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PSHSB Announces Inquiry Into Washington State 911 Outage

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Released: May 16, 2014
PUBLIC NOTICE

Federal Communications Commission
445 12th St., S.W.

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

DA 14-676
Released: May 16, 2014

PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOMELAND SECURITY BUREAU ANNOUNCES INQUIRY INTO

CIRCUMSTANCES OF MAJOR 911 OUTAGE CENTERED IN WASHINGTON STATE

ON APRIL 9-10, 2014

PS Docket No. 14-72

Comment date: June 16, 2014
Reply date: June 30, 2014

On April 9-10, 2014, an extensive 911 outage occurred, centered in Washington state, but also
affecting large areas of Oregon and portions of California, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Florida, North
Carolina and South Carolina. Press reports and preliminary data submitted to the Federal
Communications Commission’s Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) indicate that in Washington
alone, over 4,500 911 calls to public safety answering points (“PSAPs” or 911 call centers) did not get
through during a six-hour period beginning just before midnight on April 9, 2014.1
Given the large area impacted by this outage, the interdependent communications infrastructure
spread across multiple states and providers, and the critical importance of dependable and resilient 911
service throughout the United States, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau) is
examining the causes, effects, and implications of this outage.2 To ensure that the Commission receives
all relevant information to permit a thorough and accurate analysis, the Bureau has opened a public
docket and invites interested parties to provide information concerning the causes, effects, and
implications of the outage. Parties obligated pursuant to Part 4 of the Commission’s rules to submit
outage information to NORS are not required to submit information to the public docket.

Procedural Matters

Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission’s rules, 47 CFR §§ 1.415, 1.419,
interested parties may file comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document.
Comments may be filed using the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). See
Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings
, 63 FR 24121 (1998).

1 See, e.g., Esser, Doug, Washington 911 Outage Leaves Woman Facing Intruder, THE REGISTER-GUARD (Eugene,
OR), April 11, 2014.
2 The Bureau also sought public comment in connection with its examination of the communications failures as a
result of the 2012 derecho storm. See, e.g., Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Seeks Comment On 9-1-1
Resiliency and Reliability In Wake of June 29, 2012, Derecho Storm In Central, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeastern
United States, Public Notice, 27 FCC Rcd 8131 (PSHSB 2012).


Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the
ECFS: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs

Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each
filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding,
filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number.
Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-
class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission’s
Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s Secretary
must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW, Room TW-A325,
Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries
must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be
disposed of before entering the building.

Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority
Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.

U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th
Street, SW, Washington DC 20554.
People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities
(Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (tty).
Parties wishing to file materials with a claim of confidentiality should follow the procedures set
forth in section 0.459 of the Commission's rules. Casual claims of confidentiality are not accepted.
Confidential submissions may not be filed via ECFS but rather should be filed with the Secretary's Office
following the procedures set forth in 47 C.F.R. § 0.459. Redacted versions of confidential submissions
may be filed via ECFS. Parties are advised that the Commission looks with disfavor on claims of
confidentiality for entire documents. When a claim of confidentiality is made, a public, redacted version
of the document should also be filed.
For further information, contact Michael Connelly, Cybersecurity and Communications
Reliability Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau at (202) 418-0132 or
michael.connelly@fcc.gov. News media contact: Rochelle Cohen, Public Safety and Homeland Security
Bureau at (202) 418-1162 or rochelle.cohen@fcc.gov.
The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau issues this Public Notice under delegated
authority pursuant to Sections 0.191 and 0.392 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.191, 0.392.
2

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