T-Mobile agrees to pay $19.5 million for 911 emergency service outage


Thousands of T-Mobil customers experienced a horrific 911 emergency call outage in the United States within a 12-hour period on June 15, 2020. As a result of the troubling incident, the wireless carrier this week agreed to pay $19.5 million in a settlement with Federal Communications Commission.

According to the FCC report, last year’s nationwide outage of 911 led to the “total failure” of more than 23,000 emergency calls.

The FCC said the initial cause of the downtime was attributable to “a brief failure of the leased fiber transmission link in the T-Mobile network,” adding: “The outage detection, exacerbated by, a temporary on-site routing defect and two previously undetected defects.” In third-party programs, the restore process was also affected by a temporary remote access failure of the affected transport link.

In a widely reported statement about this week’s settlement with the Federal Communications Commission, T-Mobile said it has since improved the reliability of emergency systems to ensure 911 is available to customers when needed.

“We understand how important reliable communication is to ensuring public safety and take this responsibility very seriously,” T-Mobile said in the statement. Immediately take steps to further strengthen our network to prevent this type of event from happening in the future.

The company added that it is now “moving on from the FCC investigation and continuing our focus on building our ongoing network.” This isn’t the first time T-Mobile customers have had issues with 911 calls, as several service outages in 2014 led to a service ban. For three hours in total, the carrier agreed to pay $17.5 million to the Federal Communications Commission to settle the case.


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