CenturyLink Communications (911 Outage Complaint), Docket UT-181051


The commission is currently evaluating a complaint and recommended penalty assessment against CenturyLink Communications for a 2018 911 outage. In an investigation report, UTC staff alleged 72,015 violations of state laws and rules, recommending a total penalty of up to $7.2 million.

The three-member commission is not bound by staff's recommendation. 

At the time of the outage, CenturyLink was the 911 service provider for Washington state.

Docket Numbers

The commission tracks all documents including work papers, notices, public comments, and official orders through dockets. For this case, the docket number is UT-181051.

Public Comments

Customers can submit comments about the case:

  • online;

  • by mail to P.O. Box 47250, Olympia, WA, 98504;

  • by email comments@utc.wa.gov; or

  • by calling toll-free 1-888-333-9882.

Procedural History

  • Complaint filed Dec. 22, 2020: The commission filed a Complaint against CenturyLink Communications, LLC, alleging violations of RCW 80.36.080, RCW 80.36.220, WAC 480-120-412, and WAC 480-120-450(1).

  • Prehearing Conference Notice Jan. 20, 2021: The commission issued a Notice scheduling a prehearing conference for Feb. 9, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.

  • Prehearing Conference Order Feb. 24, 2021: The commission issued Order 01. The prehearing conference order set the procedural schedule, including an evidentiary hearing on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, at 9 a.m. and may continue on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022 as needed. Also on Feb. 24, 2021, the commission issued Order 02, a standard protective order.

  • Order 03 Aug. 9, 2021: The commission issued Order 03 in response to CenturyLink's July 9, 2021, motion for third party discovery, TSYS's July 20, 2021 petition to intervene, and Staff's July 27, 2021 motion to suspend the procedural schedule. A proposed revised procedural schedule is due by Aug. 20, 2021.

  • Revised Procedural Schedule Notice Aug. 27, 2021: The commission issued a Notice revising the procedural schedule and setting date and time for an evidentiary hearing on Aug. 10, 2022 at 9 a.m. The hearing will continue on Aug. 11, 2022 as needed.

  • Request to modify procedural schedule May 5, 2022: UTC staff requested to modify the procedural schedule. No other party opposed the request. 

  • Revised Procedural Schedule Notice May 17, 2022: The commission issued a Notice revising the procedural schedule. A virtual evidentiary hearing is now set for Dec.5-6, 2022, at 9 a.m. Participate online. Or, join by phone at 253- 215 8782, using conference ID: 825 8055 8558#, Passcode: 767307#.

  • Final Order June 9, 2023: The commission issued Final Order 08, which imposed penalties of $1,315,000 for violations of RCW 80.36.080 and WAC 480-120-412(2).

  • Order 09 June 22, 2023: The commission issued Order 09 in response to a Petition to Stay Effectiveness of Final Order. Order 09 granted stay of effectiveness and set a deadline for responses to Petition for Reconsideration by CenturyLink and Petition for Reconsideration by Public Counsel.