AT&T Outage Disrupts Service for Thousands of U.S. Users; Investigations Underway

AT&T Outage Disrupts Service for Thousands of U.S. Users; Investigations Underway

Key Points:

  • AT&T experienced an outage affecting calls and text messages for thousands of U.S. users, which was attributed to an incorrect process during network expansion.
  • Investigations were launched by FCC, CISA, FBI, and DHS to understand the cause of the AT&T outage.
  • AT&T restored wireless service after several hours, but the exact incident details remain undisclosed.
  • Outage leads to a decline in AT&T stock price and disrupts emergency services like 911 calls.
  • Other telecom providers face disruptions, albeit on a smaller scale, prompting concerns about network reliability and cybersecurity.

Late on Thursday, AT&T experienced an outage that disrupted calls and text messages for thousands of users across the United States. Contrary to initial concerns, AT&T stated that the outage was not caused by a cyberattack but rather by an incorrect process executed during network expansion.

At its peak, the outage affected more than 70,000 users, but AT&T confirmed that wireless service had been restored for all affected customers after several hours of disruption. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) launched investigations into the incident, while the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also became involved to understand the cause.

According to AT&T, the outage lasted for over 10 hours, impacting users’ ability to make emergency calls to services like 911. While the company assured customers that steps were being taken to prevent such incidents in the future, the exact reason behind the outage remains unclear. AT&T declined to provide further details on the incident or the number of affected users.

The outage also led to a decline in AT&T’s stock price by 2.4% in afternoon trading, with over 3,200 outage incidents reported by tracking website While the FBI stated that they communicated with AT&T and would respond if any malicious activity was detected, industry experts like Doug Madory from Kentik expressed skepticism about the outage resulting from a cyberattack.

“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 (formerly twitter).

Several government departments in U.S. cities reported difficulties in reaching emergency services like 911 during the outage. While Verizon, T-Mobile, and UScellular also faced disruptions, they were comparatively more limited than those experienced by AT&T users. U.S. Senator Rick Scott of Florida reached out to AT&T for updates, emphasizing the importance of restoring 911 services promptly.

This incident highlights the critical nature of telecommunications infrastructure and the potential risks associated with network outages, especially concerning emergency services. It also underscores the need for thorough investigations to determine the root cause and prevent similar disruptions in the future.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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