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FCC's Pai Launches Investigation Into AT&T 911 Outage

FCC chairman Ajit Pai has launched an investigation into a systemwide 911 outage that affected AT&T Wireless customers.

“Service has been restored for wireless customers affected by an issue connecting to 911," AT&T said Thursday. "We apologize to those affected. We take our 911 obligations to our customers very seriously. We are taking steps to prevent this from happening again and will be sharing additional information with the FCC.”

The chairman was looking for answers. Pai said in a statement he had launched the investigation Wednesday night after he learned of the outage, which he said affected wireless customers nationwide.

“Every call to 911 must go through,” said Pai in a statement. “So when I first learned of yesterday’s outage, I immediately directed FCC staff to contact AT&T about it and the company’s efforts to restore access to emergency services to the American public."

Pai also said he had called AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and "stressed the urgent need to restore service and to communicate with first responders, as well as AT&T customers, about the status of operations."

He promised to track down the "root cause" of the outage.

The resiliency of 911 service has been a big issue at the FCC as communications moves from copper wires to VoIP and wireless.