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Minnesota 911 outage blamed on human error

Hundreds of calls failed to go through on August 1.

Posted: Aug. 15, 2018 2:20 PM
Updated: Aug. 15, 2018 2:24 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says human error was to blame for a 911 outage that hit the state on August 1.

CenturyLink, the state’s 911 service provider, says it was a mistake by an employee of West Safety Services while making a network configuration change that knocked out 911 service in Minnesota, North Carolina, and North Dakota for a little over an hour. CenturyLink says 693 911 calls in Minnesota failed to go through during that time.

CenturyLink says West Safety Services has agreed to stop work on its network through the end of August while it reviews the reason for the outage. The company says they are also looking into changing processes and procedures along with enhancing software and safety mechanisms to prevent future errors from occurring.

“We are committed to holding all service providers and their vendors accountable for any failures of the system,” said Minnesota’s Emergency Communication Networks Director Dana Wahlberg. “We will continue to work towards providing dependable, state-of-the-art 911 services for all Minnesotans in an emergency.”

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