As promised by FCC Chairman Pai, an FCC T-Mobile network outage investigation is underway. The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau announced it’s seeking public comment on the effects of T-Mobile’s June 15th network outage.
T-Mobile reported the outage was caused by a leased fiber circuit failure in the Southeast. Redundancy for that circuit also apparently failed, or maybe didn’t exist. The failed circuit caused an overload of IP traffic on T-Mobile’s IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) core network, the carrier reported.
That overload impacted Voice over LTE (VoLTE) traffic, disrupting voice and texting capabilities, and apparently may have impacted 911 calling too.
@TMobile reported a network outage in the area affecting voice and data. There may be an issue with the ability to make or receive any calls including 9-1-1 from @TMobile . Use a landline or other device to contact 9-1-1. #hounews @HCSOTexas @ReadyHarris @FBCSO
— GHC 9-1-1 Emergency (@GHC911) June 15, 2020
FCC Chairman Pai immediately called for an FCC investigation of the outage. One of the first steps in the investigation is to seek public comment.
FCC T-Mobile Network Outage Investigation
The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau is seeking comments on both the impact of the outage on public safety and on individual consumers and businesses.
“The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau) is conducting an investigation into this outage given the large area affected and the critical importance of dependable and resilient 911 service throughout the United States,” an FCC public notice states. “To permit a thorough and accurate analysis of this outage, the Bureau has opened a public docket and invites interested parties to provide all relevant information concerning the causes, effects, and implications of this outage.”
T-Mobile’s high profile outage gave the carrier a bit of a ‘black eye,’ considering the company often highlights its technology and coverage as superior.
“Every day we see the vital role technology plays in keeping us connected, and we know T-Mobile customers rely on our network to ensure they have connections with family, loved ones and service providers,” noted Neville Ray, T-Mobile President of Technology, in a blog post explaining the outage. “This is a responsibility my team takes very seriously and is our highest priority. Yesterday, we didn’t meet our own bar for excellence.”