911 Emergency System Outage Being Probed
State Police grappled Friday with issues in the 911 system after an outage at a major telecommunications hub sent ripples across the country.
The problems in Massachusetts were resolved by Friday night, but earlier in the day, state police warned residents that 911 calls from both landline and cellular carriers were having issues. Some emergency calls, officials said, were not been going through due to “sporadic 911 outages.”
“You may hear a fast busy signal, hear a recording saying ‘All circuits are busy’ or something similar, or you may get connected to a different emergency call center than you were expecting,” a Friday morning State Police press release stated.
Authorities urged those who had 911 calls dropped to call their city or town’s 10-digit emergency number or to call the state’s number to be transferred.
Around 8:30 p.m. Friday night, however, state police sent a follow-up press release indicating the issues had been corrected in Massachusetts.
The problems appear related to outages from Louisiana-based CenturyLink, which affected some Verizon customers. CenturyLink spokeswoman Debra Peterson told the Associated Press that the outage, which was felt from California to New York, “is not related to hacking.” She declined further comment.
No cause was announced for the problem, and on Twitter, CenturyLink said it was making progress with restoring service.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced Friday the agency is launching an investigation into the nationwide CenturyLink internet outage. He described the issues as “completely unacceptable.”
“Its breadth and duration are particularly troubling,” he said.
The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau will conduct an investigation, Pai said. Officials in Washington state also announced a forthcoming investigation into 911 outages that occurred Thursday night. By Friday, however, Washington state officials said the system appeared stable.
Several other issues were reported Friday. Some ATM machines experienced difficulty in Idaho and Montana, and in the former state, businesses lost credit card processing capabilities.
This report includes material from the Associated Press. Staff writer Chris Lisinski contributed to this report.
Follow Kori Tuitt on Twitter @KoriTuitt.