FCC launches investigation into CenturyLink outage

The Federal Communications Comission is investigating the CenturyLink outage that has affected 9-1-1 emergency service across the country.

A release from the FCC called the CenturyLink service outage “completely unacceptable,” adding that its breadth and duration are particularly troubling.” Many CenturyLink customers across the U.S. were without internet Thursday amid the lengthy outage that even affected some Verizon customers. The outage began early in the day but by late Thursday night, the company tweeted that its engineers had identified a “network element” that was affecting services and expected to fully restore services within hours.

Monroe, Louisiana-based CenturyLink didn’t provide details of the problem and it didn’t indicate how many customers were affected, though customers from New York to California reported outages.

The outage knocked out 9-1-1 emergency call services in parts of western Washington state.   Other areas of the country also experiencing 9-1-1 outages included parts of Idaho, Missouri, and Arizona.

The internet problems also caused the temporary shutdown of phone services at the Idaho Department of Correction and the state’s Department of Education. Some ATM machines weren’t working in Idaho and Montana.

Thousands of customers around the country, including Louisiana and Wyoming, were still experiencing outages Friday morning. Verizon said it had service interruptions in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and parts of Montana as a result of issues with CenturyLink. Verizon said CenturyLink helps handle wireless network data traffic for Verizon and other wireless providers. (Idaho Statesman, AP)