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DEVELOPING — Arlington County Experiencing 911 Problems

Arlington County issued the following alert this morning:

Arlington County is currently experiencing intermittent problems with the 9-1-1 system. If you call 9-1-1 and can’t get through, immediately call 703-741-3035.

A supervisor at the county’s Emergency Communications Center said she was not sure when 911 service would be back to normal.

Update at 12:25 p.m. — “This is a Verizon issue,” said Debbie Powers, Deputy Coordinator for the Arlington’s Office of Emergency Management. “It’s a regional issue and it’s intermittent.”

Update at 1:35 p.m. — Verizon tells Arlington’s Office of Emergency Management that the 911 system is now functioning normally, according to OEM’s Brian Geraci.

Update at 3:10 p.m. — Verizon spokesman Harry J. Mitchell says that the outage, which affected cell phone calls to 911, was due to a faulty piece of equipment at the company’s Fairfax switching center.

At this point it appears that a Verizon service issue starting around 9:10 a.m. affected customers primarily in Arlington and Fairfax counties. It appears that a faulty piece of equipment in Verizon’s Fairfax switching center caused the service issue.

Calls to 911 from Internet-based phones and landline phones served by the Arlington and Fairfax 911 centers were automatically redirected to these 911 centers via an alternate path in the Verizon network. The equipment failure, however, may have intermittently affected wireless calls to 911 in Arlington and Fairfax counties. This is still under investigation.

The faulty equipment was restored to normal operation around 11:30 a.m., and we continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure the issue is completely resolved.

This issue is unrelated to the 911 issues triggered by storm-related mass call events earlier this year.

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