FCC Grills Verizon Over 9-1-1 Problems During January Snowstorms

The FCC wants to know why as many as 10,000 9-1-1 calls in the Washington, D.C. area didnt go through during a snowstorm on Jan. 26.

James Barnett Jr., the FCCs Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau chief, jotted off a letter to Verizon last week that asks the carrier to look into the situation and respond accordingly.

"I know that you will agree that any 911 call which is not connected can have serious consequences, but the large number of missed 911 calls on January 26 is truly alarming," Barnett wrote.

On the other end of the grilling is Kathleen Grillo, Verizons SVP of public affairs, policy & communications.

We are particularly concerned that this problem may be widespread across Verizon’s footprint,” Barnett wrote. Hes asking the company to answer a number of questions about the problem; many are related to infrastructure, but Barnett also wonders if a similar issue can happen anywhere in the country.

Barnett asked Grillo to call his office to set up a meeting. Theres no firm date as to when the issue might be resolved.

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