FCC proposes nearly $900,000 fine stemming from 2022 911 outages in South Dakota, North Dakota

(Washington, DC) – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced it is proposing a nearly $900,000 fine against a Louisiana company for violating 911 rules in North Dakota and South Dakota in early 2022.

“Consumers expect and deserve round-the-clock 911 services, and the Commission will do everything in its powers to ensure carriers consistently deliver on those services,” FCC Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said.

The Commission says that, on February 17, 2022, Lumen experienced an outage affecting 911 calls in South Dakota. The outage lasted nearly five hours.

“Because of flaws in its system to notify public safety call centers, Lumen did not notify the two affected centers until days after the outage had ended,” the FCC said in a news release.

Five days later, Luman experienced another 911 outage, related to its switch in Bismarck. The outage disrupted 911 service for more than seven hours.

“Similarly, because of flaws in its notification system, Lumen only notified two of 11 affected call centers in a timely manner,” the FCC said. They also said the outage resulted in “hundreds of emergency calls failing to reach public safety call centers.”