FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called the outage “completely unacceptable, and its breadth and duration are particularly troubling,” in a statement Friday.
Pai instructed the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau to investigate the cause and impact of the CenturyLink outage, specifically looking into the effect it had on other telecom providers’ 911 service.
CenturyLink reported the disruption Thursday morning and later identified a “network element that was impacting customer services.” The company pledged to fix the issue by 1 a.m. PT on Friday but issues persisted throughout the morning. Update, Friday 9:30 p.m.: CenturyLink said all consumer services have been restored.
The 911 outage affected agencies across Washington state on Thursday night and continued into Friday. Residents received emergency alerts on their smartphones with alternatives to 911 phone numbers.
On Friday morning, some agencies, including the King County Sheriff”s Office, reported that 911 telephone services had recovered as of approximately 8:30 a.m. But others are advising that service could still be intermittent.
“We will continue to monitor this situation closely to ensure that consumers’ access to 911 is restored as quickly as possible,” Pai said.