If you pride yourself on being the nation’s largest and most reliable network, you’d think that connecting and sustaining emergency calls would be a no-brainer. However, Verizon dropped about 10,000 911 calls during a January 26 snow storm in Washington, D.C.
The FCC now wants a detailed report from Verizon regarding the incident and why it happened. Bloomberg reports:
“We are particularly concerned that this problem may be widespread across Verizon’s footprint,” Jamie Barnett, chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, said in the letter. The agency wants Verizon to investigate the extent of the problem across its network, he said.
It’s a bit strange to leap to the conclusion that this is an issue with Verizon’s entire network, but better safe than sorry – especially when emergencies are involved.
What’s worse is that Daily Wireless is reporting that Verizon stopped connecting 911 calls and didn’t report the issue to local 911 answering stations, which does seem a little suspect.
Verizon responded, according to Bloomberg:
“We have been addressing this issue directly with the counties involved, and will work cooperatively to address the FCC’s questions, as well,” Harry Mitchell, a Verizon spokesman, said in an e-mail.
This definitely doesn’t reflect well for Verizon. We can poke fun at AT&T for dropping calls all we like, but when you’re dropping thousands of calls when they actually matter, it’s a more serious situation.