T-Mobile is once again on the hook for a 911 outage. The carrier has agreed to pay $19.5 million to settle an FCC investigation of a 12-hour service outage in June 2020 that led to 911 call failures. While the FCC didn’t know exactly how many emergency calls were affected due to some overlapping issues, it recorded tens of thousands of issues.
Over 23,000 calls suffered a “complete” failure, the FCC said, while a similar amount didn’t include location data. Roughly another 20,000 didn’t include callback info. The outage began when a leased fiber link in the T-Mobile network went awry, and a single-location routing flaw magnified the crisis. T-Mobile also had problems remotely accessing the fiber link.
This isn’t the first time T-Mobile has dealt with a 911 outage. It settled to the tune of $17.5 million over failures in 2014.
We’ve asked T-Mobile for comment. The FCC said the carrier responded to outage-related questions in a “timely” fashion, however, so this wasn’t a hotly disputed issue. Not that the company was likely to fight a settlement that won’t significantly impact its finances. And like it or not, this won’t do much to help people who couldn’t get full help in a moment of crisis.
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