911 outage

WASHINGTON - 911 call services are back up and running after an outage that impacted nearly all of Washington state.

Many Washingtonians received an alert on their phones around 11:30 p.m. Thursday night notifying them of the issue.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is investigating the outage and calling it "unacceptable."

The 911 center in Yakima says the outage impacted the majority of the state.

"What I've seen on the list from the state is probably 36 of the 39 counties were impacted," said Brad Coughenour, manager at SunComm 911 Communications.

In Yakima County SunComm receives all the 911 calls, due to the outage a backup line was created, but that wasn't the only issue to solve.

SunComm had difficulty tracking calls and transferring them to the agency they corresponded.

"Yeah, we lost all of our tracking, and so we had to rely on making sure the person knew where they were versus if they didn't know where they were. Today when we're tracking you we can say, 'Hey do you see this, do you see that?" said Coughenour.

Coughenour also says the outage started around 2 p.m. on Thursday and lasted about 12 hours in Yakima County.

"Kittitas actually progressively went down before we did, so Kittitas dropped off, then we dropped off and then I know, because I said, 'Oh Benton County is still alive and they were reporting no everything is fine here,' then, Walla Walla dropped off, but Benton was alive, Franklin was okay, Grant County was okay, Grant County like I said stayed up, and then it kind of slowly progressed north and south around the state and came together," said Coughenour.

Many of these counties experienced the same issues as Yakima if not more.

Coughenour says 911 centers have received an answer regarding the massive outage.

"It was a basic card that was sending out bad data, but CenturyLink has not put out a press release," said Coughenour.

The FCC has launched an investigation against CenturyLink. Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman says, "When an emergency strikes, it's critical that Americans are able to use 911 to reach those who can help."

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