Attorney General Ferguson wants to hear from those impacted by December 911 outage

  • Tuesday, January 8, 2019 12:09pm
  • News

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson wants to hear from residents impacted by last month’s statewide 911 outage.

Ferguson is asking Washingtonians impacted by the outage to share their stories by emailing them to 911outage@atg.wa.gov.

The more than 12-hour 911 outage, which occurred between Dec. 27 and Dec. 28, was the second lengthy statewide outage of the emergency call system managed by CenturyLink since 2014.

“For the second time, CenturyLink has fallen short of its obligation to provide reliable 911 services for Washingtonians,” Ferguson said.

“If you called for help during this outage, only to be met with a busy signal, please share your story with my office. We want to know exactly how CenturyLink’s failure impacted the people of our state,” he added.

In the wake of a six-hour 911 outage in 2014, Ferguson asked the state Utilities & Transportation Commission to impose the maximum regulatory penalty of $11.5 million against CenturyLink. Among other testimony filed with the commission, Ferguson presented the story of Alicia Cappola, an Everett woman who was home with her 5-year-old twins and was forced to arm herself with a kitchen knife to ward off an intruder after 37 unsuccessful attempts to get through to 911.

The Utilities & Transportation Commission fined CenturyLink just short of $2.9 million for the outage.

Ferguson was “deeply disappointed” in the fine, which was a quarter of the maximum penalty he pushed for, he said.

“Bottom line: CenturyLink is getting off with a slap on the wrist,” Ferguson said when the commission announced its decision in 2016.

Anyone impacted by the most recent 911 outage can email their story to 911outage@atg.wa.gov. The attorney general’s office said those who comment may or may not be contacted for follow-up.

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