For six hours, nearly 750,000 California residents would not have been able to reach an emergency call center if they dialed 911 on their mobile phones.
Those six hours will cost Verizon $3.4 million.
A problem in a Verizon-run 911 system resulted in the outage, which affected nine counties in California. Verizon is required by law to report outages within 30 minutes of a problem, but officials didn't hear about the April outage until it was resolved.
After an investigation, the Federal Communications Commission reached a settlement with Verizon designed to improve 911-call-center reliability and the outage-reporting process. Verizon was also fined for the oversight.
According to the investigation, Verizon claims the outage was caused by a malfunction in a subcontractor's infrastructure. The subcontractor didn't notify Verizon until the outage was resolved, which is why Verizon didn't notify officials, the company said. But since Verizon is responsible for its contractors, it's on the hook for the fine and the conditions of the settlement.
"We take the safety of our customers and the service we provide to 911 centers and first responders very seriously," a Verizon spokesperson said in a statement. "We will continue to work with our partners to meet the standards our customers expect from Verizon."