CADDO COUNTY, Okla. – An Oklahoma telephone company was fined 100,000 dollars for sending 911 calls to an automated message.
According to a recent FCC notice, for several months in 2013, the Hinton Telephone Company routed 911 calls from Caddo County to an automated AT&T operator message which instructed callers to “hang up and dial 911” if their call was an emergency.
The FCC notice states the telephone company continued to allow 911 calls to be routed to the automated message for three months after the company discovered the problem.
The company failed to fix the mistake until they were contacted by FCC investigators and directed to do so.
According to Gizmodo, the phone company claims the issue stems from the fact the Caddo County Sheriff’s office declined to accept 911 calls in 2002 due to lack of personnel and resources.
The Hinton Telephone Company claims the only feasible means of routing 911 calls was to direct such calls to a live AT&T operator for connection to a list of county emergency offices.
The company claims they received no notice from AT&T that they switched from a live operator to an automated operator message.
The FCC fined the Hinton Telephone Company for 100,000 dollars for repeatedly failing to transmit 911 calls adequately.