CenturyLink suffers major network outage, taking down 911 services throughout the US

James Marshall
December 29, 2018

The company said about 8 p.m. Thursday that it expected to expected to have all services "fully restored within 4 hours".

The outage also cut off internet service for CenturyLink customers in some cities, including Denver, Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago, CNN affiliate KOMO in Seattle reported.

Linda Johnson of CenturyLink corporate communications emailed The World-Herald on Thursday evening to say the company's technical teams would continue their work until service is restored.

CenturyLink didn't provide details of the problem and it didn't indicate how many customers were affected. A media representative was not available for comment. The company is working to resolve the problem, and service has been restored in some areas, such as MA.

The head of the Federal Communications Commission said he has directed the FCC's public safety staff to launch an investigation into the nationwide outage. The late-night response to the Portland outage was especially jarring for some, considering they received loud, late-night mobile phone messages explaining that their 911 services were out.

According to CenturyLink, 911 has been unavailable in Arizona, Idaho, Massachusetts, Missouri and western Washington.

Idaho Emergency Office Management Director Brad Richy says he didn't receive any reports of 911 service failures, but some state offices lost phone service.

"Its breadth and duration are particularly troubling", he said. Dispatchers in Pittsfield said they were unaware of anyone who had been been unable to call for emergency services during that time. The company said the mysterious "network element" issue impacted service at 15 of its data centers, across both Europe and North America.

In addition to disrupting 911 services, the CenturyLink outage also caused outages of Verizon network services in at least two states, New Mexico and Montana.

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