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Md. Regulators: 911 Outages May Lead To Penalties

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland’s utility regulator says Verizon might have violated state law when it failed to notify emergency call centers about network problems that prevented thousands of 911 calls from going through.

The problems occurred in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. The Maryland Public Service Commission found that four times since last July, large numbers of cell phone users got busy signals when they called 911.

The most high-profile incident was during the Jan. 26 snowstorm that stranded commuters for hours. That day, about 10,000 calls didn’t go through — 8,300 of them in Montgomery County.

The commission could fine Verizon up to $10,000 for each of the four outages. Verizon officials are scheduled to argue their case before the commission Tuesday. The company is the sole provider of 911 services in Maryland.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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