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FCC: Broadcasters Help With AT&T 911 Outage

According to the FCC, public safety officials used broadcasters to keep the public connected during AT&T's recent nationwide 911 outage, which lasted up to five hours in some parts of the country.

That came in a briefing by the Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau on the status of the FCC investigation—its findings are preliminary and the investigation ongoing—into the March 8 outage that was presented at Thursday's public meeting.

According to acting bureau chief Lisa Fowlkes, public safety officials in Florida worked with local TV broadcasters to run a crawl with an alternate emergency number that could be used by affected AT&T Mobility customers. 

They also used Twitter to spread the word.

Orange County officials said they received 172 calls to an alternative emergency number within an hour and a half of the release of the number.

“We’ve done an extensive evaluation of the outage, which was caused by a system configuration change between our network and a certified 911 vendor, and we’re taking steps to address the issue," AT&T said following the FCC briefing. "We take our obligations to our customers very seriously and will continue to work with the FCC as it completes its report on the situation.”