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News | News Release Contact: Ken Schrad, (804) 371-9141
For Immediate Release: January 17, 2013
Listen SCC STAFF ISSUES FINAL REPORT ON 911 SERVICE OUTAGES AFTER JUNE 29, 2012 DERECHO

RICHMOND — The 911 outage in Northern Virginia following the June 29, 2012 derecho should not have occurred and was avoidable, according to a final report of the communications staff of the State Corporation Commission (SCC). According to the staff’s findings, the 911 service outages were a direct result of Verizon’s failure to perform the necessary maintenance on its central office facilities, and were compounded by its inability or failure to monitor and respond, both internally and externally, to the outages.

Verizon has embarked on numerous corrective actions since the 911 outage. The staff report recognizes that Verizon’s efforts to identify and correct the underlying causes and problems should go a long way in preventing a similar 911 outage. The staff recommends that these efforts should be monitored and evaluated for a period of time to ensure that Verizon continues to undertake the necessary corrective actions.

Among the 15 recommendations in the final report, the SCC staff suggests that:

  • Verizon correct deficiencies and implement recommendations identified in its “mission critical” central office audits, and conduct audits in all remaining offices;
  • Verizon provide quarterly corrective action progress reports to the SCC;
  • Verizon provide quarterly reports to the SCC identifying any problems found in the monthly testing of generators in offices in Virginia;
  • Verizon continue to meet and cooperate with local 911 center operators to ensure their concerns are addressed;
  • SCC staff prepares an annual status report that includes recommendations on continuing the various requirements on Verizon and/or recommendations on any changes or additions to such.

Recognizing that there are no absolutes to prevent another 911 service outage in the future, the goal of the recommendations identified in the report is to help prevent such a seriously and potentially life threatening event from occurring again.

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Case Number PUC-2012-00042
View Staff Report