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Thread: FCC Wants Verizon to Investigate 10,000 Dropped Emergency Calls During Winter Storms

  1. Editor in Chief
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    FCC Wants Verizon to Investigate 10,000 Dropped Emergency Calls During Winter Storms


    Do you remember that winter super-storm that blanketed half the U.S. in snow and ice last month? Apparently, Verizon had over 10,000 dropped emergency calls during the chilling event, which for some people made it even more 'chilling'. This outage affected Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland.

    The FCC found this to be "truly alarming", and has asked Verizon to investigate why it happened and how to prevent it in the future. One of the things that made it even more significant to the FCC was that the emergency services that missed these calls were not even made aware of the connectivity failure. Jamie Barnett, chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, had this to say, “We are particularly concerned that this problem may be widespread across Verizon’s footprint.”

    Harry Mitchell, a Verizon spokesman, indicated in an e-mail that the outage was triggered by a “mass call event.” This is little comfort as further sources indicate that this is not a unique event for Verizon, and the FCC is considering remedial actions and monitoring systems to prevent it happening again. Kinda puts a new spin on the whole, "can you hear me now?" marketing doesn't it? ("not if it's snowing really really hard in Maryland!")

    Mitchell added, “We have been addressing this issue directly with the counties involved, and will work cooperatively to address the FCC’s questions, as well." This is a big enough deal that It is obvious Verizon will scramble to fix this to try and prevent it from ever happening again.

    Source: Android.net via Engadget
    Last edited by dgstorm; 02-23-2011 at 10:25 AM.
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    haha kinda hard from stopping it again if it was from mass calling .. there is only so much tower space for everyone to be on .. FCC might have better luck convincing god to change the weather!
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    [insert IPhone joke here]

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    so does that mean no att calls were drop? or that there isnt enough att customers in those areas to be concern about?
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    Illustrates another risk in ditching the landline. But, my goodness, how did people survive snowstorms pre-cellular days? Is it just me, or does 10,000 "emergency" calls in two counties seem like maybe people were abusing 911 for getting stuck in a snowdrift?

    That said, it seems the FCC issue is as much, if not more, about the lack of notification, even internally at VZW where the fix was supposedly fairly quick and easy once they became aware of the situation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntrddragn View Post
    so does that mean no att calls were drop? or that there isnt enough att coverage in those areas to be concern about?
    Surely you meant this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiak799 View Post
    Illustrates another risk in ditching the landline. But, my goodness, how did people survive snowstorms pre-cellular days? Is it just me, or does 10,000 "emergency" calls in two counties seem like maybe people were abusing 911 for getting stuck in a snowdrift?

    That said, it seems the FCC issue is as much, if not more, about the lack of notification, even internally at VZW where the fix was supposedly fairly quick and easy once they became aware of the situation.
    Where I live it would have been the folks in the McDonald's line complaining that they could not get fries We had problems with delivery trucks supplying our grocery stores and fast food.........

    Craig
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    I live in PG County and work in Montgomery Co. That storm was serious! What normally is a 30 minute commute took me 1.75 hrs to get home that day. And that was at the beginning of the storm. The police could not even get to the intersections where the lights went out. So it's really no surprise that this happened. As often as the power goes out in Mont. Co from little storms I'm more surpised that Verizon was only affected this one time. My phone worked during the storm...but I thank God that I didn't have to call 911.
    DX on something different too often to keep updating my sig!
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jizzylax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ntrddragn View Post
    so does that mean no att calls were drop? or that there isnt enough att coverage in those areas to be concern about?
    Surely you meant this?
    He might have meant customers, as perhaps there aren't enough AT&T customers in that area to load down their system.

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