COLIN LECHER / VERGE – On a June morning in Washington, William Leneweaver, the state’s E911 IT projects and operations manager, was alerted to a call. A man had been attempting to dial emergency responders, but he couldn’t get through. He was left listening to a “fast busy” — a pre-recorded tone.

Eventually, he made contact by borrowing someone else’s phone. The staff of the state’s Vancouver call center, where the call was received, began investigating what might have prevented the call from going through. They made test calls with Sprint phones, the same provider the man had. No 911 service. They had someone in another location make more calls. Same problem …

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