Do you remember that winter super-storm that blanketed half the U.S. in snow and ice last month? Apparently, Verizon had over 10,000 dropped emergency calls during the chilling event, which for some people made it even more 'chilling'. This outage affected Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland.

The FCC found this to be "truly alarming", and has asked Verizon to investigate why it happened and how to prevent it in the future. One of the things that made it even more significant to the FCC was that the emergency services that missed these calls were not even made aware of the connectivity failure. Jamie Barnett, chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, had this to say, “We are particularly concerned that this problem may be widespread across Verizon’s footprint.”

Harry Mitchell, a Verizon spokesman, indicated in an e-mail that the outage was triggered by a “mass call event.” This is little comfort as further sources indicate that this is not a unique event for Verizon, and the FCC is considering remedial actions and monitoring systems to prevent it happening again. Kinda puts a new spin on the whole, "can you hear me now?" marketing doesn't it? ("not if it's snowing really really hard in Maryland!")

Mitchell added, “We have been addressing this issue directly with the counties involved, and will work cooperatively to address the FCC’s questions, as well." This is a big enough deal that It is obvious Verizon will scramble to fix this to try and prevent it from ever happening again.

Source: Engadget