In the aftermath of the Christmas Day bombing, dozens of 911 call centers lost service in Tennessee. And as more details emerge about what went wrong, members of Tennessee’s Emergency Communications Board are anticipating policy changes.
Members said Wednesday that AT&T acted swiftly to get service back online. But some are frustrated, because they recall the company telling them not to worry about such an outage in the first place.
“I really do wish I had a way-back machine to recall a conversation that I had with AT&T,” said board member Greg Cothron.
He said he raised concerns about the data center’s location — in the middle of downtown Nashville — and its vulnerabilities. But he’d been assured that system redundancies were in place.
“I thought I was told that it would switch like that. And I don’t know if I just have a faulty memory or not, but that’s the one burr under my saddle right now,” Cothron said.
Board Vice Chairman Steve Martini agreed.
“You’re absolutely right,” he said. “I had that same expectation as you did that implementing our alternate route plan would keep us in the clear for 911 statewide.”
Martini and the board’s executive director, Curtis Sutton, will be spearheading the effort to gather more information from AT&T. A letter from the company was read aloud during the meeting.
Board leadership will deliver an after-action report that members say is likely to shape new policies, although those have not been identified.
Metro Council may launch special review
Nashville’s Metro Council, meanwhile, has moved a step closer to creating its own special committee to investigate the bombing.
The proposal is to create a nine-person committee to hold hearings and talk to experts. The group would have a year to complete a report.
A final vote could take place later this month.