T-Mobile to pay $20M after outage led to failed 911 calls

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Wireless carrier T-Mobile is paying $19.5 million with the Federal Communications Commission in June 2020 over a 12-hour nationwide outage that resulted in thousands of failed 911 calls.

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WASHINGTON – Wireless carrier T-Mobile agreed to pay $19.5 million in a settlement with the Federal Communications Commission over a 12-hour nationwide outage in June 2020 that resulted in thousands of unsuccessful 911 calls.

The FCC said Tuesday that as part of the settlement, T-Mobile will commit to improving communication of outages in emergency call centers, among other measures.

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The agency said the reason for the outage was a “complete failure” of more than 23,000 911 calls. There were also calls that took place without any important information, such as callback numbers or location data.

The Bellevue, Washington, company said that the June 2020 episode was a “short-term isolated outage and we immediately took steps to further expand our network to prevent this type of incident in the future.”

This is not the first time such outages have happened. T-Mobile paid a fine of $17.5 million after two related nationwide service shutdowns in a single day in August 2014.

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