The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Need Help:
Don’t Call 911

Feb 21, 2011

A family home burned to the ground in Silver Spring, Maryland–a suburb of Washington, D.C. during the January 26th snowstorm. There was no power, wires were down and the landlines were down. The family had been frantically trying to call 911 on their Verizon cell phone. Neighbors were also trying to call on their cell phones. But to no avail. It took more than thirty minutes to get through to 911. Way too late.

Verizon blocked 10,000 calls to 911 that day in Montgomery and Prince Georges’ counties

What went wrong?

Verizon claims the outage was triggered by a “mass call event.” What? Isn’t 911 exactly for such emergencies? A snowstorm brought it down?

This was not the first time something like this happened. In July and December of 2010 and as recently as February 18th (last Friday), 911 calls routed over Verizon’s network were also dropped in the Washington, D.C. area.

Obviously, Verizon’s infrastructure is seriously lacking. Either they should deliver what they promise–or emergency service needs to be taken over and fully funded.

Verizon: Don’t tell us people must burn to death because you’re too busy making a profit.