Last night, 911's phone lines were down for 2 hours in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, adn Staten Island. 911 operators noticed a drop in calls and alerted other officials, who then scrambled to set up other plans. Police patroled areas, and just as the NYPD finished setting up alternate emergency numbers of their site, the 911 system went back up. Verizon says that they were upgrading their call-switching software, but the city (and all of its residents) is worried because the back-up system failed to work. The City also says that Verizon did not tell them they were upgrading the software. Information Technology and Telecommunications commissioner Gino Menchini said, "This particular change affected not only the incoming calls, but in essence disabled the backup system that Verizon has in place. [The changes] ffected 911 in an extremely problematic way for us." It's too soon to tell if any critical emergencies were not addressed due to the outage.
Make your contribution now and help Gothamist thrive in 2023. Donate today