Major AT&T Outage Reported Across US, Company Says Most of the Network Restored

Major AT&T Outage Reported Across US, Company Says Most of the Network Restored

A woman uses her iPhone in a file photo. (Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images)

Jack Phillips

Jack Phillips

2/22/2024

Updated: 2/22/2024

AT&T said Thursday afternoon that it is making progress in restoring service to customers during a nationwide outage that impacted significant numbers of customers, who couldn’t make phone calls, access the Internet, or send texts.
“Some of our customers are experiencing wireless service interruptions this morning,” the company said in a statement to news outlets. “Our network teams took immediate action and so far three-quarters of our network has been restored. We are working as quickly as possible to restore service to remaining customers.”
Other details have not been provided.

Earlier Update

AT&T and Cricket went down for many of its customers across the United States on Thursday, the company confirmed, as numerous customers reported an outage.
With the network outage, customers—including Epoch Times reporters—were not able to make phone calls, send texts, or access the internet using the network.
Users of T-Mobile and Verizon, too, were reporting outages on Thursday, but it appears that AT&T and Cricket, which use the same network, were suffering the most, according to DownDetector. As of Thursday at 9 a.m. ET, about 74,000 customers reported AT&T outages, while more than 13,000 Cricket customers reported the same, the website showed.
A few thousand T-Mobile and Verizon customers also reported outages, the website shows. DownDetector only records self-reported service outages, so the actual number of people without service is likely much higher. It’s often used by customers who can’t access a network, service, app, or website.
In a statement to several news outlets on Thursday, AT&T confirmed the outage and urged people to use Wi-Fi calling in the meantime. “Some of our customers are experiencing wireless service interruptions this morning. We are working urgently to restore service to them,” it said in a statement.
AT&T’s outage web page included a notice that “some customers in your area are having trouble making or receiving calls. As a result, we are experiencing long hold times. We apologize for this inconvenience and we are working to resolve this issue.”
T-Mobile and Verizon said that they are not suffering outages. “We did not experience an outage,” T-Mobile told news outlets. “Our network is operating normally.”
“Down Detector is likely reflecting challenges our customers were having attempting to connect to users on other networks,” T-Mobile told Fox News.
“Verizon’s network is operating normally,” Verizon told outlets Thursday. “Some customers experienced issues this morning when calling or texting with customers served by another carrier. We are continuing to monitor the situation.”
It’s not clear why AT&T’s network is down or how long it will take to restore service, while reports have indicated that the outage has impacted public services and government officials.
A spokesman for Verizon, Richard Young, told CNN that the AT&T outage appears to be “close to being resolved.” He did not provide a reason or evidence.
Multiple law enforcement agencies posted messages on social media, warning about outages in their respective areas. For example, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office in Florida wrote that “AT&T is experiencing an outage. Subscribers are unable to call or text 911.” Service in North Florida has since returned, according to an Epoch Times reporter.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management wrote that its 911 center remained operational, but it cautioned that many AT&T customers were not able to reach the emergency department due to the service outage. It suggested people use a landline or find a person using a different cellphone service to make a phone call.
“We are aware of an issue impacting AT&T wireless customers from making and receiving any phone calls,” including to 911, the department wrote in a post. “We are actively engaged and monitoring this.”
New York Police Department officials told CNN that officials cannot make calls or access emails through their AT&T phones—unless they were using Wi-Fi.
In similar statements, Virginia’s Prince William County, Irving Police Department in Texas, the Chicago Office of Emergency Management & Communications, and several other departments in major cities sent out warnings on social media about the outage. They added that in some instances, customers could not call 911.
An AT&T spokesperson told outlets that its FirstNet network, which is for first responders, had been online during the outage Thursday.

‘SOS’

For iPhone users, many AT&T and Cricket users on Thursday reported seeing an “SOS” symbol, where their cellular service would normally show bars.
According to the Apple website, when an SOS symbol shows up, it means that it can only make “emergency calls.”
https://twitter.com/ATT/status/1760669028018803175?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1760669028018803175%7Ctwgr%5E2723900ad5e0061cecb14a5395e0fe382ae9eee3%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fiframe.nbcnews.com%2F7CCGpQx%3F_showcaption%3Dtrueapp%3D1
“When you make a call with SOS, your iPhone automatically calls the local emergency number and shares your location information with emergency services,” it says. “In some countries and regions, you might need to choose the service that you need.”
For Android users with AT&T or Cricket, many reported seeing the message: “Your phone is not registered to a network, so you can only make emergency calls.”

Complaints Abound

The term “outage” and related terms were trending on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday, with many users reporting that they have no cellphone service. Many took to the website to complain about cellphone companies.
“AT&T is literally one of the most expensive phone companies, and y’all have the audacity to have a service outage for hours with zero updates being given to your customers?” one person wrote on X.
“It’s a whole outage going [on] in the US and a lot of people can’t text or call anybody, only number you can call is 911,“ said another person, adding: ”This is unusual and scary.”
And another woman claimed on X that she has “been unable to get a response from AT&T on multiple platforms.”
The Epoch Times has contacted AT&T for comment via email.
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Jack Phillips

Jack Phillips

Author

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: https://twitter.com/jackphillips5

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