Washington Utilities Commission Recommends $2.9M in Fines for 9-1-1 Outage (12/10/14)
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 | Comments

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) recommended up to $2.9 million in fines against CenturyLink for 11,731 violations of commission laws. The recommendations follow an investigation by UTC related to a widespread 9-1-1 outage in the state in April.

A new UTC report also recommends CenturyLink implement seven technical requirements to ensure reliability and survivability of the network and prevent outages in the future.

The majority of the violations were for failing to automatically re-route 9-1-1 calls and failure to maintain and manage the technical 9-1-1 system as required by law. The company was also cited for failing to promptly notify 9-1-1 call centers of the outage.

CenturyLink outsources certain critical functions of the 9-1-1 network to Colorado-based Intrado. Commission staff determined that the statewide 9-1-1 system outage was caused by errors originating in a data center owned and managed by CenturyLink’s 9-1-1 vendor. Commission staff also determined that 5,840 attempted 9-1-1 calls from Washington state failed to properly reach emergency services during the outage.

UTC staff recommended that CenturyLink be required to make improvements to the 9-1-1 infrastructure and report annually to the commission on the status and results of maintenance and inspections of the system.

UTC is the state agency in charge of regulating the rates and services of telephone companies operating in Washington, as well as promoting a competitive telecommunications marketplace.

More information and the report are available here.

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