McLean Co. 911 Upset With Phone Company Over Disruptions | WGLT

McLean Co. 911 Upset With Phone Company Over Disruptions

Dec 19, 2019

The head of emergency communications in McLean County said he's fed up with the phone company that has twice encountered long disruptions in service this year.

The county’s emergency communications coordinator Tony Cannon told the McLean County Board this week Frontier Communications had to re-route 911 calls to the county's non-emergency lines for parts of two days last week because static made calls nearly inaudible.

The non-emergency lines are unable to trace a caller’s location.

He said 911 had a similar problem with Frontier during a day-and-a-half long service disruption in May.

“We let Frontier know we were extremely unhappy with the service they were providing us,” Cannon told the board. “One of the things that I requested and did not receive for a week and a half was an after action report that I could present to everyone as to what happened. They had trouble grasping the idea of an after action report.”

Cannon said he's planning to recommend the county switch phone companies next month, though he declined to name the company.

“I found a new term, I’m going to jettison Frontier, or at least I am going to propose to the ETSB (Emergency Telephone Systems Board) that we do that.”

A Frontier spokesperson said the company’s teams of technicians “worked continually throughout the night and into the next day” to resolve a “complex issue.”

“Frontier is dedicated to safety and takes seriously its commitment to the communities we serve,” Frontier vice president of corporate communications and external affairs Javier Mendoza said. “Service interruptions to emergency services can occur and we will apply learning from this situation to enhance our process. We thank our customers for their patience as we worked to respond and restore services."

Cannon said he doesn’t believe 911 missed any emergency calls during the disruptions. 

He suggested he believes Frontier is looking to get out of the 911 business, a charge the company denies.

“Frontier remains a committed partner in delivering public safety solutions and supporting 911 in all states,” Mendoza said.

Cannon said a state of Illinois 911 surcharge funds the Frontier service.

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