T-Mobile Settles with FCC Over 2020 9-1-1 Outage, Agrees to Pay $19.5M
Monday, November 29, 2021 | Comments

T-Mobile and the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau reached an agreement to resolve the commission’s investigation into whether the carrier violated the FCC’s 9-1-1 rules during an outage in June 2020.

On June 15, 2020, T-Mobile’s network went out for 12 hours and 13 minutes, and caused more than 23,000 9-1-1 calls to fail, more than 23,000 calls to 9-1-1 to arrive without location information, and more than 20,000 calls to public-safety answering points (PSAPs) to arrive without callback information.

The outage was later determined to be caused initially by the brief failure of a leased fiber transport link in the network, which was then compounded by a temporary routing flaw in a single location and two previously undetected flaws in third-party software.

T-Mobile initiated mass notifications to affected PSAPs about two hours after the outage began, warning that delivery of location information may be affected but saying that 9-1-1 calls were still completing. T-Mobile sent a final notification to PSAPs once the outage was resolved.

As part of the settlement of the investigation, T-Mobile agreed to pay $19.5 million and will implement a compliance plan to address issues discovered during the June outage. The compliance plan requires T-Mobile to improve 9-1-1 outage notices to PSAPs, including providing PSAPs with a wide array of information about the outages and providing follow up notices within two hours of initial outage notifications.

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