FCC fines Verizon $3.4 million for not telling officials about a major 911 outage
In October, the FCC released a damning reporting suggesting a major 911 outage affecting more than 11 million people in seven states could have been prevented. But there was, apparently, more to the story: during the April outage, Verizon failed in its responsibility to alert officials, and the FCC is now fining the company $3.4 million for the 750,000 residents of California affected.
Under FCC regulations, service providers are required to alert Public Safety Answering Points, which field 911 calls, when there is an outage. Verizon, the FCC notes, failed to do this in Northern California, and 62 wireless emergency calls failed. (Verizon argued that a subcontractor responsible for routing the emergency calls didn't alert the company until the outage was over, but the FCC has decided Verizon is still ultimately responsible.)
Along with the fine, the FCC order will require Verizon to institute what the commission calls "a far-reaching compliance plan" to ensure the same situation doesn't happen again. Everyone relying on emergency services can only hope, as October's FCC report suggested outages are on the rise.