After widespread 911 outages affected AT&T customers at about 9:49 p.m. Wednesday night, the FCC has released a statement saying it is investigating the problem.
“Every call to 911 must go through,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement released Thursday morning. “So when I first learned of yesterday’s outage, I immediately directed FCC staff to contact AT&T about it and the company’s efforts to restore access to emergency services to the American public. I also spoke with Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chief executive officer, and stressed the urgent need to restore service and to communicate with first responders, as well as AT&T customers, about the status of operations. Additionally, I announced last night that I have directed Commission staff to track down the root cause of this outage.”
“The FCC’s public safety professionals are on the case,” Lisa Fowlkes, Acting Chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau said. “Access to 911 emergency services is essential for all Americans, especially the most vulnerable. We will fully investigate this outage and determine the root cause and its impact.”
The exact number of customers affected has not been released, but the network was seeing outages across the country.
Local law enforcement agencies were aware of the outage and provided alternate emergency contact numbers to fill the gap.