Officials in the US and at least one state said Friday they have launched investigations into a nationwide CenturyLink Internet service outage that disrupted 911 service.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said the outage that began Thursday was “completely unacceptable” because people in need of help could not use the emergency number.
“Its breadth and duration are particularly worrying,” he said.
The commission’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security will investigate the cause and effect of the disruption, he said.
The Monroe, Louisiana-based telecommunications giant is one of the largest in the United States. It offers communications and information technology services in dozens of states. Customers from New York to California reported power outages.
CenturyLink spokeswoman Debra Peterson said the outage “is not related to piracy,” but she declined to comment further.
The company said on Twitter that it is working to restore service and appears to be making progress. You have not provided a cause for the problems.
“Where CenturyLink is the 911 service provider, 911 calls are being completed,” the company said in a tweet.
Regulators in Washington state also said they were opening an investigation into a disruption to their state 911 service.
The state Transportation and Public Utilities Commission said the outages began around 8:30 pm Thursday. The commission’s regulatory services division director Mark Vasconi said the system appeared stable on Friday, but the agency was monitoring it.
In Idaho, Office of Emergency Management Director Brad Richy said he did not receive any reports of 911 service failures, but some state agencies, including the state Department of Correction, lost service on telephones based On the internet.
Some businesses in Idaho also lost the ability to make credit card sales, and some ATM machines were down in Idaho and Montana.
Due to sporadic 911 interruptions in Massachusetts, public safety officials advised people seeking emergency help to use the 10-digit phone number of the fire or police departments they wanted to contact.
In Greeley, Colorado, the Weld County Regional Communication Center said Friday that 911 calls were being dropped, but callers should keep trying and emergency dispatchers will try to return the call.
The 911 dispatch center and emergency management in Johnson County, western Missouri, were affected by the outage, county emergency management director Troy Armstrong said Friday. He said 911 lines were unaffected, but internet service was down at the dispatch center and phone services were also spotty.