Verizon to pay $1M fine for network outage

An hour-long network outage across Verizon's network in six states in 2022 earned the company a $1 million fine from the FCC. #pressrelease

June 25, 2024

2 Min Read

The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau today announced a settlement to resolve its investigation into whether Verizon Wireless violated FCC rules by failing to deliver 911 calls during an outage in December 2022, in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. As Congress and the Commission have found, robust and reliable 911 service is a critical national priority. Those calling first responders must be able to rely on their calls being completed. To settle this matter, the Enforcement Bureau and Verizon Wireless entered into a Consent Decree that requires Verizon Wireless to implement a compliance plan and pay a $1,050,000 civil penalty. 

“When you call 911 in an emergency, it’s critical that your call goes through,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “Today’s action is part of the FCC’s ongoing effort to ensure that the public has reliable communications, including access to 911.” 

FCC rules require wireless service providers to transmit all 911 calls to 911 call centers. On December 21, 2022, Verizon Wireless experienced an outage that impacted 911 wireless Voice over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE) traffic in six states. The outage lasted for one hour and forty-four minutes and prevented hundreds of 911 calls from completing through Verizon Wireless’s network. The outage was similar to one that Verizon Wireless experienced in October 2022. After the October outage, Verizon Wireless took action to protect against further similar outages, but certain failures recurred, resulting in the December outage. 

“The Enforcement Bureau takes any potential violations of the Commission’s 911 rules extremely seriously. Sunny day outages, as occurred here, can be especially troubling because they occur when the public and 911 call centers least expect it,” said Loyaan A. Egal, Chief of the Enforcement Bureau. “We are committed to ensuring communications providers uphold their responsibilities in providing critical 911 services to the American public.” 

As part of the Consent Decree issued today, Verizon Wireless agreed to implement a robust compliance plan designed to ensure future compliance with the FCC’s 911 rules and implement best practices, including performing 911 risk assessments and establishing enhanced processes for implementing security policy updates.

Read the press release here.


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