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PSC Closes 911 Windstream Investigation

Nebraska Public Service Commission

The Nebraska Public Service Commission has issued an Order (911- 076/PI-249) closing its investigation into three separate 911 outages involving Windstream and opening a new department complaint (911-078/DC-104/C-5596) against the telecommunications carrier.

“Through our investigation we have determined that violations of Commission regulations may have occurred,” said Commission Chair Dan Watermeier. “The complaint, provides the Commission the ability to hold the carrier accountable through punitive actions.”

The investigation involved three separate Windstream service disruptions which occurred on September 2 & 3, November 28, 2023, and January 13, 2024.  As a part of its investigation the Commission conducted data requests, held a public hearing, and sought analysis from an outside expert on network infrastructure specifically in the area of 911 network requirements. The process led the Commission to determine there is sufficient information to consider whether violations of 291 Neb. Admin. Code §§ 5-002.02D, 5-002.03A have occurred.

“Our investigation confirmed that during the outages the ESInet and Core Services which are key components of the Next Generation 911 system remained fully functional,” said Dave Sankey, PSC 911 Department Director. “It was the ability of the carrier to deliver the calls to the interconnection
points that was impacted.”

The department complaint process allows the Commission the opportunity to asserts its authority under Nebraska law to issue punitive sanctions which may include assessing administrative fines for violation of Commission regulations. A hearing date on the Windstream complaint has been
scheduled for August 27 & 28.

Commissioner Watermeier said, “The Commission and the public must have accountability from our telecommunications carriers in providing a redundant system capable of delivering 911 calls no matter the situation.”