T-Mobile to pay $20 million settlement after outage led to failed 911 calls

Earlier this week, T-Mobile agreed to pay a nearly $20 million settlement to the Federal Communications Commission after a 12-hour outage in June 2020 led to 23,000 failed 911 calls.

The FCC said that T-Mobile will have to work towards improved communications of call centers amidst outages, along with other things, as part of the settlement. The 12-hour and 12-minute occurred on June 15, 2020. T-Mobile’s 4G, 3G, and 2G networks all became congested and 23,000 911 calls were “complete failures”.

Tens of thousands of additional 911 calls ended with incomplete information, like no location or call back information available. A similar T-Mobile incident happened twice in one day in August 2019, leading to a lawsuit that the company just finished settling.

In a statement to ABC News, T-Mobile said, “We understand how critical reliable connectivity is to ensure public safety and we take that responsibility very seriously. We have built resiliency into our emergency systems to ensure that our 911 elements are available when they’re needed.”

The statement continued, saying, “This was a short-term isolated outage and we immediately took steps to further enhance our network to prevent this type of event from happening in the future. Now we are moving on from the FCC’s investigation and continuing our focus on our ongoing network build.”

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