Tags: cellular outage | at&t | verizon | t-mobile

AT&T Says US Cellular Outage Has Eased

AT&T Says US Cellular Outage Has Eased
(Pau Barrena/Getty Images)

Thursday, 22 February 2024 01:51 PM EST

AT&T said three-quarters of its network has been restored after a cellular phone outage Thursday disrupted calls and text messages for thousands of U.S. users, prompting an investigation by federal agencies.

The wireless carrier, whose 5G network covers around 290 million people across the United States, has been grappling with interruptions to its service for more than nine hours.

The Federal Communications Commission said it is investigating the incident, while the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said it is working with AT&T to understand the cause.

The outage affected people's ability to reach emergency services by dialing 911, according to posts on the X social media platform by government departments in several U.S. cities.

"We are aware of the reported wireless outages, and our Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau is actively investigating," an FCC spokesperson said.

AT&T shares were down 2.2% in afternoon trading. There were about 6,200 incidents of outages reported around 1:20 p.m. ET (1820 GMT), according to tracking website Downdetector.com, down from more than 70,000 earlier in the day.

"We are working as quickly as possible to restore service to remaining customers," AT&T said on its website. It did not provide a reason for the outage or the number of affected users.

ABC News, citing two sources briefed on the situation, reported that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are trying to determine whether the outages could have been caused by a cyberattack or a hack.

Reuters could not immediately independently verify that report. The FBI did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

"We are aware of an issue impacting AT&T wireless customers from making and receiving any phone calls (including to 911), the San Francisco Fire Department said on X.

The Prince William County Police Department in Virginia and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in North Carolina posted similar statements on the platform.

Downdetector showed users of Verizon, T-Mobile and UScellular also faced disruptions, but they were more limited than the AT&T reports.

The other companies said their network was operating normally and the outage was potentially related to customers trying to connect with other networks.

U.S. Senator Rick Scott of Florida said in a post on X that he had contacted AT&T for an update. "Florida law enforcement is doing everything it can to keep people safe, and I expect AT&T to keep us informed on what it is doing to get 911 services fully back online ASAP," he said.

In 2021, regulators settled for $19.5 million a probe into a T-Mobile outage during the pandemic that lasted over 12 hours and led to more than 20,000 failed 911 emergency calls.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


StreetTalk
AT&T said three-quarters of its network has been restored after a cellular phone outage Thursday disrupted calls and text messages for thousands of U.S. users, prompting an investigation by federal agencies.
cellular outage, at&t, verizon, t-mobile
441
2024-51-22
Thursday, 22 February 2024 01:51 PM
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