The FCC and CenturyLink settled an investigation into whether the telecom violated the Commission’s rules in connection with a multi state outage in December 2018. As part of a Consent Decree, CenturyLink agreed to admit guilt and pay a $500,000 civil penalty. In exchange, the Enforcement Bureau agreed to drop the case and not pursue a hearing questioning CenturyLink’s qualifications as an FCC licensee.
The case began on the morning of December 27, 2018, when CenturyLink experienced a widespread multi state outage on one of its transport networks that lasted for almost 37 hours. The outage was caused by a combination of an equipment failure and a network configuration error, according to the agency and the carrier.
The outage affected carriers, business customers, and consumers who directly or indirectly relied on CenturyLink’s transport services, which route communications traffic from various providers to locations across the county.
The outage disrupted phone service, including 911 calls. In 2019, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau determined that, due to the outage, CenturyLink could not deliver eleven 911 calls that had been forwarded to secondary Public Safety Answering Points that it serves as a covered 911 service provider in Arizona.
CenturyLink agreed to make the payment within 30 days.