Minnesota believes 911 outage was longer than CenturyLink claims

Minnesota officials believe Monday’s multi-state 911 outage was longer than CenturyLink, the state’s contracted 911 service provider, claims. 

Minnesota was among several states that reported a disruption to its 911 network Monday night. Police departments began to notify residents of the outage around 6:30 p.m. 

The state Department of Public Safety Emergency Communication Networks Division says it is currently conducting its own investigation into the extent and reason behind the outage. 

According to DPS, CenturyLink’s preliminary review of the outage found 135 calls to 24 Minnesota public safety answering points failed to be routed during what they claim was a 48-minute disruption in to the state’s 911 network. However, DPS says based on its own preliminary review, the outage was likely longer and affected more than 135 calls. 

The reason for the 911 outage is still under investigation, but CenturyLink says the problem originated on a partnering vendor’s platform when an internal networking component failed to correctly forward traffic, according to DPS. 

The 911 outage also affected Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah. 

 Nearly 700 calls were not received by 911 dispatch centers during a statewide emergency system outage earlier this month, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Emergency Communication Networks.

On Aug. 1, 2018, Minnesota experienced a statewide 911 outage for about one hour. In that incident, CenturyLink said a third party vendor caused the outage when an employee made a mistake while making a network configuration change. The error impacted 911 calls in Minnesota, North Carolina and North Dakota.