Light Pole Installation Caused Multi-State 911 Outage

Emergency 911 call on smartphone, mobile phone, close up

Photo: Milovan Zrnic / iStock / Getty Images

Emergency call system service provider Lumen explained the cause of a multi-state 911 outage on Wednesday (April 17). The company said that a third party installing a light pole "physically cut our fiber," causing 911 services to stop working in all of South Dakota, along with parts of Nebraska and Nevada.

"Some customers in Nevada, South Dakota, and Nebraska experienced an outage due to a third-party company installing a light pole—unrelated to our services," a company spokesperson told ABC News. We restored all services in approximately two and a half hours. Our techs identified the issue and worked hard to fix it as quickly as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate our customers' patience and understanding."

The Federal Communications Commission said it has launched an investigation into the 911 outage.

"When you call 911 in an emergency, it is vital that the call goes through. The FCC has already begun investigating the 911 multi-state outages that occurred last night to get to the bottom of the cause and impact," FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said.

There was also a disruption in 911 services in Texas. However, Lumen said it does provide emergency call services in the state. That issue was reportedly caused by a problem with a "major cellular carrier."

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