The FCC is fining Sprint $1,175,000.00 USD, after the carrier failed to properly handle 911 calls from people with hearing difficulties. The wireless provider, along with the firms that provided the technology, had neglected the 'Captioned Telephone Service' for almost six months - leaving those needing the emergency services blocked from getting through.
To exacerbate the issue, Sprint continued to claim its FCC subsidy, designed to maintain the service and ensure the provision doesn't become a financial burden for the carrier networks. Although service outages are not illegal, failing to provide emergency call services creates a public safety issue, and can therefore justify financial reprimands from the FCC.
The chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau announced:
The settlement reaffirms our commitment to ensure that the hard of hearing community has essential 911 service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Not only are we fining these companies for failing to provide this vital service, but we are assuring that they provide it going forward.
A consent signed by the wireless network accepted the $1,175,000.00 fine, which will hopefully ensure future services are fully functioning 365 days a year. The issue would have affected anyone using the service between March and September in 2014.