Arizona utility regulator boss calls for investigation into 911 outages
PHOENIX – The official who oversees Arizona’s public utility regulators has asked for an investigation of service outages that prevented many rural customers from completing 911 calls.
Arizona Corporation Commission Chairwoman Lea Marquez Peterson said Wednesday in a letter to the agency’s compliance and enforcement division that Frontier Communications has had several outages of its phone and internet services when customers were trying to call 911.
These outages are egregious and unacceptable,” Marquez Peterson said in a press release. “They represent a clear risk to public health and safety.”
Frontier operates in Arizona as Frontier Communications of the White Mountains, Citizens Rural Company and Navajo Communications Company. Overall, there are “tens of thousands” of customers in the state, according to the letter, including in Bullhead City, Lake Havasu and several Native American communities.
Marquez Peterson said that data showed Frontier customers in 11 communities had experienced more than 130 hours of outages spread out over 19 incidents since April 2020.
Some service disruptions lasted for an hour, but others were as long as 35 hours, Marquez Peterson said.
The investigation request will be discussed at the commission’s Tuesday meeting.