Verizon Continues to Make Solid Progress in Strengthening 911 Service, Aggressively Addressing Issues in Virginia After 2012 Derecho

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RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) staff today (Jan. 17) issued its final findings and recommendations in an investigation (case number PUC-2012-00042) of issues associated with 911 service in Virginia after the June 2012 derecho.  The following statement should be attributed to Kyle Malady, Verizon senior vice president-global network operations and engineering.

“Verizon plays a critical role in handling an average of nearly 480,000 calls each day from people in distress to public safety 911 centers across our service area. 

“From the outset and as the staff’s report notes, Verizon has worked hard to identify and resolve post-derecho 911 issues and other areas for improvement. We have made solid progress on a number of fronts – progress that was borne out in our solid performance during and after Hurricane Sandy.

“For example:

“We’ve resolved the issues that caused the generator failures in our Arlington and Fairfax offices and spurred 911 service issues in the wake of the June derecho.

  • “We voluntarily initiated and have completed backup power system audits of all critical Verizon 911 facilities in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., and we are resolving issues as needed.
  • “We’ve improved our procedures to identify power issues and get backup generators on line more quickly in crises.
  • “We’re decentralizing and diversifying our network monitoring system so that the loss of any single location has less of a critical impact on our overall monitoring capability.
  • “We’ve improved communications with 911 center directors and other government officials during emergencies.  We have adopted the five recommendations made by northern Virginia 911 center directors, and we’re working with the public safety community to implement these recommendations.
  • “We’re applying lessons learned from our derecho investigation throughout our service area.

“Verizon’s infrastructure provides Virginians with strong, reliable communications services.  Our network consistently performs well above commission thresholds, and complaint data provided by the SCC staff show that wireline customer out-of-service complaints in 2012 were the lowest in at least seven years – 59 percent lower than 2011.

“We will closely review the SCC staff’s findings and recommendations.  And we will continue to work daily to improve our network's resiliency, apply lessons learned and collaborate with the public safety community – as well as with local, state and federal government officials.  Our goal is to ensure that citizens receive the very best 911 service possible.”

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