The Washington Post

Verizon 911 service hearing delayed amid strike

Update: The state has obliged Verizon, postponing the hearing until Sept. 27 at 1 p.m.

Original post: Verizon has asked Maryland utility regulators to delay a Thursday hearing on problems with its 911 service in Maryland because of an ongoing strike by two of its unions.

“The witnesses that Verizon plans to present at the hearing are currently working in increased managerial roles to work through issues occurring at the onset of the strike, including acts of apparent sabotage, to best serve customers,” Verizon Maryland attorney James L. Shea of Venable wrote to the Maryland Public Service Commission.

More than 45,000 Verizon employees belonging to the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers workers went on strike August 6 over issues including benefits. Shea asked the commission to delay the hearing until late September, or to the week of August 29.

Verizon is supposed to appear August 18 before the public service commission to explain why dozens of calls from wireless phones and IP networks came into Maryland 911 call centers without caller ID or location information. The commission was already looking into Verizon’s public safety service following thousands of dropped wireless 911 calls during a snowstorm in January.

In its request for the delay, Verizon filed testimony from three high-level employees explaining what led to the problem on May 30. You can read Verizon’s full document submission here.

Verizon’s request is under consideration, commission spokeswoman Regina L. Davis said.

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