FCC slaps $1.2M penalty on Sprint for 911 service outage in 2014

FCC slaps $1.2M penalty on Sprint for 911 service outage in 2014

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has imposed a hefty $1.2 million penalty on wireless carrier Sprint for its 911 outage, which affected Sprints’ hard-of-hearing (HoH) users last year.

The 911 system is a captioned telephone service which essentially enables people to read captions when they make a call. As such, the service is an important component of the emergency calling process. The service is free HoH customers, due to federal subsidies.

About the 911 outage because of which the FCC has slapped the penalty on Sprint, The Hill has revealed in a report that the carrier failed to accept emergency calls made with the Internet captioning service during the period between March and September 2014.

Though the exact length of time of Sprint’s 911 service outage is not clear, the carrier was reportedly unable to accept 911 calls made by HoH customers for anywhere from five weeks to 10 months.

In reference to the fine imposed by the FCC on Sprint for the 911 service outage last year, Travis LeBlanc -- the chief of the FCC Enforcement Bureau -- said that the move “reaffirms our commitment to ensure that the hard of hearing community has essential 911 service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

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