FCC Investigating 911 Outage in Washington State That Caused 4,500 Failed 911 Calls


The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has opened a public docket (PS Docket No. 14-72) and is inviting interested parties to provide information concerning the causes, effects, and implications of a 911 outage that occurred April 9-10, 2014.  The 911 outage primarily affected Washington State, but also included large areas of Oregon and portions of California, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina.  The Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) is currently conducting its own investigation into the outage that focuses on CenturyLink.  According to CenturyLink’s response to the investigation, CenturyLink states that “[b]etween 11:45 p.m. (PST) on April 9th and 6:06 a.m. on April 10th, the Washington NG 911 system experienced an outage that was caused by a technical error in an Intrado call router which prevented the system from properly processing calls. During the outage period, approximately 770 911 calls completed and 4,500 failed. The outage occurred across 127 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in Washington; other PSAPs successfully rerouted calls.”  Comments on the outage are due on or before June 16, 2014, and reply comments are due June 30, 2014.

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