The FCC have been on the warpath recently. It was only a couple of weeks ago when they 3-2 voted to reclassify broadband services as a utility. Much to the dismay of some of the carriers in the U.S. Not to mention, a few weeks before the Net Neutrality vote, they were also announcing their intention to fine AT&T for what they referred to as “License infractions”. Well, today, the FCC released a press release detailing the latest carrier error upon which they are acting and this time it is Verizon’s turn in the firing line.
The press release details an event which occurred back in April of 2014 and was where a number of California residents (750,000) experienced a multistate 911 outage. In total, the service outage affected residents in more than nine California counties and was ongoing for over 6 hours. In fairness, the outage was much bigger than this, with the wider outage affecting more than eleven million people and across seven states.
However, Verizon are being held accountable by the FCC for not effectively and sufficiently adhering to their emergency call obligations during the outage. As a result, the FCC have announced today that Verizon have agreed to pay $3.4 million in fines, for their part in the incident. In addition, the announcement also details that Verizon have agreed to adopt a more “robust compliance plan” in future. This will include identifying risks which might result in 911 call disruptions, protecting against those risks and improving their ability to detect such outages. Not to mention, also responding more appropriately and communicating better with the affected emergency call centers, during these periods. Lastly, the announcement details Verizon have agreed to try and recover from such instances in a much more timely manner. According to the FCC’s Tom Wheeler “Americans must have confidence that they will be able to reach 911 in an emergency“. If you are interested in reading more about the announcement then you can read the FCC press release in full by clicking the source link below. Were you one of those affected by the outage? Happy Verizon are taking responsibility for their part? Let us know.