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April 6, 2015 Neil Grace, 202-418-0506


E-mail: [HYPERLINK:]






* Washington, D.C. - The Federal Communications Commission has resolved its investigation of an April 2014 multi-state 911 outage that prevented more than 11 million people in seven states from being able to reach emergency call centers for over six hours. The FCC's Enforcement Bureau has reached a $16 million settlement with CenturyLink and a $1.4 million settlement with Intrado Communications related to the companies' failures to meet their emergency call obligations during the 911 outage.

* The 911 outage did not stem from an extraordinary natural disaster or other unforeseeable catastrophe; rather, it was a "sunny day" failure that resulted in over 6,600 missed 911 calls, including calls reportedly involving domestic violence, assault, motor vehicle accidents, a heart attack, an overdose, and an intruder breaking into a residence.

"Americans need to be confident that the service they use to reach first responders is reliable and accessible in their time of need," said Chairman Tom Wheeler. "Providers have a responsibility to ensure that Americans can use 911 to call for help any time. When a company fails to live up to its obligations, it will be held accountable."

"Delivering 911 calls is one of the most important public safety responsibilities a phone company has," said Travis LeBlanc, Chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau. "We will aggressively enforce the Commission's 911 rules whenever the public's trust in 911 is undermined."

Following a comprehensive report by the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, the FCC's Enforcement Bureau extensively investigated the April 2014 outage, focusing on the providers whose systems served the affected emergency call centers to determine the failures in those 911 systems and in notifying the emergency call centers. The FCC concluded that the outage was preventable if the providers had implemented basic safeguards and that the providers failed to provide timely notifications to the affected emergency call centers.

* In today's settlements, CenturyLink has agreed to pay a $16 million fine and Intrado Communications has agreed to pay a $1.4 million fine. CenturyLink's settlement represents the largest 911-related fine ever assessed by the FCC. CenturyLink served affected emergency call centers throughout Washington, and in Minnesota, and North Carolina. Intrado Communications served emergency call centers in Florida, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania. The varying settlement amounts reflect the different numbers of emergency call centers served by each provider.

* Both companies also agreed to adopt similar compliance plans that require them to implement appropriate risk management processes in the continued rollout of Next-Generation 911 services. In particular, the companies will:

* Identify risks that could result in disruptions to 911 service;

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Protect against such risks;

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Detect future 911 outages;

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Respond with remedial actions, including prompt notification to affected emergency call centers; and

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Recover from such outages on a timely basis.

In addition, the companies are required to exercise improved oversight over their Next Generation 911 subcontractors and affiliates, maintain up-to-date contact information for emergency call centers, and coordinate with emergency call centers to periodically review their outage notification procedures.

* Last month, the FCC settled with Verizon for $3.4 million in connection with the April 2014 outage. Verizon served emergency call centers in California and agreed to the same compliance terms as CenturyLink and Intrado.

The CenturyLink Consent Decree is available at:

The Intrado Communications Consent Decree is available at:

The Verizon Consent Decree is available at:

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau report on the April 2014 outage is available at: