If Your Cellphone Was Useless Today, You're Not Alone

Major carriers appear to have resolved most of the outages, but the cause is still unclear
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 22, 2024 7:39 AM CST
Updated Feb 22, 2024 3:50 PM CST
AT&T, Other Carriers Suffer Outages Nationwide
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Kar-Tr)
UPDATE Feb 22, 2024 3:50 PM CST

It's been a lousy day for a lot of smartphones, but the trouble is mostly over: AT&T said late in the afternoon that its network was back again for an hourslong outage across the country, reports the AP. The trouble began overnight, leading to nearly 60,000 outages for AT&T alone around noon Eastern on Thursday. Other major carriers also had issues, but most appeared to be resolved by the afternoon, per NBC News. The source of the trouble remained unclear, but the FCC was investigating with help from the FBI.

Feb 22, 2024 7:39 AM CST

A number of Americans are dealing with cellular outages on AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Verizon, T-Mobile, and other service providers, according to data from Downdetector. AT&T had more than 50,000 outages on Thursday morning, in locations including Houston, Atlanta, and Chicago, per the AP. Cricket Wireless had more than 9,000, the outage tracking website said. Verizon had more than 2,000 outages, while T-Mobile had more than 1,000 outages. Boost Mobile had more than 450 outages.

NBC News, which reports it's not clear what prompted the outages, notes that although AT&T hasn't yet issued a statement, the company has been trying to field customer complaints online. Verizon, meanwhile, says its own network isn't specifically affected by the outages, but that its users are finding it hard to reach other people on another carrier that's experiencing outages. One worrisome factor during the outages is that some people on AT&T wireless have reported having problems calling 911.

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San Francisco's fire department acknowledged the issue and noted on social media that "we are actively engaged and monitoring this." "If you are an AT&T customer and cannot get through to 911, then please try calling from a landline," the agency advised, adding if that wasn't possible, then users should track down someone using a different carrier to call 911. The fire department also asked that people not call or text 911 strictly to see if they still had service. (More AT&T stories.)

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