Frontier could face state, federal investigation for recent California 911 outage

Frontier's network woes in California continue to rise as the telco is being taken to task by the Riverside County officials over a recent 911 service outage in Coachella Valley.

For nearly three hours, customers from Whitewater to Blythe could not reach 911 dispatchers on June 27, according to a report in The Desert Sun.

Frontier oversees the California region's 911 emergency system.

According to the Desert Sun, city officials said the 911 system sent out a false alarm that there was a system break. Although there was no break, the system went off line. As a result, Frontier technicians had to go out to Blythe and manually reset the system before it could be restored.

Frontier Communications manages the region's 911 emergency system.

City officials said the 911 system sent out the alarm that it usually sends when there's a break in the system. But it was a false alarm, and instead, the system shut down. Technicians had to go out to Blythe and reset the system manually before service could be restored.

"The system has built-in backup, but before we could restore one down connection, the second connection went out, both within 40 minutes," said Javier Mendoza, a Frontier spokesperson. "It is highly unusual to have both redundant links out of service."

Mendoza added that the cause of the outage was a piece of hardware that malfunctioned and a faulty connection.

Frontier may have solved the problem, but city officials have asked three state and federal agencies -- the California Public Utilities Commission, the state's Office of Emergency Management and the FCC -- to investigate the outage.

The 911 system it operates in California is not related to the assets Frontier acquired from Verizon (NYSE: VZ) in April.

However, the 911 outage is just one of several issues Frontier has been dealing with in California.

Customers in California faced a number of problems with their FiOS and landline voice services following Frontier's acquisition of the Verizon assets in April.

Frontier told regulators during a meeting with regulators in May that the outage and network issues its customers faced in California was due to corrupt data it received from Verizon after acquiring the telco's wireline assets in three states.

For more:
- The Desert Sun has this article

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