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FCC Settlements Reached In Probe Into Carriers Over Failed 911 Calls

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Settlements have been reached following Federal Communications Commission (FCC) investigations into 911 outages at carriers AT&T, Verizon, Intrado, and CenturyLink — Lumen Technologies. With each outage occurring back in 2020, the recently reported settlements between the FCC and carriers also follow just after a similar investigation into failed 911 calls on T-Mobile’s network.

The latter company, T-Mobile, agreed to pay out roughly $19.5 million over violations of the FCC 911 calling rules. With the settlement marking its second such major 911 outage within the past several years. At a combined $6 million, however, the former companies will be shelling out significantly less. The self-branded “uncarrier” outage occurred at a nationwide level during June 2020. The carriers paying fines in the latest round did not have such broad outages.

How much will these carriers pay to the FCC for 911 outages from 2020?

AT&T, for its part, will be paying $460,000. That settlement will cover two separate outage investigations, covering outages that happened on September 28 of last year. Conversely, Lumen Technologies and Intrado will be paying $3.8 million and $1.7 million, respectively. The two companies’ outages occurred on the same day as AT&T’s.

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Verizon’s settlement will be significantly lower than Lumen Technologies and Intrado’s. The company’s outage for 911 calls happened back on May 7 of 2020. And its settlement will amount to $274,000.

Each of the companies involved has agreed to meet the FCC’s 911 availability rules in the future.

This isn’t all about 911 call outages affecting customers either, it’s also about the call centers

In addition to 911 calls failing for customers during the outage, AT&T Lumen Technologies, and Intrado were also reportedly investigated for failing to notify 911 call centers within a reasonable timeframe.

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For AT&T, a third potential violation may also have ultimately impacted the settlement amounts as well. Namely, another investigation that was reported by the FCC, specifically into whether or not AT&T failed to “deliver number and location information” during its outage.