Emergency Services Shut Down in Multiple States

(WatchDogReport.org) – Emergency call service has reportedly been restored in four states that suffered from outages of their 911 emergency call lines. Areas affected experienced issues on April 17 before access was restored early in the morning on April 18. The whole of South Dakota experienced problems with connecting to the 911 call line, as well as some areas of Nebraska, Nevada, and Texas. At one point, reports suggested that as many as eight states were having difficulties connecting to the service, mentioning Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, and Wisconsin.

Earlier in 2024, AT&T suffered from a widespread outage, with the FirstNet emergency services network going offline. AT&T released a statement saying it was experiencing no issues during the recent outages.

Law enforcement turned to social media on April 17 to inform residents that the 911 call line was experiencing outages. Nebraska officials announced that the 911 service was experiencing a “partial statewide outage.” The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department posted on X that they knew about the nationwide issue. They clarified that their 911 was currently functional and said they would monitor its availability.

In South Dakota, the Rapid City Police Department also took to X to announce that landline 911 services were down across the state, advising the public to call them on a mobile device. Lumen, the 911 service provider, blamed the outage on a third party installing a light pole. Workers installing the line in Missouri reportedly cut into a Lumen Technologies fiber line. The issues experienced in Texas are unrelated, according to Del Reio city spokesman Peter Ojeda, who stated that the outage involved a cellular carrier rather than Del Rio’s 911 system. Lumen does not provide the 911 service in Texas.

Federal officials have been investigating the outage. National Emergency Number Association CEO Brian Fontes stressed that it highlights the need for Congress to fund updates to vital telecommunications services. Fontes stated that the current environment worsens the threat of connectivity. He urged Congress to invest in an updated system to better deal with cyberattacks and disasters.

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