AT&T Mobility Paying $5.25 Million to Settle FCC Investigation

The FCC says that AT&T Mobility has agreed to pay a $5.25 million settlement--the FCC called it a 'fine'--related to inadvertent 911 service outages caused by planned changes to its network that interfered with 911 call routing.

As a condition of the settlement, which was published Thursday (June 28), AT&T has also agreed to mitigate the chance of future outages, to ensure reliable call completion and file compliance reports with the commission.

The outages occurred March 8, 2017, and May 1, 2017, and affected wireless customers across the country. They resulted in over 15,000 failed 911 calls.

“Providing access to emergency 911 services is critically important, and to that end we cooperated with the FCC in their review," said AT&T Mobility in a statement. "These events resulted from planned network changes that inadvertently interfered with the routing of 911 calls. We’ve taken steps to prevent this from happening again.”

The FCC concluded AT&T had failed to quickly, clearly and fully notify affected call centers.

"Such preventable outages are unacceptable," the FCC said in announcing the settlement.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai had called for the investigation of the outages, tweeting on March 8:


Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.