CenturyLink: 4,500 calls failed during 911 outage

A 911 dispatch call center, April 10, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
A 911 dispatch call center, April 10, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

SEATTLE (AP) – CenturyLink says about 4,500 calls failed to get through during a six-hour Washington state 911 outage early last Thursday.

The telecommunications company said Monday that the outage was caused by a technical error in a third-party vendor’s call router, which prevented the system from properly processing calls. The company says the problem did not involve the computer bug known as “Heartbleed.”

In a statement, the company says it and the vendor, Intrado, “have taken steps to implement an enhanced monitoring process and have addressed the router issue.”

Senior Director of Corporate Communications at Intrado Ray Wendell said Intrado is taking the service disruption very seriously.

“Intrado has partnered with CenturyLink in the State of Washington for nearly 20 years to provide 911 services. Public and personal safety are at the heart of Intrado’s business, and we take any service disruption very seriously,” said Wendell. “The service disruption on April 10 was caused by an isolated system issue that was promptly resolved after root cause identification. The system is stable and continues to process 911 calls normally.”

CenturyLink Northwest Region President Brian Stading said he’s confident that “the 911 system is fully operational and stable.”

A similar outage in parts of northwest Oregon lasted more than two hours early Thursday. CenturyLink said that was caused by a maintenance issue.

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