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T-Mobile will pay $17.5 million after outages knocked out 911 nationwide for 3 hours

T-Mobile has agree to a $17.5 million settlement with the FCC, after two related 911 outages knocked out emergency call services for a combined 3 hours.

The outages happened on August 8th of last year, according to the FCC, and affected almost 50 million T-Mobile subscribers nationwide. The agency found that T-Mobile did not properly notify officials of the outage, and that the carrier could have prevented the outage with proper safeguards. As part of the settlement, T-Mobile has also agreed to implement a new system to identify outages and more quickly recover from them.

"The safety of our customers is extremely important and we take the responsibility to provide reliable 911 service very seriously," T-Mobile said in a statement. "We have made significant changes and improvements across a number of our systems since last year, and we will continue working to improve these critical systems with our partners to provide the standard of service our customers rightly expect from T-Mobile."

As The Verge highlighted in a story last year, the FCC had declined to pursue action against wireless carriers for 911 outages in some time. But this year it seems to have changed: the agency is touting this settlement as "the fourth major enforcement action" this year related to 911 outages.

Update July 17th, 12:05PM ET: Updated to include a statement from T-Mobile on the settlement.