• Update on Investigation Into AT&T 911 Outage; Stakeholder Input Sought
  • April 24, 2017 | Authors: Albert J. Catalano; Timothy A. Doughty; Michael T. N. Fitch; C. Douglas Jarrett; Gregory E. Kunkle; Thomas B. Magee; Tracy P. Marshall; Kathleen M. Slattery; Wesley K. Wright
  • Law Firm: Keller and Heckman LLP - Washington Office
  • Per Chairman Pai’s instruction, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has begun its investigation into the AT&T 911 outage, which occurred earlier this month (Vol. XIV, Issue 11). At last Thursday’s Open Meeting, Lisa Fowlkes, Acting Chief of the Bureau, provided an update of the preliminary inquiry. It appears that the outage lasted approximately five hours and approximately 12,600 callers could not reach 911 directly, but some of these calls were answered by a backup center. The preliminary inquiry has shown that state entities took timely and appropriate measures to notify the public of the outage and alternative contact information. Regarding the cause of the outage, Fowlkes stated “It appears that AT&T reconfigured connections in its network that affected 911 call routing for its [Voice over LTE (VoLTE)] subscribers. As a result of these changes, automated call routing capability for VoLTE 911 calls failed.” Fowlkes also noted that after the investigation was underway, a second outage occurred on March 11. From the preliminary inquiry, the Bureau has determined that preliminary stakeholder input is necessary, and, accordingly, issued a Public Notice seeking comment.