CenturyLink, West Safety to Pay Fines for 2018 9-1-1 Outages
Monday, November 04, 2019 | Comments

The FCC announced settlements with CenturyLink and West Safety Communications to conclude investigations into violations of FCC rules in connection with a multistate 9-1-1 outage Aug. 1, 2018. CenturyLink and West Safety Communications agreed to pay $400,000 and $175,000, respectively, and committed to implement a compliance plan to help ensure the integrity and reliability of the nation’s 9-1-1 network.

FCC rules require that telecommunications carriers design and operate their networks to reliably transmit 9-1-1 calls to appropriate emergency authorities. Both CenturyLink and West Safety Communications are national telecommunications carriers that frequently rely on the services of West Safety Services, parent company to West Safety Communications, to perform key parts of their obligations to connect 9-1-1 callers to 9-1-1 operators. Both CenturyLink and West Safety Communications are responsible for complying with applicable FCC rules regardless of any failures by their subcontractors or affiliates. 

The FCC earlier this year released a report with details of the outage.

Under the settlements, formally known as consent decrees, both companies committed to compliance plans, which require them to identify risks of disruptions to 9-1-1 service, protect against those risks, ensure detection of outages, prepare to respond quickly and effectively to outages, and plan to restore services as quickly as possible. The companies have also agreed to report to the FCC on these compliance efforts for the next three years.

The consent decree for CenturyLink is available here. The consent decree for West Safety Communications is available here.

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