Feds Sharply Criticize Verizon’s Response to Derecho Storm

WASHINGTON — Federal regulators have issued a sharply critical report on phone problems that followed a severe wind storm in the Washington-metro area last year.

The Federal Communications Commission says even now, it remains concerned about the maintenance and repair practices of Verizon Communications.

The FCC says stronger regulation is needed nationwide for telephone companies to prevent the widespread 911 outages that followed the June storm.

The report also says the storm, known as a derecho, had an even stronger impact that initially thought, with 77 emergency call centers in six states affected. Disruptions were especially problematic in northern Virginia and West Virginia. Regulators say a backup generator in Arlington County had not been tested since 2011 despite internal procedures requiring monthly testing.

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(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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