Last year, T-Mobile customers experienced a massive outage that led to over 20,000 failed 911 emergency calls. And now, the mobile operator has agreed to settle a probe for $19.5 million.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prompted an investigation into the June 2020 outage that lasted over 12 hours. It also led to a congestion on T-Mobile’s networks and caused “the complete failure of more than 23,000 911 calls.”
As part of its consent decree with the FCC, T-Mobile has agreed to improve 911 outage notices by implementing new commitments.
In October 2020, the FCC filed a report stating that the outage disrupted nationwide call and text services as well as data service access in some areas. This led to a total of at least 250 million failed calls. The report estimated “over 250 million calls… from other service providers’ subscribers to T-Mobile subscribers failed due to the outage.”
The government agency also found that “at least 41% of all calls that attempted to use T-Mobile’s network during the outage did not complete successfully.”
Earlier today, T-Mo said that it has “built resiliency into our emergency systems to ensure that our 911 elements are available when they’re needed. Following this outage, we immediately took additional steps to further enhance our network to prevent this type of event from happening in the future.”
During the time of the investigation, former FCC chairman Ajit Pai reported that the company did not follow best practices for established network reliability. This could have mitigated or prevented the outage.
According to the report, the reason for the outage was “an equipment failure and then exacerbated by a network routing misconfiguration that occurred when T-Mobile introduced a new router into its network.”