Uh oh – 911 calls weren't going through Wednesday, FCC investigates why

Some emergency officials say this is an example why America's 911 centers need a technology upgrade.
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Hopefully you didn't have to call 911 Wednesday, because a lot of calls weren't going through.

The Federal Communications Commission released a statement Thursday explaining there was an outage Wednesday evening that affected AT&T users across the U.S.

That's a pretty scary thing if you're already in the middle of an emergency and can't get help.

"Every call to 911 must go through,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement. "So when I first learned of yesterday’s outage, I immediately directed FCC staff to contact AT&T about it and the company’s efforts to restore access to emergency services to the American public."

AT&T tweeted at around 8:50 p.m. that it was aware of the issues. The company tweeted again at 9:30 to say everything had been resolved.

Currently, there's no information on the number of calls this affected. However, 240 million 911 calls are made every year in the U.S. That'd be more than 27,000 an hour – granted those aren't all AT&T customers, but you get the idea. Basically, an hour outage affects a lot of people.

That's why the FCC is taking this seriously and investigating.

"Access to 911 emergency services is essential for all Americans, especially the most vulnerable," said Lisa Fowlkes with the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. "We will fully investigate this outage and determine the root cause and its impact."

The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) says if you ever run into an issue and 911 isn't available – smaller outages do happen – you should call your local police or sheriff's department.

NENA adds that this is an example why America's 911 centers need a technology upgrade.

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