UPDATE: Vendor blamed for 911 outage in 3 states

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Latest on Minnesota and telecommunication companies investigating the cause of a 911 service outage (all times local):

3:10 p.m.

Officials in Minnesota say a third-party vendor performing work on a 911 system caused a widespread service failure in Minnesota, and that the outage affected North Dakota and North Carolina too.

Several cities and counties scrambled to broadcast backup emergency phone numbers during the hour-long outage Wednesday afternoon. Telecommunications company CenturyLink, which operates 911 networks in the three states, said Thursday it's investigating the causes.

Dana Wahlberg, director of Minnesota's Emergency Communications Networks, says some callers were still able to reach emergency services during the interruption. The department is reviewing how many emergency centers were affected.

CenturyLink Spokesman Frank Tutalo says a third-party vendor's work affected service. He did not immediately return messages seeking comment on the vendor and the scope of the outage.


9:34 a.m.

Authorities and telecommunication officials are continuing to investigate what caused a widespread 911 service failure in Minnesota.

Twin Cities-area counties and cities scrambled to broadcast alternative emergency phone numbers through social media and other means during the hourlong outage Wednesday.

CenturyLink spokesman Frank Tutalo says that the company is investigating the outage. He did not immediately respond to messages Thursday seeking comment on how many agencies were affected and a timeline for the investigation.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says that the outage was resolved by 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

The Federal Communications Commission fined CenturyLink $16 million for a six-hour 911 outage in 2014 that affected 10 million people in Minnesota, Washington and North Carolina.

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