911 service has been restored across North Texas after an "intermittent" region-wide network outage that left as many as 1.6 million people without 911 service.
"The network is back up, however we will continue to monitor before making the decision to return to normal operations. 9-1-1 calls are still being manually routed to the ten digit non-emergency number," the North Central Texas Council of Governments wrote in a Facebook post.
Christy Williams, a spokesperson for the NCTCOG, which includes 15 counties, said in a 2:10 p.m. conference call that the outage was the result of a network failure, not an equipment failure. The outage was isolated to the North Texas network and was "not related to terrorism" or any threat to homeland security.
Anyone experiencing an emergency was urged to call the 10-digit number for their city or county until service was restored. Eventually, calls to 911 were being automatically rerouted to the nonemergency line.
Call-takers are not able to map calls, though, so callers needed to know their exact location.
Around 2:45 p.m., Johnson County Emergency Management was the first to announce that 911 service had been restored and fully functional. NCTCOG's announcement of restored service came less than 30 minutes later.
Williams called Wednesday's outage – the first of its kind in 27 years – "an unwelcome surprise" as the network has multiple failsafes in place to prevent such an occurrence from happening.
During the outage, WFAA collected alternate emergency numbers from official agencies across North Texas. During an outage, it's recommended to check online accounts for local police departments or government agencies for alternate numbers.