An FCC decision last Friday has left T-Mobile fined with $17.5M for 911 outage that happened back last year.
It seems that the company headed by John Legere, CEO, will have to make use of the recent profits which have spurred after the cellular provider has just removed any and all roaming taxes between the US and its neighbors – Canada, and Mexico.
Due to this last measure, the provider has seen a considerable growth, but now has to pay the price for a severe problem last year, on the eighth of August. Back then, two complete outages, totaling three hours, prevented clients not only to give call to other people, but also the 911. The fine for the latter problem was set by the Federal Communications Commission was set as 17.5 million dollars.
T-Mobile will also have to adopt a “compliance program” which will assure that the company will not suffer the same outage somewhere in the future. The big fine is mainly due to the fact that, regardless that the outage was obviously an error, the provider did not make any kind of statement. T-Mobile alerted only very late the first-responders, and it did not have safeguards for the 911 emergency line, although such systems were readily available.
The outage affected the whole of the U.S. – this is a very big problem considering the number of emergency calls made by American citizens. Every hour, there are an average of 27,400 calls are made to 911 from all providers.
Considering that the outage was three hour long in total, and T-Mobile is the fourth cellular provider in the nation, it’s safe to assume that about approximately up to a quarter of the calls are from this specific provider. That means almost 20 thousand emergency calls which could have been made. At least 20 thousand lives which may have been in peril.
This is not something to be taken lightly, and many have shown a belief that the FCC’s fine, although the largest ever given by the commission to a telecom provider, is correct.
T-Mobile has stated that in the past year significant changes have been made to assure that their customers receive the best possible 911 service possible. They also added that despite the unfortunate mishap last August, the company takes 911 calls very seriously. In the U.S., the 911 calls are supposed to be free for everyone to access at any time, even if the sim card is expired.
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