FCC collects millions in fines over 911 outage

The Federal Communications Commission is continuing to collect fines from phone companies stemming from a 2014 outage that left millions of people without the ability to make 911 calls for six hours. 

The FCC announced Monday it reached a $16 million settlement with CenturyLink — the largest fine it has extracted in a 911-related case, according to the agency. It fined Intrado Communications $1.4 million over similar charges. 

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As part of the settlement, the companies would have to adopt a compliance plan that protects against outages and requires quick notification of outages in the future.

Phone companies are required to notify 911 dispatch centers when outages occur that could prevent calls from getting through. But the FCC said the companies failed to do so in a timely manner.  

The April 2014 outage affected millions of people around the country. A total of 6,600 calls to 911 went unanswered that day, including calls to report a heart attack, an overdose, car accidents and other emergencies. No deaths were believed to result from the outage, according to an FCC report.   

Last month, Verizon was fined $3.4 million over the same incident.