CenturyLink Settles 911 Outage Investigation with FCC

August 1, 2018 911 Outage - Consent Decree

November 5, 2019 File No.: EB-SED-19-00028384 Acct. No.: 202032100002 FRN: 0018626853 From the FCC Consent Decree, "The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) takes seriously its role in safeguarding the nation’s 911 network, as it is a critical, potentially life-saving component of our nation’s public safety communications infrastructure. The Commission’s Enforcement Bureau and CenturyLink, Inc., by their authorized representatives, hereby enter into this Consent Decree for the purpose of terminating the Enforcement Bureau’s investigation into whether CenturyLink violated sections 64.3001- 3002 of the Commission’s rules in connection with a next generation 911 (“NG911”) Outage that occurred on August 1, 2018. As set forth herein, to resolve this matter, CenturyLink agrees to implement a compliance plan and pay a $400,000 civil penalty. This action will help preserve the integrity of the nation’s 911 network.


CenturyLink is a major telecommunications carrier that acts as a Covered 911 Service Provider to deliver 911 services to multiple PSAPs across the United States. In some instances, CenturyLink contracts with a vendor, West Safety Services, Inc., (West) to provide certain NG911 services to PSAPs. On August 1, 2018, a West technician made an error during the course of a routine configuration change to the NG911 routing network that inadvertently caused interference with the routing of 911 calls by CenturyLink to PSAPs in six states. CenturyLink fully acknowledges that it is responsible for complying with applicable Commission rules regardless of any alleged failures by its subcontractors.6 The resulting NG911 outage lasted for 65 minutes. During the course of the event, hundreds of 911 calls failed to transmit to affected PSAPs. For instance, in Minnesota alone, 693 such calls were not transmitted to approximately 70 PSAPs. Subsequent to the NG911 Outage, software improvements were made to prevent recurrence of the type of inadvertent error that initiated the outage and enhanced alarms were implemented to provide better internal and inter-company notification when 911 calls fail to transmit through the network." https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-19-1061A1.pdf

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