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911 Calls In Mass. Affected By CenturyLink Outage

Update: Massachusetts State Police confirmed Friday that the sporadic 911 outages across the state have been corrected. "Testing of the State 911 system confirms that our system is operational," according to the police statement. 

An outage at CenturyLink has affected 911 calling capability in various towns across Massachusetts, according to a statement from the Massachusetts State Police.

“We believe Massachusetts has been impacted by the outage and urge residents using cellular phones, if necessary, to contact emergency first-responders by using the full 10-digit number of a public safety answering point emergency call center (PSAP) or their local police department,” the statement said.

In an emergency, try to dial 911 first, police say.

But if you get a recording or busy signal, police say to call the 10-digit emergency number for your local police station, which you can find here.

If you cannot locate your police station's emergency phone number, call the State 911 Department at 508-872-2508, tell the dispatcher the exact location of the emergency and the dispatcher will transfer you to the correct police department.

Police are also urging residents to only call 911 in case of an emergency, and to not call 911 to test if it's working.

The Federal Communications Commission has launched an investigation into the outage. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai tweeted Friday that CenturyLink's service outage is "unacceptable."

"When an emergency strikes, it's critical that Americans are able to use 911 to reach those who can help," Pai said in a press release. "The CenturyLink service outage is therefore completely unacceptable, and its breadth and duration are particularly troubling."

According to CenturyLink's status page, the affected services went down at 12:18 p.m. EST on Thursday.

"Our teams are continuing their efforts to resolve these issues and we will continue to provide updates throughout the day," the internet company tweeted.

CenturyLink spokeswoman Debra Peterson said the outage is not related to hacking, the Associated Press reports.

Massachusetts State Police will send out additional updates as the outage continues.

Serena McMahon Twitter Digital Producer
Serena McMahon is a digital producer for Here & Now.

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