AT&T Fined $5.25M for Two 911 Outages that Affected 15,000+ Emergency Calls

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    AT&T is paying the Federal Communications Commission a $5.25 million fine to settle an investigation into a pair of 2017 outages that blocked over 15,000 people from making 911 calls.

    According to the FCC [PDF], during a five hour outage on March 8, 2017, 12,600 unique users across the United States saw their emergency 911 calls fail, while during a 47 minute outage on May 1, 2017, 2,600 users had 911 calls fail.


    The outages, which impacted AT&T's Voice over LTE network used by many modern smartphones, were caused by planned network changes that were implemented on those days that inadvertently interfered with the routing of 911 calls.

    During the March outage, the FCC says that AT&T also failed to "quickly, clearly, and fully notify" affected 911 call centers. These kinds of outages are "unacceptable" and according to the FCC, carriers have a responsibility to both prevent outages and in the event of an outage, notify call centers immediately.
    In addition to paying a $5.25 million fine to end the investigation, AT&T is also required to implement "proactive system changes" to reduce the likelihood and impact of future 911 outages, improve its processes for notifying 911 call centers of future outages, ensure reliable 911 call completion, and file regular compliance reports with the FCC.

    Article Link: AT&T Fined $5.25M for Two 911 Outages that Affected 15,000+ Emergency Calls
  2. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
    This will make MacRumors members happy until they realize that AT&T will just raise their rates (like this new fee) to make up for the loss.
  3. Asarien, Jun 28, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2018

    Asarien macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2015
    San Francisco, CA
    So they take it out on their customers by increasing our "administration fee."
  4. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    Ha, double the fee again! LOL
  5. Appurushido macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2012
    Incoming phantom charges to peoples accounts or they make up some other BS fee increase to cover their legal costs.
  6. farewelwilliams macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2014
    secretly sprinkle random $1 charges in 5.25 million customers' bills
  7. B4U macrumors 68000


    Oct 11, 2012
    Undisclosed location
    Hence the "administrative fee" hike that we just see?
  8. KPandian1 macrumors 65816

    Oct 22, 2013
    That should be $800 million; then it will bring smiles to Macrumors and AT&T folks!
  9. lostngone macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2003
    Wow! 5 million you say?

    That is bad! That is just above what they keep in the petty cash account!
  10. Asarien macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2015
    San Francisco, CA
    I mean... Other than AT&T being Apple's first cellular partner and all... But whatevs.
  11. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    In the cookie jar, right? Or was it behind the bookcase? I can never remember.
  12. coolfactor macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2002
    Vancouver, BC CANADA
    I'm guessing the fine is directly tied to their *failure* to report the outages immediately, rather than the outages occurring at all. Outages will occur, but as long as they manage it properly, they won't be fined?
  13. Relentless Power, Jun 28, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018

    Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    5.25M is nothing to AT&T. I’m sure they will try to contest the fines if it’s optional. But still, it’s not really a joking matter when it comes to 911 calls that can’t be transferred over to a dispatch center for 15,000+ Emergent calls. Not to mention, any additional law suits that may arise out of this.
  14. Aldaris, Jun 28, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018

    Aldaris macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2004
    Salt Lake
  15. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Of course the FCC gets the money instead of the people who were affected by the outage. Did anyone die because of this outage? Seems like there could be a lot of lawsuits since the FCC has basically said they're guilty with this fine.

    $5.25M is chump change to AT&T though. This is just the cost of doing business. It's cheaper for them to provide inadequate services vs. paying these fines. They just bought Time Warner for $85.4 billion. That's $85,400,000,000.00 They don't give one crap about this or you.
  16. longofest Editor emeritus


    Jul 10, 2003
    Falls Church, VA
    Literally on the same day that AT&T raises their rates to net them $800 mil in new revenue.

    Somehow this fine doesn't seem like that much, eh?
  17. KGBguy macrumors regular


    Feb 19, 2015
    USSR 2.0
    Sounds about right, our government will never miss an opportunity to extort money from anyone they can.

    PS However, the saddest part about it is that the majority of people here see nothing wrong with it... hence, we have arrived!
  18. lostngone macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2003
  19. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    Doesn't seem like a punishment at all.
    The EU although seems to be the only political body capable of holding organisations to account with proper fines.
  20. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    The outages were a result of planned network changes.

    Basically, AT&T planned poorly and then didn't let anyone know about the outages.

    Outages should not be occurring.
  21. acorntoy, Jun 28, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018

    acorntoy macrumors 65816

    May 25, 2010

    - 15,000 affected, probably some iPhone customers
    -comes right after at&t raised “administrative fees” for millions of customer (including many using iPhones)

    This information might just be useful to iPhone customers when choosing their network provider.
  22. fairuz macrumors 68000


    Aug 27, 2017
    Silicon Valley
    I've heard of DDoS attacks on 911 using infected Android phones. Wonder if it was from that. But then again I have calls with my family fail all the time, so wouldn't be surprised if they were just being jerks.

    Btw, I know phones are old tech, so if you call someone who's calling you, you'll get the voicemail. But how come not a single calling app besides Facebook Messenger has figured out that if two people call each other, it should connect them instead of saying "unavailable"?
  23. Schnegg macrumors member


    Oct 9, 2017
    Emergency call outages can actually cost lives. This fine seems quite appropriate.
  24. supercoolmanchu macrumors regular


    Mar 5, 2012
  25. garylapointe macrumors 65816


    Feb 19, 2006
    Dearborn (Detroit), MI, USA
    There are sites that focus on those things.

    There is information not posted here that might be useful for iPhone people choosing video services, exercises, traveling, where is the separation?

    Regardless, put it on the iOS page ;)
    It's not Mac, it's not iPad, but it's closer.

    Didn't there used to be a "page 2"? Or did that go away with the Mac/iOS pages?

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