The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a financial forfeiture of $100,000 against an Oklahoma local telephone exchange carrier for failing to properly route 911 emergency calls.
According to a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture issued in August 2014, Hinton Telephone Company routed 911 calls originating from Caddo County, Oklahoma to an automated AT&T operator message for several months during 2013. That message instructed callers to “hang up and dial 911” in the event of an emergency. The FCC says that the company continued to allow emergency calls to be routed to the automated message, even after discovering the problem, for a period of three months. The problem was only addressed when the company was contacted by FCC investigators.
The FCC has cited Hinton for apparent willful and repeated violations of FCC rules that required carriers to use reasonable judgment when routing emergency calls to an automated operator message.