During April of last year, 11 million Verizon subscribers in seven states couldn’t reach 911 services for six hours. The wireless mogul suffered the wrath of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) investigators in a searing report, but it seems the agency isn’t finished chastising Verizon just yet. For failing to notify California officials of the 750,000 state residents affected by the outage, the FCC is fining the company $3.4 million.
Specifically, Verizon ran afoul of the FCC rules regarding 911 call centers, or public-safety answering points. Regulations require service providers to notify the centers in the event of an outage, which a Verizon subcontractor failed to do in Northern California. A total of 62 emergency calls failed as a result.
In addition to the fine, Verizon has agreed to adopt a compliance plan to prevent future incidents from occurring. To start, it will improve its subcontractor oversight and coordination with emergency call centers.
This isn’t the first run-in Verizon’s had with the FCC concerning the reliability of 911 services on its network. In 2011, the FCC called Verizon out for more than 10,000 dropped calls to emergency services during a January 26 snowstorm in Boston.
In an e-mail to the carrier, then-FCC Public Safety and Homeland Security chief Jamie Barnett referred to the figure as “truly alarming,” and called on the network to perform a thorough investigation across its footprint.