CenturyLink to Pay Record FCC 911 Outage Fine

CenturyLink has agreed to pay the Federal Communications Commission $16 million, the largest-ever 911 outage-related fine, and Intrado Communications will pay the agency another $1.4 million to settle an FCC investigation into April 2014 911 outages that the commission said prevented 11 million people from reaching emergency call centers for more than six hours, but had resulted from a "sunny day" failure.

CenturyLink said it was a onetime occurrence that the MSO has taken steps to prevent in the future.

“CenturyLink takes 911 reliability very seriously," the company said in response to the fine. "This outage was caused by a third-party vendor’s equipment failure that had never occurred before, and we worked with the vendor to implement measures to ensure that this type of failure will not happen again. CenturyLink values customer safety and makes reliable 911 communications a top priority.”

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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.