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UPDATE: Multi-state 911 service outage resolved, FCC investigating

Nebraska one of three states affected by Wednesday night outage
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Posted at 10:42 PM, Apr 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-19 20:06:04-04

UPDATE: 1:30 p.m. Thursday

The 911 outage experienced in Douglas County Wednesday night was part of a larger outage affecting multiple states. Douglas County Communications Director Leia Baez said that Lumen Technologies notified the county at 1:42 a.m. Thursday that the service was restored, though minor issues were still experienced until being completely resolved around 4 a.m.

Lumen also told Douglas County that there was a "fiber cut" but the location where that damage occurred was not shared with the county.

However, KMTV reporter Molly Hudson confirmed with Lumen Thursday, that the outage resulted from a different company cutting a fiber line in Kansas City, Missouri, when they were installing a light pole there.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press is reporting that the line was cut in Kansas City, but no 911 services were disrupted there. In addition to Nebraska, Nevada and South Dakota were affected.

Kyle Kramer, the technical manager for the Douglas County 911 Center says this outage affected multiple phone service providers and prevented callers from connecting with the 911 center, something he says it beyond the county's control.

"Right now I am a bit concerned that we are seeing a lack of redundancy in some areas and I don't know if there is a solution to that," Kramer said.

This isn't the first time an outage has happened, in fact KMTV has reported on three other outages since August.

When outages like this happen, what is the back up?

Kramer says each phone carrier is responsible for getting the calls to 911.

"Until those calls actually reach the 911 system there is no control by the local 911 centers or by the state or anyone else, to get those calls to a 911 center," Kramer said.

Reporter Molly Hudson asked Lumen for an interview to talk about this issue, the company sent a statement explaining what happened.

Omaha-area senator John Fredrickson says he is willing to do whatever it takes to address this on-going issue.

"I am open to further legislation, if we need to bring the hammer down a bit more, because again this has become a pattern, this is something that we are, it's incumbent on us as a legislature to keep Nebraskans safe," Fredrickson said.

Until something changes, Kramer suggests everyone in Douglas County put this number in their phones 402- 444- 5802, in cases where 911 is not working.

The Federal Communications Commission released a statement on the outages from Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and said, “When you call 911 in an emergency, it is vital that call goes through. The FCC has already begun investigating the 911 multi-state outages that occurred last night to get to the bottom of the cause and impact.”


Nebraska is experiencing statewide partial outages of 911 services due to issues with Lumen and CenturyLink.

We confirmed with a Douglas County official that the outage is also being experienced in this county. Callers experiencing the outage will hear a fast busy signal after dialing 911.

If you are in need of emergency assistance and experience this busy signal, hang up and call 402-444-5802 in order to reach a Douglas County dispatcher.

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