T-Mobile is back on the hook for a 911 outage. The airline has agreed to pay $ 19.5 million to settle an FCC investigation into a 12-hour outage in June 2020 that led to 911 call errors. While the FCC did not know exactly how many emergency calls were affected due to some overlapping issues, it recorded tens of thousands of issues.
More than 23,000 calls suffered a “complete” error, the FCC said, while a similar amount did not include location data. Approximately another 20,000 did not include callback information. The outbreak began when a leased fiber connection in the T-Mobile network went wrong, and a routing error in one place exacerbated the crisis. T-Mobile also had problems with remote access to the fiber connection.
This is not the first time T-Mobile has handled a 91[ads1]1 breach. It settled for $ 17.5 million after errors in 2014.
We have asked T-Mobile for comment. The FCC said the operator responded to power outage-related questions in a “timely” manner, so this was not a highly controversial issue. Not that the company would probably fight against a settlement that will not significantly affect the economy. And whether you like it or not, this will not help people who could not get full help in a moment of crisis.
Update 24/11 12:45 PM ET: T-Mobile told Engadget that it takes reliable connectivity and public safety “very seriously” with several fail-safe ones, and that they are “moving forward” from the FCC investigation to focus on network expansion. You can read the full statement below.
We understand how critically reliable connection is to ensure public safety, and we take that responsibility very seriously. We have built robustness into our emergency systems to ensure that our 911 elements are available when needed. This was a short-term isolated power outage, and we immediately took steps to further improve our network to prevent this type of incident from occurring in the future. We now move on from the FCC’s investigation and continue our focus on our ongoing networking.
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