Federal officials open investigation into CenturyLink outage, 911 failures

Stock image | Photo by Gorodenkoff/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — As an outage affecting many CenturyLink customers in Southern Utah and the rest of the nation continues into Friday, federal officials and at least one state said they’ve started an investigation into the outage.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai called the outage that began Thursday “completely unacceptable” because in some cases people who needed help couldn’t use the 911 emergency number.

“Its breadth and duration are particularly troubling,” he said.

The commission’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau will investigate the cause and impact of the outage, he said.

The Monroe, Louisiana-based telecommunications giant is one of the largest in the U.S. It offers communications and information technology services in dozens of states. Customers from New York to California reported outages.

CenturyLink spokeswoman Debra Peterson said the outage “is not related to hacking,” but she declined further comment.

CenturyLink said on Twitter it’s working to restore service and appears to be making progress. The company hasn’t provided a cause for the problems.

“Where CenturyLink is the 911 service provider 911 calls are completing,” the company said in a tweet.

Regulators in Washington state also said they’re opening an investigation into an outage of its statewide 911 service.

The state Utilities and Transportation Commission said interruptions began about 8:30 p.m. Thursday. The commission’s regulatory services division director, Mark Vasconi, said the system appeared stable Friday but the agency was monitoring it for disruptions.

In Idaho, Emergency Office Management Director Brad Richy said he didn’t receive any reports of 911 service failures, but some state agencies, including the Idaho Department of Correction, lost service on internet-based phones.

Some businesses in Idaho also lost the ability to make credit card sales, and some ATM machines weren’t working in Idaho and Montana.

Due to sporadic 911 outages in Massachusetts, public safety officials recommended individuals looking for emergency help use the 10-digit telephone number of the fire or police departments they wanted to contact.

In Greeley, Colorado, the Weld County Regional Communication Center on Friday said 911 calls were being dropped, but callers should keep trying and emergency dispatchers would attempt to call back.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • Carpe Diem December 28, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    My service was intermittent at times yesterday, but ok today.

  • utahdiablo December 29, 2018 at 11:48 am

    Service here in Washington Utah was intermittent for the last two days, even Coral Cliffs Cinema credit card readers were down all day Thursday with countless customers being turned away who didn’t have the $ Cash on hand to pay for their families ( like $50 for tickets and Popcorn and drinks? )….No excuse for this to happen Centurylink….get it fixed for good

  • Carpe Diem December 29, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    On another note, they keep screwing up my bill. Went for something like $55 a month “for life” for 80 mb.

    Well, it’s been 3 pay cycles, two long phone calls, just got autopay hit for $80 again. And… they arent open today. Going to look at options.

    • Comment December 29, 2018 at 8:05 pm

      $55/mo for 80mb seems like a real good deal. Did you have to “bundle”?

    • Redbud December 29, 2018 at 10:17 pm

      Unfortunately there aren’t many choices for internet service in St George. I’ve had AWI’s wireless internet, centurylink, and TDS (formerly Baja), and TDS has been the most reliable by far. They have good deals if you’re a new customers, but then they raise the rates after the promotion ends. Despite that, I still keep them for the reliability, their speed is consistent, they have great download and upload speeds as well. You won’t find a major residential internet provider here that has 100% uptime. If TDS does had an outage, they are infrequent and very brief.

  • KR567 December 29, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    I always throw junk mail from them in the garbage

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.