Arizona Man’s Death Blamed on Phone and Internet Outage


A rural Arizona man died Sunday after a phone and internet outage rendered his neighbors unable to call 911 or anyone else for help with his medical emergency, St. Johns police told The Arizona Republic. Two bystanders eventually chased down an ambulance, but the 74-year-old man died on the way to the hospital, police said. Service was unavailable for 48 hours in two counties for hundreds of thousands of people due to criminal activity involving equipment owned by the provider, Frontier Communications, St. Johns Police Chief Lance Spivey said. It’s the first time authorities have directly connected a death to the company’s outages. A previous investigation from the Arizona Corporation Commission found that there were 66 hours of disrupted 911 calls from April 2020 to April 2021, Spivey said. That investigation concluded in March, when the commission also decided that “Frontier … appeared not to be doing enough to prevent the outages.” The commission is currently investigating the weekend outage and would not comment on the case. “Public safety professionals in this region … take our profession very seriously and when we can’t do our job protecting basic human life or provide medical treatment appropriately, it’s shameful,” Spivey said.

Read it at The Arizona Republic