A six-hour 911 outage that took place in April 2014 is costing CenturyLink another $2,854,750. The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission levied today’s fines, saying that CenturyLink failed to reroute emergency calls during the outage.
CenturyLink is contracted to provide Washington’s 911 services, along with those in six other states covering about 11 million people. During the outage, more than 5,600 calls failed to reach 911 operators and CenturyLink failed to alert the 911 call centers that the outage was taking place, according to regulators.
CenturyLink has already been fined $17.4 million by the FCC for the outage, which affected seven states. The new fine comes from Washington state, not the federal government, and comes out of a settlement between the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission and CenturyLink.
“We agree with staff and the company that the $2,854,750 penalty appropriately reflects the nature and extent of the violations, as well as CenturyLink’s actions in the wake of the 911 outage that gave rise to those violations,” the commission said in a press release. “We conclude that the settlement reasonably resolves the issues raised in the complaint…and the result is consistent with the public interest.”
“CenturyLink is pleased that the commission has accepted the settlement agreement as the appropriate resolution to this case,” a CenturyLink spokesman said. “Commission staff and the company worked hard to reach a resolution that was in the public interest.”
Failing to provide 911 access can cost companies big time. T-Mobile was fined $17.5 million last year for two outages that cut off 911 access for all T-Mobile customers.
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