As outage affecting 911 calls continues, FCC launches an investigation


The outage began Thursday, but it affected more than just Internet customers because many US businesses and even some regular folks, including many in Nebraska, have switched to voice-over-Internet-protocol phone systems that rely on the Internet to transmit business calls. The commission's regulatory services division director, Mark Vasconi, said the system appeared stable December 28 but the agency was monitoring it.

The outage hit 911 service across the country, according to the Federal Communications Commission, which announced Friday that it's launching an investigation.

Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai said Friday that the agency will be investigating the outage.

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Some areas, like those in Pacific County, reported receiving 911 calls at around 4 a.m. Others areas, like King County and Thurston County, reported 911 service being restored at about 9 a.m. PST, KOMO News reports. The interruption began Thursday.

Cell phone users were notified via an alert sent out by agencies.

On Friday afternoon, more than 24 hours after first reporting the outage, CenturyLink's twitter feed said: "While our network is experiencing service disruptions, where CenturyLink is the 911 service provider 911 calls are completing". The late-night response to the Portland outage was especially jarring for some, considering they received loud, late-night mobile phone messages explaining that their 911 services were out.

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That statement was followed up with a Facebook post around 8:45 a.m. Friday morning.

In Greeley, Colorado, the Weld County Regional Communication Center on December 28 said 911 calls were being dropped, but callers should keep trying and emergency dispatchers would try to call back. Some systems still aren't fully running, and emergency officials are advising people to call alternate numbers if they can't get through.

"Its breadth and duration are particularly troubling", he said.

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