Verizon Issues Report on Derecho-Induced 9-1-1 Outage
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Posted by: Chris Nussman
Note: NENA is actively monitoring all investigations, reports, and proceedings regarding the 9-1-1 disruption caused by the derecho storm of June 29, 2012. The association will issue a full, formal statement once more information is available. Click here to read NENA's brief statement on regarding the FCC's derecho inquiry.
Click here for the Washington Post article on Verizon's derecho report.
Click here to read the Verizon report (introduction excerpted below).
Late in the evening of Friday June 29, 2012, a severe storm hit the Mid-Atlantic region with unusually intense straight-line winds. This "Derecho” caused widespread commercial power outages in the Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland area, and widespread damage to Verizon’s networks. Indeed, the Derecho downed more poles and generated more commercial trouble tickets for Verizon than Hurricane Irene. External power failures affected more than 100 Verizon locations. At each of these locations, batteries and nearly all the back-up generators worked as designed, allowing us to continue service. However, at two of these locations, generators failed to start, disabling hundreds of network transport systems, and causing Verizon to lose much of its visibility into its network in the impacted area.
Verizon designs its network to provide 911 services even during disasters. As explained further below, our 911 network designs include multiple levels of diversity and redundancy, as well as back-up power in critical facilities, to optimize resiliency during a crisis. Nevertheless, generator failures caused a temporary loss of 911 service to four of the more than two hundred 911 centers (referred to as Public Safety Answering Points, or PSAPs) that Verizon serves across the storm’s path. As a result, three PSAPs (Fairfax County, Prince William County, and Manassas) did not receive 911 calls for several hours Saturday, June 30, and another (Manassas Park) did not receive 911 calls for much of that weekend. In addition, a number of area PSAPs (including those four) faced other 911-related problems, consisting primarily of a lack of delivery of location information on 911 calls and the loss of administrative and back-up phonelines. This document describes Verizon’s final analysis of what happened and identifies important corrective actions to minimize the risk of future problems.