Verizon to Pay $3.4 Million Fine in Connection with 911 Outage

Verizon has agreed to develop a plan to reduce the likelihood of 911 failures and pay a fine of $3.4 million, resolving a Federal Communications Commission investigation into a six-hour outage that left consumers in nine California counties without the ability to contact emergency responders, the FCC announced Wednesday.

The April 2014 incident was part of a multistate outage that impacted more than 11 million people and at least 83 emergency call centers in seven states, according to an FCC news release. Seven hundred and fifty thousand people in California were affected by the Verizon outage and could not reach a live operator at 13 emergency call centers in northern California, the FCC said.

As part of the FCC settlement, Verizon has agreed to adopt a compliance plan that includes among other measures identifying and protecting against risks that could lead to disruptions in 911 service.

“We take the safety of our customers and the service we provide to 911 centers and first responders very seriously,” Ed McFadden, a Verizon spokesman, said in an emailed statement. “We will continue to work with our partners to meet the standards our customers expect from Verizon.”

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