CenturyLink has been examined more by Minnesota regulators after 911 outbreaks

CenturyLink has been examined more by Minnesota regulators after 911 outbreaks

CenturyLink is addressing the higher reporting requirements for its 911 Minnesota contract after a state report found that the company had not responded adequately in August last year, resulting in almost 700 emergency calls dropped.

"CenturyLink and its seller were very tight," said Katie Sieben, chairman of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), at a commission meeting on Thursday.

CenturyLink administers a 911 state system, which went down for 65 minutes on 1 August. The defense was due to human error by CenturyLink sellers, but CenturyLink was also blamed by state investigation for communication deficiencies.

Most emergency call centers did not know about the 911 breakdown until it was over, while CenturyLink did not provide adequate information to the Minnesota Public Safety Department, which carried out an investigation by public safety state departments. and commercial.

The PUC voted 5-0 on Thursday to require CenturyLink to meet with the public safety department and submit six-monthly reports, which will explain how the 911 system was improved among other things. CenturyLink will be required to report the circumstances and reasons for the 911 failed calls during the previous month.

And CenturyLink must meet with the public safety department and establish procedures to improve communications to the state and 911 call centers.

CenturyLink generally agreed with the recommendations before the PUC, although there was some discussion between the company and state agencies about the scope of the reporting requirements.

"If the commission's role is to work with the Commission?" [public- safety department], we are completely comfortable with that, "said Jason Topp, CenturyLink attorney, with the PUC." We are on the phone with them always. "

Monroe, CenturyLink based in La., Is the largest landline carrier in Minnesota, in the third year of a $ 29 million five-year contract to administer the 911 system of the state. CenturyLink is then contracted by West Safety Services based in Colorado to help meet the 911 obligations.

On 1 August, a West technician made a mistake in carrying out a maintenance service, applying for one of two Western emergency management centers. Partial redundancy of the system failed: While 356 calls were made to 911 via the West to emergency call centers in Minnesota, 693 calls dropped.

This appears to be the most extensive breakdown of the Minnesota 911 system in 30 years.

The PUC ordered a three week investigation after the break. The inquiry, carried out by the commercial and public safety departments, found that the safety of the public and CenturyLink did not know about the maintenance work in the West because it was "wrongly regarded as a routine."

The report stated that no automatic break center alarms were sent to Minnesota's emergency call centers, who were not formally notified of the 911 calls dropped to a few minutes after the system was set up. CenturyLink also had an "unacceptable and unnecessary delay" in providing information to the public safety section on defense.

"There were different levels of failure," said Dan Craigie, deputy director of emergency communications at the state's public safety department, with Thursday PUC.

In reports to the PUC last winter, CenturyLink said that West has made software improvements to prevent the type of error that caused the August interruption. The alarm system has also improved for 911 calls that do not go through, CenturyLink reported.

CenturyLink said last week that it "puts a high priority on public safety" and has taken a number of steps to address problems posed by the state.

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