CenturyLink fined nearly $1M for disconnecting service during pandemic

Jul 7, 2023, 2:12 PM | Updated: 2:13 pm

CenturyLink fined...

CenturyLink has been fined by the Utilities and Transportation Commission for disconnecting customers during the pandemic. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

CenturyLink, one of Washington’s largest internet and Wi-Fi providers, has been fined $923,000 for disconnecting service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state issued the penalty for violating a 2020 emergency proclamation Gov. Jay Inslee issued.

The proclamation stated, “The available financial resources of many of our people and businesses are becoming limited, with many of them suffering considerable economic hardship as a result of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our economy, resulting in a significant threat of utility services being disconnected and late payment fees being imposed.”

 Commentary from Angela Poe Russell: Threads gives us the opportunity to reshape social media

CenturyLink is being fined $1,000 per violation for disconnecting 923 customers.

According to a media release, those customers were protected by the proclamation.

A judge said the violations were “both serious and harmful to the public.”

The company claimed the disconnections were inadvertent.

The ruling said CenturyLink’s arguments “in no way alter our assessment of the impact on the businesses, households, and individuals who were deprived of their means of connecting with employers, loved ones, and emergency services during a global health crisis.”

Seattle City Attorney Davison: Appeals injunction on graffiti enforcement

CenturyLink, which is part of Lumen Technologies, has 20 days to appeal the fine.

The complaint was first filed against Lumen in April 2022 after staff requested data from all telecommunications companies. CenturyLink serves about 650,000 residential and business lines in Washington, the press release said.

Local News

pierce county elk...

Frank Sumrall

Video: Pierce County deputies use garden tools to save elk caught in swing

Their body camera video shows them approaching the bucking and panicked animal, then using borrowed garden tools to cut the swing's ropes.

6 minutes ago

hammer man seattle...

Frank Sumrall

Hammer-swinging man injures 2 in attack at Seattle Sound Transit station

The victims of the attack were a man and a woman in their 60s. Both were taken to hospitals and are in stable condition, SPD reported.

2 hours ago

bear park cascades...

L.B. Gilbert

National Park Service considers plan to bring grizzly bears back to the Cascades

The National Park Service (NPS) is considering a plan to bring grizzly bears back to the North Cascades.

5 hours ago

Seattle Amazon walkout...

Bill Kaczaraba

Report: Amazon tells its employees it is monitoring badge swipes

Amazon says it is getting serious about its "get back to the office" policy, now monitoring individual badge swipes into office buildings.

5 hours ago

montlake construction SR 520 closed...

Nate Connors

SR 520 bridge closed for weekend for work on Montlake Lid

The Washington State Department of Transportation is closing both directions of the State Route 520 bridge over Lake Washington this weekend.

5 hours ago

tupac shakur...

Rio Yamat and Ken Ritter

Man tied to suspected shooter in Tupac Shakur’s 1996 killing arrested

Tupac Shakur was gunned down when he was 25. He was in a BMW driven by Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

CenturyLink fined nearly $1M for disconnecting service during pandemic