to settle investigations into outages that occurred on the same day, with Lumen Technologies paying $3.8 million and paid Intrado $1.7 million. Verizon has settled with the FCC over an outage investigation that took place on May 7, 2020 and has paid $274,000 as a result.
AT&T, Lumen Technologies and Intrado were not only investigated for failed 911 calls. The FCC also reports that it has opened an investigation into whether these companies notified affected 911 call centers about the outages in a timely manner. It has also investigated AT&T for failing to provide “tracking and location information” during the outage, which violates FCC rules.
“Outages on sunny days can be especially troubling because they occur when the public and 911 call centers least expect it,” said FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel. “It is vital that telephone companies prevent these outages whenever possible and promptly and adequately notify 911 call centers when they occur.”
Last month, T-Mobile agreed to pay $19.5 million to settle an investigation into whether T-Mobile violated the FCC’s calling rules during the massive nationwide outage that occurred in June.