Emily Rice Published

W.Va. 911 Centers File Complaint Against Frontier Communications

Two emergency personnel rush past emergency vehicles.RFBSIP/AdobeStock

The West Virginia Public Service Commission was asked Wednesday to investigate a complaint against Frontier Communications that 10 emergency call centers were unable to field 911 calls for up to 10 hours during a three day period last month.

According to the complaint the WVE911 Council, the umbrella agency that operates 911 centers in the state, alleges that within the past 24 months, several Public-Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) within the state have experienced lengthy outages of 911 service.

The most recent outage was from Nov. 28 through Nov. 30 where Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Tyler, Doddridge, Ritchie, Harrison, Taylor and Mingo County residents were unable to call 911 for up to 10 hours.

Dean Meadows, executive director for the council, filed the complaint and said the telephone provider has inadequate backup to ensure telephone service to many centers when telephone lines are subject to vandalism or bad weather.

Meadows’ complaint asked the Commission to ensure that Frontier provides proper backup services so “no resident will ever lose the ability to call 911 for emergency assistance.”

“We’re really at our wit’s end about what ought to be done,” Meadows said in a press release.