Thursday, March 9, 2017

AT&T Suffers Widespread 911 Calling Outage

AT&T experienced a widespread outage of 911 emergency calling service for mobile customers on Wednesday evening and lasting for approximately five hours.

Media reports suggested the outage impacted at least 14 states and Washington D.C.. AT&T Mobility confirmed that service interruptions were preventing callers from reaching 911 emergency centers but the company did not disclose the extent of the problem or the cause.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued a statement saying the FCC would investigate.

“Every call to 911 must go through,” said Chairman Pai.  “So when I first learned of yesterday’s outage, I immediately directed FCC staff to contact AT&T about it and the company’s efforts to restore access to emergency services to the American public.  I also spoke with Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chief
executive officer, and stressed the urgent need to restore service and to communicate with first responders, as well as AT&T customers, about the status of operations.  Additionally, I announced last night that I have directed Commission staff to track down the root cause of this outage.”

“The FCC’s public safety professionals are on the case,” said Lisa Fowlkes, Acting Chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.  “Access to 911 emergency services is essential for all Americans, especially the most vulnerable.  We will fully investigate this outage and determine the root cause and its impact.”

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