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Business News/ News / World/  US news: Cellphone network restored after a widespread outage. 10 points
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US news: Cellphone network restored after a widespread outage. 10 points

A widespread cellular outage in the US has been resolved, affecting users of multiple telecom providers. AT&T confirmed the restoration of its wireless network after a brief disruption.

AT&T Inc. suffered a widespread network outage that took hours to resolve Thursday, prompting the FBI and US Department of Homeland Security to investigate why hundreds of thousands of wireless subscribers lost service. (AP)Premium
AT&T Inc. suffered a widespread network outage that took hours to resolve Thursday, prompting the FBI and US Department of Homeland Security to investigate why hundreds of thousands of wireless subscribers lost service. (AP)

A cellular outage swept across large portions of the US has now been restored. Users of various other telecom providers, including AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile encountered issues with their services as hundreds of thousands of wireless subscribers lost service. However, AT&T said its wireless network was back after a few hours of outage. The FBI and US Department of Homeland Security are investigating into the matter.

Here are 10 updates on US cellular outage:

  • On Thursday, the outage began at about 3:30 a.m. ET (2 PM IST) and around 73,000 reported incidents.
  • AT&T, the US largest telecom with more than 240 million subscribers, had more than 58,000 outages in locations including Houston, Atlanta, and Chicago.

US hit by cellular outage; thousands of AT&T, Verizon, T Mobile users affected

  • New York Police Department officials told CNN that they were not able to make calls or utilise emails on AT&T phones Thursday morning unless they were connected to Wi-Fi.
  • San Francisco's Department of Emergency Management said in a statement on X Thursday morning that its 911 centre remained operational, but many AT&T customers were unable to reach the emergency line because of the outage.
  • However by 5 pm ET (3:30 am IST) the reports were down to about 1,200.
  • Users of other carriers, including Verizon and T-Mobile, also reported issues but those companies said their networks were operating normally and the problems were likely stemming from customers trying to connect to AT&T users.
  • Some iPhone users saw SOS messages displayed in the status bar on their cellphones. The message indicates that the device is having trouble connecting to its cellular provider’s network, but it can make emergency calls through other carrier networks.
  • According to an ABC News report, the problem was caused by a flawed software update
  • The Federal Communications Commission contacted AT&T about the outage and the Department of Homeland Security and FBI were also looking into it. But, there is no indication that Thursday's outage was the result of a cyberattack or other malicious activity.
  • US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is "working closely with AT&T to understand the cause of the outage and its impacts.

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Published: 23 Feb 2024, 07:33 AM IST
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