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Major 911 Outage In Four States Leaves Millions Without Service

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911 Outage
– Getty Images

(CTN News) – Four states were left scrambling after 911 outages left millions unable to contact authorities.

By late evening, many of the outages in Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota and Texas were restored.

Law enforcement officials tell NBC News there is no indication the outages are related to a cyberattack. According to a Lumen Technologies spokesperson, the outages appear to be related.

A third-party company cut Lumen’s fiber on Wednesday while “installing a light pole” in Nevada, South Dakota and Nebraska, company spokesperson Mark Molzen said. “We restored all services in about two hours,” he said. Texans cannot get 911 outage service through Lumen.

“Our techs identified the issue and fixed it quickly,” he said. Thanks for being patient and understanding. We are investigating the multi-state 911 outages that occurred last night to find out what caused them,” said FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel.

Some 911 Outage calls were impacted for hours in February due to a widespread outage caused by a AT&T process error. A statewide outage occurred just before 7 p.m. ET. Services were restored a couple of hours later when Rapid City police offered alternative numbers.

South Dakota texting to 9-1-1 was available Wednesday evening. Mike Gramlick, Sioux Falls Fire Assistant Chief, said the outage began at 7:59 MST and was resolved at 10:38. “During the outage, Metro Communications received 112 calls for service” from open lines and text messages.

Metro Communications typically takes 114 calls a day. We don’t know about such an outage.”

There was also a wireless emergency alert during the outage. “Service provider” is looking into it. Lumen was right, Douglas County officials said. Lumen Technologies notified Douglas County 911, but they didn’t know about the damage. The services were back up by 4 a.m. the following morning.

A 911 outage was announced around 7 p.m. Police said landlines weren’t working. It’s at 9 p.m. eastern time. The department says it called back all people who called during the outage to help.

Wireless carriers were blamed by some agencies. X on Wednesday night said “some wireless carriers can’t reach 911 Outage.” The issue was resolved about three hours later.

The Del Rio Police wrote on social media Wednesday evening that the problem was with the carrier, not the city. According to Juan Hernandez, the department’s communications supervisor, the problem seemed to be with T-Mobile.

It wasn’t a 911 outage, it was a T-Mobile coverage outage that affected T-Mobile customers,” Hernandez said. It was resolved after T-Mobile was notified by customers about the issue Wednesday evening. There were no injuries or serious issues reported. Chase County Sheriff’s Office says “911 Outage is down across Nebraska” for all cellular carriers except T-Mobile, and landlines still work.

A spokesperson for AT&T said Thursday: “Our network is fine.” Another carrier’s network appeared to be down, which could have affected 9-1-1. FirstNet, the government-commissioned public safety broadband network built by AT&T, wasn’t the issue, the carrier said. The network is overseen by an independent agency within Commerce.

From 2013 to 2017, Retired Rear Adm. David Simpson was chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. “There are over 6,000 911 jurisdictions,” he said, adding that “equipment and budgets vary by state.”

Aside from more cables for path diversity to multiple telecommunications carriers and updated equipment to multiple routers, Simpson said the current system is “missing resilient backups” that could prevent an outage.


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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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