FairPoint takes over the reins of Vermont's E-911 system

FairPoint has officially assumed responsibility of running Vermont's E-911 network, taking over from Colorado-based Intrado.

In 2014, FairPoint signed a five-year, $11.2 million contract with the state and completed the transition on July 29.

Barbara Neal, Vermont's interim E-911 director, said in a Vermont Public Radio article that "things are going well" thus far and voice calls and text messages are going through.

Neal added that during the first week, FairPoint will take part in what she calls a "soak period" where all E-911 traffic would be routed through the telco's system. However, it will be able to fall back on Intrado's system if an issue comes up.

Vermont's E-911 system has seen its share of issues in recent years, including a six-hour outage during Thanksgiving weekend in 2014 that was caused by a FairPoint equipment failure. The Vermont Public Service Board is currently investigating that outage.

However, FairPoint is not the only telco to experience problems with its E-911 system. The FCC fined fellow telcos CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) for 911 outages.

CenturyLink was fined $16 million for a 911 outage that affected multiple states in its territory. According to the FCC, the April 2014 outage prevented more than 11 million people in seven states from being able to reach emergency call centers for over six hours. Additionally, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) had to pay the FCC a $3.4 million fine for not disclosing a 911 outage in March.

Regardless of the issues FairPoint has faced, its has been making progress in winning E-911 contracts. In addition to Vermont, the service provider won a $32 million contract to build its Emergency Services IP network (ESInet) 911 service for the state of Maine, one that serves over 1.3 million people. The telco will provide system and support to serve the state's 26 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), which answer all 911 calls in their local coverage areas.

E-911 contracts have become another key revenue stream for wireline operators. Besides FairPoint, AT&T (NYSE: T) and Frontier recently won E-911 agreements in New York State and Kansas.

For more:
- Vermont Public Radio has this article

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