Ranker pleased with UTC recommendations that CenturyLink pay up for communications blackout

August 20th, 2014|

Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, issued the statement below following the release of the staff report on the year-long investigation conducted by the Utilities and Transportation Commission and the staff recommendation that CenturyLink pay $170,000 in fines and $500,000 in infrastructure upgrades stemming from a 10-day service blackout to the San Juan Islands in Nov. 2013.

The full UTC press release can be viewed here.

“I’m very pleased with the strength of the UTC staff’s recommendations to what was a serious 10-day crisis on the San Juan Islands last November.

“Not only were the islands cut off from the rest of the world, first responders reported two significant medical incidents during the outage in which two elderly residents tried unsuccessfully to call for help.

“UTC staff found serious deficiencies both in CenturyLink’s response and their communication with the public. Hopefully today’s ruling will help ensure that stronger protections are created to prevent this from happening again.

“I’d also like to give credit to CenturyLink which did step up to credit customers impacted by the outage.

“Those were a trying 10 days for so many people last November. My hope is that today’s ruling will help make sure this never happens again.”